Each quarter we interview one of our clients to get an insight into their business.
This issue we spoke to Lucille Jensen of Pink Poppies in Stanthorpe.

When did your business commence?
We started the planning in June 2008 and, after securing premises and renovating, we opened our doors in November 2008.

What does your business do?
With the support of my husband Michael, we operate a retail gift and homewares store. We had a vision to bring a modern contemporary store to our regional town of Stanthorpe.

What makes your business successful?
You can measure success in a lot of different ways. Your accountant may measure it by the growth in your figures, your customers by having the products they want to buy. We looked for the gaps in our market and for product offerings that weren’t already in this marketplace. To us, success isn’t purely about making a profit - it’s about the work/life balance and the enjoyment that you have working in your business. Our business success has been built on a loyal base of customers that actually enjoy shopping with us. I really enjoy sourcing the stock and seeing the happy smiling faces when you hand over a beautifully wrapped gift. Success can be measured by something as simple as a small child telling you that Pink Poppies is their favourite store in the whole world!

What has been your biggest achievement to date?
Being able to show continued growth in our sales when the retail market has been struggling over recent years. We offer a free gift wrapping service, and with the help of customer donations and our business matching these donations, we have provided around $12 000 to local organisations to assist with their community work.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone starting up a business?
The biggest key is to plan - you know the old adage, “if you fail to plan, you will plan to fail”. Take the time to research the industry you are looking at venturing into. Use the Government resources that are available for information on industry modeling. Look at what your competitors are doing and try to make a point of difference. Take advice from the professionals you should surround yourself with: your solicitor, accountant, bank manager, business coach, and join your industry association. Always be honest and act with integrity in your business dealings. Treat your staff well, use praise and train them so they have confidence to sell your products or services.

How do you relax from the pressures of being in business?
I enjoy spending time with my family - we have two teenage boys so parenting can be challenging at times! I love to cook and enjoy downtime in my garden.