Business profile - Excuse Me
This year is all about “surviving, not thriving” for Kate Kent, owner of Excuse Me clothing store in Camperdown.
After running the Loaf and Lounge in Camperdown for 21 years, Kate decided to do something completely different. “My daughters and I always had an interest in fashion and the clothing store is a lot more family friendly and not as intense. The Loaf had 35 employees.”
Excuse Me opened in 2017, with Kate slowly building a customer base and establishing an online presence, which is now proving vital during the Covid-19 lockdown.
“I had a website when I first opened, but it was a challenge to keep it going and I didn’t do it properly,” she said.
Kate, with the help of her London-based, PR trained daughter Briony, created her current website www.excusemestore.com using website builder Squarespace.
“I had no funds to put into it, so it was very simple and there is heaps of room for improvement,” she said.
It is obvious Kate has a lot of fun with social media, using a mix of humour, competitions and giveaways on Excuse Me’s Facebook and Instagram profiles to drive people to the website.
The business’s social feeds are full of colour, mischief, and personality, while the website is simple, easy to use and features family and friends as models.
“Instagram is just the best. It’s free, quick and easy. People love it,” Kate said.
Like many retail businesses, the lockdown has hit Excuse Me hard, with the business ticking over through online sales.
“You go from going okay to nothing. We’ve still got bills and orders coming in, and we’re competing with the whole of Australia, massive companies, even our own suppliers.”
“But at least we are getting rid of some stock,” she said.
Online orders are mostly from regional Victoria, but some have come from as far as Brisbane during the lockdown.
“Our suppliers sometimes tag the business in an Instagram or Facebook post, which promotes us to a really wide audience,” Kate explains.
Excuse Me at 217 Manifold Street, Camperdown is open this week: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11 am-4 pm and Saturday 9:30 am-12:30 pm (with social distancing measures of course). Otherwise, check out www.excusemestore.com or follow Instagram or Facebook.
Register for the Digital Opportunities Roadshow, a free online workshop (Thursday 28 May from 2-4 pm) to develop skills in building an online presence.
For advice on how you can take your business online, contact the Economic Development team on 5593 7100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org