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What is 30under30?
30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. Each year, we invite our readers to nominate young Australian entrepreneurs deserving of recognition for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. More.
Chanel Costabir, VIC (b. 1987)
Name: Chanel Costabir
Age: 24 (Born: September 1987)
Known for: Sheer Novice, The Lingerie Boutique
In 2011, Melbourne’s Chanel Costabir had her hands full running The Lingerie Boutique, touting it as Australia’s number-one lifeline for European fashion. Now, the repeat 30under30 winner is branching out with a new service called Sheer Novice, expanding on her conviction that sexy undergarments need not be the exclusive domain of women. Her new service, that is, is tailored specifically for the men who love them.
Guys and gals shop for lingerie differently, says Costabir. In response to The Lingerie Boutique’s large number of male customers, she decided to devote a new website to them, while keeping the female focus of the original site.
“Sheer Novice goes beyond a simple ‘men’s guide’,” she says. “It is designed for the man who has absolutely no idea about how to buy lingerie and who would otherwise avoid the purchase altogether.”
The site breaks down the selection process into three essentials — size, colour and style — to demystify the buying process.
Costabir’s achievements are pretty staggering for someone who began with an idea and learned how businesses actually work on the fly. Who stepped on a plane to Paris speaking broken French (at best) and came back with a dozen European labels on board. Who wowed investors with a launch party cranked up to 11 and fit for a major firm when, in fact, it was still a one-woman, one-laptop operation.
She has learned to trust her gut. A good example is how she overhauled her catalogue. When she found herself in a slump early going, she suspected that the staid images she had been given by the designers had something to do with it.
“My instincts told me that I needed ‘real’ catalogue-looking images that customers could relate to rather than stylised editorial images,” says Costabir. After re-shooting the whole catalogue, the numbers went skyward: conversion rates tripled and units per order doubled.
Costabir knows her entrepreneurial MO: “I act. I see an opportunity and I run towards it. I take calculated risks and don’t let fear get in the way of making things happen.” Although she started her career as a novice, she has thus far demonstrated sheer brilliance and bravado.
Anthill asks: Chanel Costabir, what’s your super power?
Tenacity and resilience. I fall down and get straight back up. I have this ability of bouncing back no matter how bad things are. I think it is fine to feel down when things don’t go according to plan or when they are looking hopeless, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.