Earlier this week, we celebrated in our Facebook group the success of Premium member and Founder of Luxuread, Katie Moore. Luxuread delivers gorgeous book boxes straight to your door, so all in one box you’ll receive a bestseller and some lifestyle treats. Katie has teamed up with The Walt Disney Company (big deal, right!?) to curate a special edition Lion King box, in anticipation for the movie’s release in cinemas. After starting in 2018, we want to know how Katie got to work with one of the biggest companies in the world…
Luxuread was born after you realised you hadn’t been reading books as much since having kids. How did you go from that ‘aha’ moment to creating the business?
My husband, Brett, is very business-minded and is a bit of a risk-taker. When I told him my idea he was so supportive and we started working on it straight away. We had experience with wholesale and setting up a website from a previous venture, so that side of things was taken care of. He’s an accountant, so helps me with all the financial stuff that I’m really lost on. He’s also become an expert shrink-wrapper! We make a great team!
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How great was our May Box?!! Our amazing book selections (Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel, Where Oblivion Lives, Forget Me Not), PLUS @sallyhansenau nail polish, sparkly toe separators for a diy pedi, @marshmallowclub gourmet marshmallows, @thecandlelibrary travel candle, @luxuread large book pouch (available to buy on our website)! Get your orders in for our June box before it sells out…you don’t want to miss it!
After launching Luxuread, what does a day in your life look like?
I’m up at 5am, check my socials and emails, and either do an hour of work on the computer or pack some boxes for the next month’s shipment. When my two kids wake up, I’m all set for the day so I hang out with them, and then get back to Luxuread after they’re in bed. Working from home is a challenge, especially when things come up during the day that I have to deal with straight away and I have a 4-year-old who wants me to do Lego with her, or a 19-month-old who is teething and won’t let me leave his immediate vicinity! But we’re learning and adapting all the time!
It must be a dream of many people to work with a company like Disney. How did that come about?
I had an order come through one evening and I happened to look at the name and recognise it as the CEO of Disney AU/NZ (I’m a nerd for career and success stories, and I’d read about her!). I took the chance and popped a note in her order, and got an email back asking me to come to Melbourne to meet with them. They loved the Luxuread concept and were looking to fill a gap in the market so we really met at exactly the right time!
What have you learned during your partnership with Disney?
It’s not impossible to be the little guy and still bring something to the table. I’ve also learnt how tricky it can be to work with such a large company, and that planning is key. Things can change at the drop of a hat, and backup plans are required!
If people are looking to collaborate with brands, what are your top tips for pitching?
- Take the chance – put the note in the order, send the email, make the phone call.
- Be confident (even if you aren’t!), show them how you can help them fix a problem or fill the gap in their market.
- Don’t forget to follow up: you might have gone to their Junk! Don’t just walk away wondering about what could have been, until you’re actually told ‘no’.
Who are the people you go to for advice (personally or professionally)?
Brett, is my sounding board for everything. Because he knows the ins and outs of Luxuread and what I’m trying to achieve, he encourages me daily. I’ve also found the Business Chicks community invaluable (and how good was 9 to Thrive!), and I’m also part of a small local group of women in business who meet monthly for a wine and a chat, and that face-to-face troubleshooting and brainstorming is so great.
What’s your advice to someone wanting to start creating or nurturing their network?
Being in business is hard. Hard to get started, hard to keep kicking goals and building (especially as a startup), so having a network is so important. I didn’t really give it any thought initially, however when I came across Business Chicks a couple of months after starting Luxuread I told Brett I wanted a Premium Membership for my birthday that was coming up. He said, “Don’t be ridiculous, if you want it just sign up now!” and I’ve loved being a part of the community… learning to put yourself out there, ask for advice and help rather than flailing, and most of all trying to ditch the ‘impostor syndrome’!
Through Luxuread I meet so many small business owners who supply products for our monthly boxes, so that’s also been a great way to network.
What’s been the most rewarding part of starting your business?
My background is in nursing, so being able to see that I have created something like this, and getting such amazing feedback from my subscribers and gift recipients is amazing and keeps me going.
It’s incredibly hard juggling it all, however being able to stay at home with my two children and still have this outlet is a dream come true.