The general manager of Australian online fashion retailer Showpo Alex Durkin (pictured left) has stepped down from her role to focus on a new business.
Durkin says is excited about her future with her new venture but is sad to leave a company she has invested seven years of her life into.
She posted a touching farewell to Showpo and founder (and friend) Jane Lu (pictured right) on the Showpo blog.
"I've always had entrepreneurial aspirations and started a few businesses (some failed) before I arrived at Showpo. In my early days with the company, I built two other businesses on the side, sold one, and shut the other one down to concentrate on Showpo. But the itch is still there. I need to venture into the unknown and follow my dream of building my own company," says Durkin.
"Getting to a place where I was mentally able to resign was challenging. It took over a year of self-reflection and self-development at a rate I sometimes couldn't handle. I had to confront my childhood fear of failure. Then, I looked at my personal strengths and set goals for when I'm 40. I've spent the last year strengthening my resolve so when the time came, I could start my new adventure without feeling that I had lost a large part of my identity.
"This process was not just about me but also about getting Showpo to a position where the company was ready for me to move on. It's been a busy year aligning strategy and ensuring that the key people were in place. I've always been transparent with Jane throughout this process and have openly discussed my plans and my vision for Showpo with her."
When Lu hired Durkin in 2012 the business was still tiny. She was Lu's first hire, and joined her and her mother in a garage, packing and sending orders, and building the online retailer into the business it is today.
"In those early years, I was able to try on different roles, as well as outfits. I've played dress up as a pop-up shop floor manager, a buyer, an office and warehouse coordinator, a Facebook ad account manager, a warehouse picker and packer, a customer happiness agent, a photo shoot stylist, a professional napper, a TV commercial visionary and general jill of all trades," says Durkin.
Now, the business turns over $85 million per year, sells into over 100 countries, and has over 150 employees.
Founder Jane Lu also contributed her own touching farewell to Durkin.
"It's with mixed emotions we announce that Alex, our General Manager, my right-hand woman for the last 7 years, is moving on from Showpo. Yep, she's got the 7-year itch, a sign of her innate entrepreneurial spirit," says Lu.
"I admire how brave she is. Just like she's always been, ever since I met her all those years ago, and she maybe/maybe not got a job out of me. She's bravely closing the book on this chapter of her life to start a new one and now the question on everyone's mind is what's next for Durka? "
"Thank you Durka, for more than what words can describe. What an incredible adventure we've had! I honestly could not have done this without you. You've been the yin to my yang, and we've been the perfect partners, even if it took us a while to figure each other out."
Business News Australia
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