This week on Balance, Deborah talks to Erica Stewart, entrepreneur, CEO and founder of hardtofind.com.au about how she turned a hobby into a multi-million dollar online retail business, what it takes to find balance and the gifts she sees trending for Mother’s Day 2017.
So how did this online retail phenomenon start?
Erica Stewart’s hardtofind entrepreneurial spirit
“From a very young age I was always very entrepreneurial,” said Erica Stewart.
Whether it was selling handmade cookies and lemonade in the street to capitalising on the Hello Kitty stationary crazy at boarding school, Erica was always looking for the next big idea.
As a National Sales Manager for a group of lifestyle magazines, Erica’s entrepreneurial spirit was evident when she would take her big ideas to management and then be frustrated when they didn’t get “off the ground”.
At the same time, Erica would see “gorgeous” products in the office and wonder where she could find them in store. When she enquired with the stylist they would say it came from an unknown “hole in the wall boutique”.
An idea was sparked and a business was born
“I thought, I’ve got to do something about this, I want to access these products, there’s nowhere I can go, how about I start an online store?” said Erica.
So in 2008, Erica decided to join the burgeoning world of e-commerce and developed hardtofind.com.au where customers could gain access to these small boutiques and manufacturers in one place and buy “hard to find” gift ideas, homewares, fashion and jewellery.
Learn more about how Erica Stewart and how she grew a hobby into a multi-million dollar business all this week with Deborah on Balance.
About Erica Stewart
Erica Stewart is founder and CEO of online curated marketplace hardtofind.com.au
In 2008, Erica saw a gap in the market for shoppers looking to locate beautifully designed, handcrafted, unique products and used her skills and experiences working in lifestyle magazines to launch the online retailer.
While on maternity leave from her position as National Sales Manager with News Life Media, Erica decided to prioritise the growth of the platform and began working on the business full-time.
hardtofind has its home in Sydney’s vibing inner west and works with sellers from all around Australia and as far away as London, Lithuania and Puerto Rico.
The site brings together an expertly sourced global community of cottage industries, independent studios and hole-in-the-wall retailers with people looking for something different – and creating a much more personal maker/manufacturer-to-customer shopping experience.