STORE PROFILE HABITOTS Suzanne Acteson has grown her online boutique store – Habitots – with an amazing selection of designer homewares and hopes to open a retail store later this year Tell us a bit about your business and how it was formed? Habitots is a new style of retail store that has many bows to its arrow. Beginning as an online boutique store in 2013 while I was still working in advertising, we moved out of the digital space and into a pop-up shop in Albert Park in April 2014. We are now looking for a new, permanent place to call home and hope to reopen by September 2014. As well as selling an array of unique and colourful kids products and homewares, Habitots is a destination for a range of classes, activities, parties for families. Parents can grab a coffee in our café while they wait for kids during an art, music or cooking class or while they participate themselves with their little ones. There are regular term classes or casual dropin classes that sometimes suits parents more. Our party spaces are designed for hand on classes and easy, fun and creative birthdays. We are very community oriented and want Habitots to feel like the cool café you used to go to before you had kids with beautiful products, an innovative range of classes and parties. We support small businesses and a number of charities and we believe in running our business in a conscious way. How did your career begin? I began in sales for a software company and when I moved to Australia to follow my heart (I fell in love with my now husband while on holiday here), sales was a relatively easy job to find. I fell into a role in advertising and worked by way through the agency to eventually run it as Managing Director. For many, sales is a dirty word but for me it’s been my saviour. I see so many people with amazing creative ideas, artistic abilities, desire and motivation to run a business but they don’t know how to sell it. I talk to, meet with and contact many suppliers about buying their products and I can count the time on my hands when someone has actually picked up the phone to call me. The ones who have, I’ve usually bought from because they’ve shared their story, their products’ story and ask me for the order! continued on next page > Left: Suzanne Acteson with her young family. Photography: Danielle Trovato Photography
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