June 21, 2024

Thrive Insider

Exclusive stories of successful entrepreneurs

Natasha Lam, Founder High End Hammy Downs

Who are you and what business did you start?

Hi! My name is Natasha and I wanted to share Australia’s first personalised online school uniform exchange with your members, think like Tinder for your kids school uniforms!

What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I am a mum of 2, CFO at an AI company and am a tree hugger. I want to leverage technology in order to live more sustainably. Additionally I moved so much as a child, I wasn’t in school long enough for my mum to invest the money in a full uniform kit, so at some schools I went without. Now I don’t want any child to miss out on uniforms, for any reason whether it be for financial reasons or availability issues. For as little as $20 you can now potentially get a full uniform kit second hand. A kids wardrobe is 70% uniforms…. Plus I was sick of having piles and piles of kids hand-me-downs in my closet, my garage and my car, because I know 80% of donated items end up in landfill!

Describe the process of launching the business.

Procrastinating on steroids! Creating a brand, logo and website from nothing is difficult, so you need to have a initial vision and passion for your project. It takes time and I am still not at the end of my journey, I am still seeking funding for my app and building my membership, but it is encouraging to see it growing.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

PR/marketing and engaging customers that engage with you. Getting advice from some experts where you have no experience in that particular field.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

I have about 1-2 members signing up everyday, organic growth until I build the app I would say. Once the app is launch and marketing and I anticipate things will speed up and I can scale overseas. UK and Europe second hand apparel market is way more advanced then here in Australia and I want to try and capitalise on the current sustainability movement sweeping the globe. I also hope to diversify swapped items 🙂

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Yes just do it, and stop procrastinating 🙂 Then you will either know if its going to work or if you should move on.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Wix website, and intention is to build the app, likely with a Microsoft product.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Joining a few groups that fit your needs for support and advice, their are alot to choose from, and they themselves connect you with resources and podcasts etc. I joined Lift Women Group (crowdfunding platform for women) and Mums & Co (the movement for business-owning mums who want to launch, grow and scale their business)

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Just do it, if you are failing to get market validation, keep trying, but if your getting too many No’s just take a break, you don’t have to give up, just give yourself more time

Where can we go to learn more?

www.highendhammydowns.com.au or visit my linked in page or social feeds