Kick Ass Biz Mama #14 – Kristy Chong, Modibodi

AYLA Maternity Blog Kick Ass Biz Mama Kristy Chong Profile Pic Modi Bodi

Dear Ladies,

Today’s amazing business woman has a very special product that addresses many issues we all face as women and mothers, and also aims to help others who can’t afford such choices. Her determination and drive has seen her innovative underwear line grow in a serious leaps and bounds this past year, and her support for Days For Girls and Share the Dignity is inspirational.

Thanks for sharing Kristy – we love what you do!

Collette

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AYLA Maternity Blog Kick Ass Biz Mama Modi Bodi 1

Tell us about your business – when did you start it and what is it all about?

Modibodi is the next evolution in women’s underwear. Modibodi combines great fits, with superior fabrics for a great feel, and we use our super slim, patent-pending fibre technology within the gusset/lining to keep women dry, fresh and protected no matter how crazy or unexpected her day is.

What inspired you to start your business?

It was after the birth of my second child, and I was living in Seattle, USA doing lots of travelling and running. On one my runs I had one of those embarrassing mishaps, a little bladder weakness, and it got me thinking about all the times as a woman my underwear had failed me. Whether it was working out, a hot Summer day, bladder weakness (thanks to 3 babies), my periods or just not feeling fresh after a long haul flight, on so many occasions regular underwear had failed me.

What was the best piece of business advice you were given when you were starting off?

To think big, and so from day one I have tried my best (even with limited resources) to position the brand in the market as a big and serious player. I look for those opportunities that will allow us to become that big brand one day as well.

AYLA Maternity Blog Kick Ass Biz Mama Modi Bodi 2

What was the most difficult part about starting your business?

Not coming from a textile background it was tough having to not only learn the design skills, but to converse with the manufacturers and then to source our technical fabrics in small quantities so as not to spend all my cash flow on product.

Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned about running your business?

I am always in a hurry, and I am somewhat impatient. While this impatience is what has driven the business success up until today, it has also caught me out on a couple of occasions when I have not spent long enough double checking supplier’s credentials. But I can now confidently say sometimes you need to learn the hard way to change, and so after being burnt a few times, I now take alot more time when it comes to supplier contracts and decisions. I clearly lay out my expectations and ensure I am presented with defined strategies, timelines as well as suggested KPIs for the dollar investment.

What has been the biggest sacrifice you’ve made in starting your business?

Giving up a well paid corporate career, but otherwise I feel the gains I have made personally and professionally have surpassed what I imagined.

What is one thing you wish you had of known before you started your business?

I wish I had known alot more about investment and the endless business networks that exist for female entrepreneurs, as I would have accessed them sooner.

What has been your biggest success so far?

Last year we sold over 10,000 garments from just our online sales and grew the business by over 13 fold in just one year. But I don’t necessarily just define success by my sales results. My greatest success is knowing that our garments actually empower the lives of women by giving them peace of mind, increased comfort, they feel more attractive and confident and they can feel better about the world knowing that they do not need to use disposable hygiene and they are also helping other women in need, through our partnerships with Days For Girls and Share the Dignity.

AYLA Maternity Blog Kick Ass Biz Mama Kristy Chong Family Modi Bodi

After a long day/night/week what do you do to unwind?

I have three children, so I love to spend time with my husband and them and we are quite an active family who love bike riding, walks and swims. My husband and I are also very social, so love having get-togethers at our house and just being able to have a drink and chat with great friends and family. My downtime usually involves running, pilates or watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years we would like to be stocked in major department stores in Australia and internationally ,and to be a well known brand within the underwear industry. We truly believe every woman deserves better underwear, and our longer term goal is for every woman to own some Modibodi’s in her drawer.

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