RETAIL COUPLE'S MIX OF CLICKS

RETAIL COUPLE'S MIX OF CLICKS

FOR Nathan and Teressa Hartnett, running a business isn't just a job, but a way of life.

The husband-and-wife team founded Allhart Australian Enterprises in 2008, after realising that 'traditional' careers wouldn't allow them to live the lifestyle they wanted.

Nathan says opening their own business became the only viable option for the couple.

"Teressa and I were just about to get married and we wanted to spend as much time as possible together," he says.

"We were looking at other people who had different sorts of jobs and we just didn't envisage that life for us. We figured that going into business was pretty much the only way to achieve the life that we wanted."

The result was Allhart Australian Enterprises, a network of online stores offering an eclectic gamut of products including rings, fascinators, masquerade masks, hammocks and bow ties.

Although problems hit the business in the 2012-13 financial year, leading to a 30 per cent slide in revenue, Nathan says valuable lessons have been learnt from the experience.

"We had outsourced our marketing which resulted in many of our websites disappearing off Google, so that was quite stressful," says Nathan.

"It led to a change from our old outlook, because we realised that if we wanted to have this lifestyle we were going to have to become great at this business. It was a big flip from both a mindset and business perspective."

Their annus horribilis prompted the couple to take sole control of the entire business in late 2012, including the platform, marketing and design.

The result has been an astronomical recovery, with the company recoding growth percentages of 490 per cent in 2013-14 and 225 per cent in 2014-15.

The change of fortunes has seen the business devise plans to open three new e-commerce stores in the next few months, along with expansion into new markets.

"We're trying to expand bigger than we ever have in the past," says Nathan.

Plans for 2016 include a crack at the US and Canada.

"We've already had some success in places like New Zealand, but we're hoping to break into the larger market."

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