Strutting your stuff – Customer Insights

Written by: Jessica Stephens

October 26, 2020

Strutting your stuff

When opportunities come along in business you sometimes just have to seize them, as Maxine Dosen of Brisbane retailer Strutt Fashion knows only too well.

The life of a small business owner brings with it many upsides. You’re sailing your own ship, you can change direction with quick decisions, and swiftly take advantage of opportunities that come your way.

However, it comes with a few downsides, too. And among them is often the financial inability to seize those opportunities when they do come around.

That was exactly the situation facing Maxine Dosen, owner of the well-established Strutt Fashion womenswear stores in Brisbane, recently, when she received an unexpected phone call from a label she’d admired for a long time.

“I had the opportunity to buy some stock from a label that’s in Myer and David Jones, a really nice label, and they wanted me to have it – they knew that with our stores and our customers it’d fly out.

“They even offered it to me at 50 per cent off, but I just didn’t have the cash sat there to invest in it – it looked like I wouldn’t be able to do it.”

Maxine knew it made sound business sense, though, and called Bizcap to see if she’d be able to access some cash flow capital.

After discussing the situation with Bruno, her Bizcap customer Loan Specialist, funds were transferred to the business’s account later that day – and Strutt Fashion was able to add another desirable label to its already compelling brand line up.

“I called him and said, ‘this is what we’re turning over, this is the opportunity, what do you think? Both Bruno and Bizcap could see the benefit of the deal for the business.”

 

Getting store two off the ground

It wasn’t the first time Maxine has used Bizcap to support her business’s growth and to take advantage of opportunities that arise.

With the flagship store in DFO Brisbane and a recently-opened second in Westfield Carindale, the business is going from strength to strength – but, as with any small business, cash flow is a continual challenge.

“Bizcap understand small business, it’s where I’ve always found they excel when compared to other lenders,” says Maxine, who started her business in 1995 after spending a number of years as an area manager of a high-profile hairdressing chain.

“When I was opening the new shop I had massive expenses as you can imagine. I was getting some capital investment from the shopping centre but it had been delayed – I had builders to pay, and quickly.

“I called Bizcap, explained the situation and he got me the money I needed.

“They could see the business rationale, they could see the vision, and they believe in me.”

 

Hand in hand approach

That partnership approach was in evidence again when COVID-19 hit.

Strutt Fashion, like many businesses across the world, was impacted heavily. Doors were shut and, consequently, cash flow dried up.

“I’ve been in business for over 25 years and have never defaulted on anything in my life,” says Maxine.

“Then COVID happened. I had no income, and we had to temporarily shut down, I was devastated, in tears.

“I called Bruno, told him what had happened and the first thing he said was, ‘don’t worry Maxine.’

“It was exactly what I needed to hear. He understood what we were going through, and sorted everything out so I didn’t default.”

Over the time Strutt Fashion and Bizcap have been working together, Maxine has used cash flow loans regularly to invest in the business. And from bringing in new labels to establishing whole new stores, the strategy has reaped its rewards.

“Bizcap’s helped me establish a whole brand new store that’s going to turn over $1.5m. That’s the difference that having access to some short-term cash has enabled me to do; that’s what it’s meant to the business.”

And Maxine’s not stopping there, either.

With plans for stores in Chermside, the north, east, south and west of Brisbane and the Gold Coast – and potentially as far as Perth in Westfield Shopping Centres, there’s serious potential to be realised for Strutt Fashion – and who’d back against Maxine to achieve that?

If you’re looking for assistance to assist you capitalise on growth opportunities like Maxine, please contact us and we will be more than happy to assist!

On the other hand, if you’re looking for some gorgeous new pieces for your wardrobe, visit Strutt Fashion’s website or join their community of 90k on Instagram via @struttfashion.

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