When Katie Naprasnik dreamed of opening her own fashion boutique as a 16-year-old, she could not have imagined it would be a booming business with a national following when it reached the same milestone.
That’s right … the popular store, Orange Sherbet turns sweet 16 on Friday, October 21 and the team has plenty planned to celebrate the occasion.
Katie says this week has been an opportunity to go through old photos and reflect on how far the business has come since she opened.
“I love seeing the photos of the girls who have been here for so long, seeing where we came from and how much we have grown,” she says.
|“It’s half my life I’ve been doing this now.”|
Katie never expected her business would still be running and indeed thriving when she started it as a teenager.
“I was 16, my vision wasn’t that far forward. I wanted to make enough money to survive. I didn’t have this big vision, when I started,” she explains.
It’s been a big year
The 16-year milestone comes in the same year Katie and her team reopened a bigger and more luxurious store at their Redcliffe Pde location.
The new store opened in August, double its previous size and with a massive changeroom that generated plenty of chatter across the Redcliffe peninsula.
The original shop was in Comino’s Arcade and was smaller than the new changeroom area at her present location.
She was there for a couple of years before moving to Bluewater Square shopping centre for eight years and returning to Redcliffe Pde in 2017.
A decision to move the office and warehouse/dispatch side of the business from the back of the Redcliffe store to North Lakes created an opportunity to expand the shop footprint.
Both key business decisions – to expand and open an office and warehouse at North Lakes are highlights for Katie.
Watching her team develop and employing her first full-time employee, who is still with the business, have also been special steps along the way.
“Other highlights include being able to expand the size range and being noticed nationally, not just as this little shop in Redcliffe. People all over Australia know us now,” Katie says.
Evolution has been key
Katie’s vision for Orange Sherbet has evolved, as she has, during the past 16 years and adapted to the changing fashion retail market.
Katie’s business has gone from having one staff member to now employing a total team of 46, split between the shop and head office/warehouse and dispatch facility at North Lakes.
She says she has learnt “everything” along the way and still enjoys talking to customers. Social media and online shopping have transformed her business, but the team has adapted and changed.
“We’ve evolved. Orange Sherbet is not even close to what it was when we opened. I was selling what a 17-year-old would wear,” Katie explains.
When asked what advice she would give to other young people with a dream similar to the one she chased 16 years ago, she answers quickly.
“Give it a shot – research it, but don’t overthink it – just give it a go,” Katie says.
“Be willing to work 10 times harder than you think you will have to. You’re going to have bad days but keep pushing through. Be confident and focused and believe in yourself.
“You don’t own your own business because it’s easy. It’s because you love it.”
Birthday celebrations, what’s happening?
Orange Sherbet turns 16 on Friday, October 21.
Katie and her team will celebrate the milestone with in-store celebrations and a sale across the birthday weekend – from this Friday through to Sunday (inclusive).
They are releasing an exclusive print to mark the occasion and it has been used in four of their most popular pieces.
All staff will be modelling the matching garments across the weekend.
For more details, head to the Facebook page
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