Influencer-turned-entrepreneur Tammy Hembrow has had a brilliant 2019.
On top of winning the Fashion Design Award at the Australian Young Entrepreneur Awards 2019, and being named the number 30 Top Young Entrepreneur of 2019, Hembrow has been travelling the world on the back of her social media and business success.
The accomplishments keep coming for Gold Coast-based Hembrow whose Saski Collection is hugely popular back home and in more than 30 countries worldwide.
This week she is celebrating the launch of Saski Swim, a collection of swimwear that has been many years in the making.
On Instagram she is perhaps mostly known for her love of fashion. Being a Gold Coast local, naturally she loves swimwear.
It is no surprise that her latest foray is seeing her dip her toe into the ocean that is the swimwear retail market.
The collection of "raunchy" swimwear comes in a selection of bright neon colours.
Saski Swim isn't just for the petite either, it comes in all sizes all the way up to XL and is available exclusively via her Saski Collection website.
In an era of retail gloom Hembrow has defied the odds.
But perhaps that is an unfair claim to make; rather Hembrow has tapped into the new world of online retail better than most legacy retailers and department stores. She knows what people want, and she's a master at designing, selling and promoting those products.
It certainly helps that she is one of the most followed Australians in the world. With more than 10 million followers she is undeniably the queen of Australian Instagram.
Business News Australia spoke with Hembrow this week to find out what makes her tick, how she balances her multiple athleisure and fitness companies, and what's special about the launch of Swim.
You're launching Saski Swim this week - what's exciting about that? Just in time for summer too!
Yes, we launched our first swim collection this week! The collection is made up of eight separate pieces in three different colours that can all be mixed and matched.
Swimwear is something I've been wanting to do for quite a while as we've had such a huge demand for it, and this collection is just the first of some very exciting things to come in 2020 within the swim realm.
Saski Collection especially has had a big year, and it's still quite a young business. What've you learnt over the last few seasons?
The most important thing I've learnt is to listen to our customers.
Customer feedback is key to improving our products and services, and I'm always grateful to hear when customers are happy with their Saski pieces as well!
You manage to always sell out with Saski but so many older retail brands have been suffering this year. Do you think it's just a matter of older brands becoming less relevant or do you think you've just managed to nail online retail in a way older brands haven't?
I think what sets Saski apart from other brands is that we drop new collections with new styles almost every month of the year, rather than just seasonal collections. This means that we stay on top of trends and customer demands which gives us more flexibility when determining what our customers want to see from us next.
I know Saski Mini is coming along - have you got any updates about that?
I can't give away too much yet but Mini is going to launch within the first few months of 2020 so keep an eye on the Saski Collection social media for updates.
It's been a massive year for you - what have been some highlights?
One highlight is definitely the expansion of my App Tammy Fit.
We have implemented some big updates including the introduction of gluten-free meal plans and the Android release.
We also had our first Tammy Fit event and it's great to see the company receiving more attention.
We are also moving into the merchandise space with the upcoming release of my Tammy Fit booty bands to assist with the workouts.
It's also been another massive year for Saski Collection, with the expansion into Swim this month and also our first ever pop-up sale on the Gold Coast.
This year Saski Collection has also won a number of awards, including the top national business award for Fashion Design at the Australian Young Entrepreneur Awards 2019, and the ABA100 Winner for Marketing Excellence in the Australian Business Awards 2019.
With such a large following there must be plenty of benefits, but also you've got so many eyes on you at all times. Are you used to that yet?
It's still very daunting knowing how many people look and listen to what I do. I don't think it's something that will become easier but it's something I'm learning to live with.
You get to travel around the world quite a lot but you're still based on the Gold Coast. Do you intend to stay here or are you looking at moving your base elsewhere?
I love being able to travel with my job but my home will always be where my family is and right now that's on the Gold Coast.
Eventually I would like to open a Saski Collection headquarters somewhere internationally but that won't be happening for a while.
For now, I will focus my time on developing Tammy Fit and expanding Saski Collection.
You've won quite a number of awards - how does it feel to be not only one of Australia's top influencers but also one of our top entrepreneurs?
This was the first year I was nominated in the Fashion Design category for Saski Collection and we won both the Gold Coast and national award.
I think it's a great accomplishment to be recognised as a businesswoman and a great encouragement to other entrepreneurs.
It's clear that in society today there are a lot of online personalities branching out and developing their own brands and business' and it's inspiring to see.
You've also got a lot to balance, between your business and your kids and your massive following - what's your secret to staying grounded and in control?
For me, exercising really helps clear my mind and stay in control.
It can be very stressful dividing my time between everything but I do the best I can day by day.
My close support network of family and friends keep me grounded and constantly remind me that I'm doing the best I can.
What's next for you?
2020 is going to be a huge year for Saski Collection, with the launch of Saski Mini which is something I'm really excited about as I have two little kids, but also some really exciting growth within Swim.
We also have a few big international trips planned that we will be sharing more about soon!
In 2020 we are also putting a real focus on the expansion of my App Tammy Fit. This has been a priority coming to the end of the year and the growth we have experienced organically has really impressed Apple and Google.
Recently we decided to pull back on paid advertising because the returns were bigger organically when it came to our campaigns.
We also have some big collaborations in the works with nutritionists that are well known to bring some great product offerings to the App.
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