Jodie Minto, founder of iland co, is our 2020 AusMumpreneur NSW-ACT Fashion Business gold award winner.
iland co. is an Australian label dressing women in effortlessly chic resort wear to ignite that endless holiday confidence, all year round. They lovingly design one-size-fits-most kimonos, capes, linens, kaftans and boleros as well as casual beach wear that bring you to your happy place: your island.
Whether it’s real or imagined, when you’re there, life is spontaneous, colourful and bursting with that easy joy that comes with island life. iland co pieces evoke that confidence, every day of the year. Travel optional.
Paying homage to their Dubai souq roots, Jodie hand-picks high-quality silks, chiffons and viscose blends and have them tailored into beautiful, figure-loving pieces that win hearts and awards in equal measure. Everything you see from the virtual souq ships from their Central Coast HQ. Shop with easy, breezy peace of mind thanks to 30-day returns, luxury resort-style customer service and the latest payment encryption technology. Your island awaits.
When did you start your business?
Seven years ago (2016), when I was living in the Middle East with my husband and two young children. I was someone who knew there had to be something more than the 9-5 grind out there for me. A job – no, a career – that I could love, that would provide me uncapped earnings, that would fit around the lifestyle I wanted to lead, where I could be my own boss, and work from anywhere. I’ve never looked back.
What was the inspiration behind starting this business?
On a trip back to Australia from Dubai, I spotted women wearing these beautiful summer kimonos. They were stunning, and I had a vision of a fusion between east and west, with a design that married the Arabic abaya and Japanese kimono.
Something that had never been created before, but would make every woman who wore it feel beautiful, special and completely loving of the skin they were in. This, coupled with my desire to work for myself, enjoy the freedom and flexibility of being self-employed and manage my time and creativity in its entirety, made it the perfect time to start.
What are you most excited about in your business?
Freedom and flexibility in my days, full creative control and rewards of being my own boss all excite me the most.
What has been the most challenging thing about starting your business?
Starting a business while still working full-time, followed by not knowing what exactly to focus on first and of course, cash flow.
What advice would you give to other women thinking about starting a business?
Know that the rewards will be worth it, but it might take longer than you think to get there. Have patience; and unwavering faith that your business will be successful. I’m a perfect example that trial-and-error, failing and learning (flearning!) and dusting yourself off again and again really does pay off. Embody resilience and positivity, and you’ll get to where you want to be.
Why did you enter the AusMumpreneur Awards?
I entered the AusMumpreneur Awards as they recognise other women like me; business owners also juggling motherhood – which is the greatest circus act of all. The AusMumpreneur community is impressively powerful and community-led and I love being a part of it.
What did you enjoy the most about being part of the awards?
While COVID-19 meant that there wasn’t an awards ceremony I could attend, I enjoyed watching the virtual awards ceremony and winning the NSW Gold Fashion Award.
What surprised you most about the awards?
The professionalism and sheer size of the event.
How did the awards help you in your business?
We can now proudly call ourselves “an award-winning business”, and it’s widely recognised by others in the industry, and customers too.
What advice would you give to others mums thinking about entering the awards?
Back yourself and go for it.
What has been the best thing about starting your own business?
Being able to employ other women and other mamas. We have a great, all-female team that makes coming to work each day a joy. We get the struggle of wearing many hats; of taking one off and putting on another with very little down-time in between, so we can support each other in that way.
What’s happening next in your business?
Expanding our product range, entering new markets and also ramping up our wholesaling side of the business are exciting directions I can’t wait to venture into.
What are your big plans for the future?
Helping other women create thriving, online stores via my coaching programs at www.jodieminto.com. Because my own business grew so rapidly these past 12 months, I had to pause my coaching business – but now that I have a great, capable team around me, I’m excited to get back into it this year.
All images featured here are from iland co.
SAVE THE DATE – 2021 AUSMUMPRENEUR AWARDS!
Nominations open Monday 3 May 2021.
AusMumpreneur Awards Nights 8-10 September 2021
Conference and Awards Presentation 14-16 September 2021.