How finding a strategic partner or investor for your business is just like dating
Elyse Daniels the CEO of Exodus Wear, a multi-million dollar business that provides fully customisable jackets, inside and out joins Enterprise Radio to discuss how finding a strategic partner or investor for your business is just like dating.
Listen to interview with host Eric Dye & guest Elyse Daniels discuss the following:
- When should you consider taking on a strategic partner or investment?
- What has your experience been like looking for a strategic partner?
- What should you do before seeking out investors?
- How do you know when an investor is ‘the one’?
- What was something that surprised you during the negotiations?
About Exodus Wear:
Exodus Wear makes the most customisable jackets and tracksuits. We specialise in leavers wear for Year 12 students, tour jackets for dance schools and tracksuits for sporting groups but we can custom made and jackets or tracksuits for your group. Whether it is a baseball shirt for your Roller Derby Team, a satin bomber for your Car Club or a tracksuit for your Chorus Group (yes we have done all those!) we can make it for you and customise them to your specifications inside and out. Our jackets have been worn by Justin Bieber, Justice Crew, Kylie Sandilands, Stan Walker, Israel Cruz plus many more celebrities.
Entrepreneurship was always in her blood with Elyse’s family starting a promotional products business when she was just 12 years old. The school holidays saw her working for her parents and she even had some of her own clients. One of her clients was Australian fashion label Wheels and Dollbaby. Not being old enough to drive meant getting dropped off at the Wheels and Dollbaby store in Darlinghurst by her Dad who would wait in a nearby coffee shop until the appointment was over. From Wheels and Dollbaby she learnt how important attention to detail is for a brand not only in their products but in all their brand material. One memorable appointment was when she stood nervously waiting as Melanie Greensmith the founder of Wheels and Dollbaby picked the perfect pantone colour for their custom matchboxes.
As School Captain, Elyse got to refine her entrepreneurial skills further by organising fundraising events which helped raise thousands of dollars to be put towards Year 12 activities. After completing a Business & Marketing degree at the University of Western Sydney and securing a job at an international company Elyse thought she had ‘made it’. However she soon came to the realisation that she enjoyed the variety working in a small business offered and figured she might be suited to a smaller company where she would be able to offer her skills across a variety of areas in the business instead of specialising only in marketing.
At 20 she joined the family business in promotional products full-time and while there learnt the importance of personalisation and the demand for custom products. She saw an opportunity to sell jackets that were designed by the customer and customised inside and out focusing on the leavers wear market and community groups. In August 2009 she took her first order of custom jackets and with that Exodus Wear was born.
From there it was a quick transition to full time entrepreneur but a long journey with many ups and downs to reach the point of running a multi million dollar company servicing Australia wide. With highlights such as having Justin Bieber wear one of her jackets to learning first hand the pitfalls of sourcing direct from China every day the business teaches her something new.
“I think a big part of our success comes from placing no restrictions on what our customers can design but keeping the pricing model simple so they don’t get overwhelmed. You can’t tell customers what is cool or what they want anymore. You have to listen to what your customers want, and ours want personalisation” – Elyse Daniels