Tell us about you and your business
I’m a mum, a magnet for mishaps and an active, busty woman who was frustrated for too long at not being able to get the support I need to actively and comfortably participate in the activities I love.
18 months ago I left my job in media to spend more time with my family and get some space to contemplate the future I wanted to create.
At this same time, my friend Amanda (now business partner) was on maternity leave. We’d had plenty of discussions over the years about there not being (for a woman of a certain bust size) a sports bra you can swim in or swimming costume you can run in.
So with a little extra time on our hands we decided to create JOI (Jump On In). The idea was simple – a High Impact Aquatic Sports Bra that would support women in pursuit of physical activity on land, in water (or both), while looking great.
We set ourselves a challenge; try as many swimmers, sports bras, crops, tanks, bralettes we could get our boobs in. We worked out what elements work for an ample bosom and what doesn’t. Then we called in the experts to help us design, sample and make our products.
How have you been impacted by COVID-19?
JOI Launched on February 29 – just 3 weeks before COVID-19 restrictions were put in place in many parts of Australia.
The premise of our products are to enable and empower women to get outside and Jump On In to the things they love – not ideal for a time when the whole world has to stay home to stay healthy.
This prompted a swift change in our messaging, encouraging women to Jump On In to staying home, staying active and focusing on self-care (self-care means buying active wear right?).
How have you adapted to the restrictions?
Our launch plan for JOI was to get as much brand exposure and sampling opportunity at targeted events and markets before the end of the warm weather in the Southern Hemisphere.
COVID-19 clearly had other plans. With these avenues now unavailable we’ve had to rely solely on our website, database and socials to generate early sales and awareness. We’ve increased advertising and fast tracked plans for selling via online marketplaces to give us greater exposure.
Like other businesses, we’ve put in practice additional measures to ensure optimum hygiene and safety with ALOT of hand washing and minimal handling.
What have you learnt over this time?
Things rarely go to plan and sometimes that’s ok. If I had a crystal ball 6 months ago and knew the pandemic was around the corner, I’m pretty sure we’d have held off our launch and perhaps missed the opportunity to get JOI off the ground at all. We’d have made safe decisions.
I’ve learnt to plan for the future but deal with day to day challenges and opportunities as they present.
Staying true to our clearly defined brand has been a key learning. I struggled in the very stages of the pandemic with how to sell joy at a time of despair but by sticking to our authentic voice we have been able to play an important role in sprinkling some Joi throughout a difficult period.
What do you see for the future of retail?
While lockdown may not last too much longer (fingers crossed), behavioural changes of customers will. In the new normal our consumers will have become more comfortable with online transactions and fewer personal interactions. Retailers will need to be able to provide a seamless technology driven solution both in store and online as well as fast and convenient delivery.
Technology driven retail will provide greater opportunity for data collection, enabling retailers to capture important information about shopping habits and trends – this will shape the customer experience both in store and online.
The experience of lockdown has shown many consumers how much they can comfortably do without. COVID-19 will fast track an emerging value customers are placing on quality over quantity and the importance of transparent supply chain and ethical production.
Bec & Amanda, Founders of JOI – Jump. On. In.