Lia Tsimos is the dynamic force behind the Moss and Spy Fashion label which she started solo, only 13 years ago.
We went behind the scenes with Lia in her Sydney Flagship store in Woollahra, where we hosted a HerDrum evening of champagne and sharing of style and success .
Lia shared the highlights of her story with us – We hope you are inspired by her tale.
How did the MOSS and SPY story begin ?
I started my business after having my daughter. Having worked as a designer for other companies both here and overseas I thought it was a good time to start a new business so I could be available for her as she was growing up. She is now 14 and I‘ve had the business for 13 years. I’m pleased to say that I have always been there for her despite the hectic workload.
How did the idea for MOSS and SPY come about?
I initially had a business partner and he was the Spy name in the Brand, and Moss is the ending of my surname.After 4 years I was able to buy him out but I have kept the full name.
What motivates you?
I love the creative process. Coming up with new ideas and always looking for new ways to do things. Pushing boundaries and re-inventing the wheel.
What do you love most about your business?
I love being my own boss and making all the decisions. I’m a bit of a workaholic so it’s nice that when business is doing well I can reap the rewards..
In one word, characterize your life as a start up/ business owner?
Who has been your greatest inspiration? Why?
I suppose my mother, she instilled in me at an early age that I could do whatever I chose to do as long as I worked hard for it.
Where do you get your creative energy from?
Sometimes I’m amazed at the amount of drive and energy I have . I love the buzz and adrenalin of creating something new, meeting deadlines and growing the business.
What was a watershed moment in your business journey?
The fashion Industry has suffered over the last few years , and 3 years ago there were many companies folding and going under .. I certainly wasn’t immune. I knew to survive I had to cut costs by reducing staff and overheads and change the direction of the business. I worked really hard for 2 years and I’m pleased to say we are now rock solid and increasing turnover every year.
How is running a successful business different to what you may have thought it would be?
When I first started out I thought I would just need to employ staff to work in the areas I didn’t know. I realize now that the only way to survive a small business is to have a thorough understanding of every aspect of your business
What do you struggle with most as a business owner?
As the creative source in my business as well as the Director, I really struggle with being able to allocate enough time for creativity and design. Time management is something I’m always struggling with.
What’s next in store for you and your business MOSS and SPY ?
What’s next for Moss & Spy is expanding into the International market.
Given your experience, what (three) pieces of advice do you have for women starting a business?
Business Plan, (make sure you have the funds)
Research your market.- look at gaps in the market )
Always strive for perfection (never compromise on your product and reputation
Any destination- where could we take you today?