- Name: Kyha Scott
- Business name: One Day Bridal
- Industry: Bridal
- Number of employees: 35
- Operating since: 2011
- Location: South Melbourne
What was your first paid job?
When I was 14, I worked at the local bakery slicing bread and making coffees on Saturdays and Sundays. I was saving to buy my first car when I turned 18.
What made you get into your current business?
It was my own wedding experience which led me into the bridal industry. I ended up having a bespoke gown made through a local designer and found the process difficult and disappointing. On my wedding day, my dress was nothing like the original design we had worked on together.
I felt there was a huge gap in the market for wedding dresses that weren’t so traditional in design. At the same time, offering an incredible experience to brides that resulted in a dress they were elated with at the end of their wedding journey. We hold the memories of finding and trying on our wedding gown with the most special people around us forever and I wanted to turn a negative experience into something positive and special for others.
How did you get your very first customer/client?
At the start of the One Day journey, I rented a tiny store on the main street of Elwood. I had no money to fit the store out, so I made one dress and put it on a mannequin in the window and used a curtain to hide the rest of the store. The intrigue of what was behind the curtain had locals talking, and because I had a lot of time on my hands, I would stand at the door and talk to passersby.
As a result, in my first year a lot of my initial clients came from word of mouth. We didn’t spend money on advertising or marketing until the fourth year of business, simply because we didn’t have the budget for it.
What has been your biggest triumph in business?
Watching and building an incredible team who continually lift to new challenges has been a huge achievement and one of the hardest. We would not be where we are today without the team behind the business.
Securing a major department store in the USA and taking the business to an international level has also been an achievement we are extremely proud of.
Most recently, however, we have been working towards changing the workplace environment to accommodate working mums. Being a predominantly female workplace, we felt the need to change the way in which we accommodate mums and encourage them to come back to work with flexible terms. I am so proud of this project and how our team is working to change the landscape for working mums, and this has proven to be a great success for the business and our team.
We are always looking to constantly improve and that’s something to celebrate.
Conversely, what has been your biggest mistake and what did you learn from it?
Not understanding the numbers properly. Business was something I fell into, and although the design and marketing side came naturally, the spreadsheets and numbers certainly didn’t. Not understanding tax, pricing and its intricacies led me into some early trouble, but I am thankful it was earlier in the business where I was in a position to learn from it and rectify the mistakes that I had made.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Stay true to yourself and your brand. Things take time and fast money won’t last.
If you could change one thing to make life easier as a business owner, what would it be and why?
I don’t know if there is anything I would change. I think the journey is part of the challenge and there are so many learnings that come from challenges along the way.
Sometimes I wish I could be in five different places at one time, but the reality is that’s not possible, and it’s fulfilling to grow people within the business and put my trust in them to carry out roles or tasks that I may have previously done.
Who do you look up to in business and why?
Over the years, I have been fortunate to have been mentored by a diverse range of people that have provided me with guidance and support. They are not from within the industry and often give a different perspective for the business. I continue to look to these people to learn and grow, both personally and professionally.
What do you do to get away from work?
I love travelling and spending time with my family, and combining the two is even better.
To function properly and have a clear mind, daily exercise is essential for me. It also gives me some time to myself everyday.
What is the best thing you have ever spent money on in your business (and why)?
Good people and people with experience and expertise. In the beginnings of the business, we couldn’t afford to pay people that had the experience or specific expertise to grow the business. Now with specific people in roles that have experience, we all share the same vision for the business at an elevated level, and I can see our plans, strategy and goals coming to life, which is exciting.
Name a little-known fact about yourself.
Before entering this industry, I was a police officer for six years.
What is the funniest experience or encounter you have had in business?
Getting seriously lost outside Shanghai with a colleague. Although it wasn’t funny at the time, looking back now, it was quite comical. No language skills, no idea where we were and minimal help from the people around us!