This week’s Ambassador Feature is with Maxine Windram, Brava Lingerie
2018 AusMumpreneur Retail Business Award silver winner
Tell us the story behind why you love what you do and why you’re so passionate about sharing your message.
The transformation I witness in the changeroom cannot be underestimated. Many customers visiting Brava for the first-time have discomfort; often with neck, shoulder and back pain and feeling negative about their body. Often our customers have only ever been offered granny bras in their size, so to see them walking out of Brava with their head held higher, feeling comfortable, beautiful and uplifted is so rewarding. I’ve seen sad tears turn into happy tears right before my eyes. I relate to my customers because it was also my experience as an adolescent, inspiring myself and my mum – Lin – to create Brava. This is why I do (and love) what I do, because it can change a woman’s life.
Maxine & Lin winning the silver trophy for Retail Business Excellence at the 2018 AusMumpreneur Awards.
(Image credit: Alex Anderson, Jam on your Collar)
Tell us a story about a challenging time you faced, how you overcame it and what lesson/lessons/wisdom this experience has taught you about life and business.
There have been many challenging times; the retail environment can be brutal with the changing face of retail and customers transitioning to online buying. It has taught me to be resilient but also creative, resourceful and determined. Retail is not dead like we are led to believe, it’s about looking at ways we can do it differently and do it better. Nothing beats the face to face customer experience and this is especially true when it comes to bra fitting. Our challenge has been not only offering an exceptional service in-store, but also trying to replicate this service online as much as is possible. This business has taught me that there is almost always a way to turn things around.
What are 3 pieces of advice you would give someone starting out in business?
1. Don’t wait until all your ducks are in a row. If we waited until everything was perfect, we would not evolve. Sometimes we need to make mistakes to improve.
2. Learn from others. Who in your industry has stepped before you? What advice could they give you?
3. Every task you carry out ask yourself, is this the best use of my time? Is this action moving me closer to my goal?
What is your proudest business achievement? Why does this mean so much to you?
I feel proud reading our customer testimonials, they come through daily and its always to commend our staff team and to express how grateful they are that Brava exists. Customers often say these words ‘you’ve changed my life’. This is what I feel most proud of because our goal we set 12 years ago was to change the bra shopping experience for fuller-busted women. I feel like we have achieved this.
Finally, what do you believe is the secret to success?
There are no secrets, no magic. Successful businesses are developed with commitment, hard work, listening, learning and having clear goals and accountabilities. It helps to be positive, focussed and driven but in the end there are no secrets, just look at all the good business around us and they have finetuned systems and procedures, clear accountabilities and strong goals.
About our AusMumpreneur Ambassador
Maxine Windram – bra boss, coffee addict, Mother, introvert, blogger. Becoming Australia’s D cup & up expert wasn’t exactly on her radar when considering career options! But after being treated like a problem in bra shops due to her D+ cup size, she now lives and breathes boobs, bras and business (well not actually breathes boobs, that would just be weird). Now don’t ask her about A, B, & Cs… but she sure knows her D – Ks. Having run D cup & up lingerie stores with her Mum for 12 years, it’s now her mission to dig deeper into the world of big boobs and help women get abreast of their bodies and understand how to find that elusive perfect bra.