Five stores for “Nimbin hippy”

 

bodypeaceBodypeace is opening its fifth store in Australia after just two years in the market, but CEO, Anna Walsh, says, “to me, I am still this little hippy chick from Nimbin, who has suddenly got this big, multi-million dollar company”.

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The new store opens this week, spanning 40sqm in Brisbane’s Wintergarden.

“It’s just my trial of how I’ll go in the city,” said Walsh, “but I think I’ll do well”.

The concept remains the same across all five stores – “funky, but modern, very clean and Zen”.

Bodypeace stocks only products made from bamboo.

It was 10 years ago that Walsh first came across bamboo fabric and the concept has grown from there.

What began as a range of comfortable, bamboo travelwear for women, has extended to include menswear, clothing for teens, underwear, towels, and sheets.

“I’m unique in the way that my target market is more mainstream than alternate. I don’t need to push that it is eco-friendly. I prefer it to be known as a great product that feels good, looks good, and just so happens to be great for the planet,” she said.

Walsh has always relied on word of mouth promotion. “I’m really lucky, because I’ve got such a great product, that people find me.

“It’s good for me to be in a good location, but not high traffic, because once people start getting into it, they won’t want to take it off,” she said.

Bodypeace is on a growth curve. It launched with just two staff members, and now employs a team of 15, with ambitions to open in every capital city, and possibly overseas.

“My overseas market is picking up all the time. I have so many enquiries about people opening franchises in other countries, particularly Germany, France, and the States.”

Walsh has been invited to showcase her range at trade events in New York and London.

“I am starting to think, if I want to open more retail stores or start franchising then I probably shouldn’t [go to trade events], but then the adventurous part of me says why not, you never know where it is going to lead,” she said.

“I am at that crossroads, because it is all going so well in wholesale, online, and retail that I’m thinking, what will my next goal be.

“I am convinced I have the right product at the right time.”

Walsh will open a sixth store in either Sydney or Melbourne later this year.

This article first appeared in Inside Retail PREMIUM issue 1998.

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