In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Lou Kendall, Co-founder and Co-owner of Louenhide
Started 16 years ago as a party plan business, Louenhide grew from the unmistakable popularity of brightly coloured handbags that Lou and her friend Heidi, noticed was a gap in the market. Doubling down on bold bags was the right decision and now the brand is a favourite of many, sold in over a thousand retailers worldwide, both in store and online. Now, the conversation today ranges far and wide, but one thing we keep coming back to is people and team. Lou shares her unique hiring strategy that gets results, how she loves to work in a project-based way to improve her business and the 24 hour rule she couldn’t live without.
“If you just went away for 24 hours and really thought about it, you might be wrong”Lou Kendall
Lose the ego
“I’ve been watching this Formula 1 show. Our design lately put me on to it. We were watching it last night. Anyway, I watched Ferrari and McLaren hit each other and it was amazing how Ferrari thought it was McLaren’s fault and McLaren thought it was Ferrari’s fault and I’m like isn’t that funny? That’s just like us.
People get very defensive. But, if you just went away for twenty four hours and really thought about it, you might be wrong and I think that all comes back to customer feedback. It’s like oh, that hurts me. That’s really like a stake in my heart. But it’s saying to us, you know we’ve got something wrong here. If you don’t listen to that, you’re just going to fail and you need to move on and really, you’ve got to have no ego whatsoever, And so you have to set the bar high and say this is what they expect and we need to produce it and let’s not get defensive about it. Let’s look at the problem and say where did that go wrong?”
Working in the business and on the business
“You sort of pull yourself away and realize that being in it is a great thing. I mean, I just adore our staff. I love being with them. They’re not just staff, their family, they’re friends. And am I in it? I am SO in it. Am I responsible for things? No, but am I in it? Yes.
So, these days I take on more project based pain points. Where’s the pain point in the business? I’ve just gone through a customer service returns and job roll project and it has taken me three months. What did that mean? I actually had to work in customer service for three months. I had to be on the picking packing table for three months. I started up a Sunday dispatch program with my kids, just so I could learn. How does this all work? Where’s it going wrong? Why are we having problems? It is constant ebb and flow. It’s never perfect and you’ve got to tune up all the time. Dial it up.”
Take a chance on something that feels right
“Our content creator is amazing. I mean, truly, I do not know anyone else in Australia that does what she’s doing. No one poach her. I’ll kill you all! But she was given an opportunity because she purely put on Instagram and tagged the most amazing photo of one of our items, and it just started up from there. And my social media manager said to me, this girl’s posted a great photo maybe we should approach her? I said let’s do that, approach her.
She starts doing a few images, takes a few pretty photos. And it grew and it grew, and even though I wanted to hire her full time, I couldn’t quite bring it to the directors. But she was doing amazing things for our social media world. It was growing our brand because we just look great, and eventually she said Lou, do you want me to work for you? How about we make this official?”
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