Rachel Moor was in the throes of a highly successful career in music television when she decided to step away from it all. Her longtime love of fashion was pulling her in another direction, and she simply had to see where it lead.
In the interview below, the Sydney woman shares how she altered her casual, money-making hobby into a slick online business.
Tell us about how Acey Acey boutique came about.
aceyacey.com.au is a curated preloved designer and vintage boutique. I sell on consignment for women anywhere and everywhere who want to recycle their designer and vintage gems. I have attracted celebrities and fashionistas wanting to recycle their wardrobes and I also have sourced designer and vintage pieces of my own from all over the globe.
Fashion has always been my passion for as long as I can remember. I studied textiles and design throughout my schooling and was a stylist in both music and television in the late 90s, early 2000s. That lead to an almost 20-year career as an executive producer in music television. This role took me around the world many times, meeting and interviewing some of the most fashion-forward and fashion conscious men and women. All the while I was searching and hunting for great pieces to add to my own wardrobe in my spare time.
I always played around with eBay as a hobby; buying and selling for a little extra cash to justify my love of fashion and shopping, and I thought this was a natural fit to pursue as my own business.
When saving for a trip to New York about five years back, I decided to have a play recycling some of my much-loved designer pieces with goal of affording an amazing Chloe bag with my recycled earnings. Not only did I get the bag but it paid for most of the trip, and just like that I found my business model for my next chapter!
A few years after this trip and some more freelancing in television I decided it was time to give my business idea a go. After a year in planning, I’ve now been open for two years.
What were you doing before you went into business yourself?
I had the most amazing career in music television. I worked on several shows: Ground Zero, Channel V, Nickelodeon, and then spent 10 years as the Executive Producer of Video Hits.
These roles took me all over the globe interviewing some the world’s biggest names in music. It was funny because yes we were there for the music, but all my conversations in private moments with amazing people from Florence Welsh to Adele, Kelly Rowland, Fergie and The Black Eyed Peas to even the magical Robbie Williams (to name a few) always turned to fashion.
Where to shop and labels that we loved. It really re-ignited my passion to work in fashion again, and also opened my eyes to how much potential there is for any business with a global digital view.
Fashion is a language we can all speak, and I found that I really had great potential in this field.
Mia Freedman speaks to Ladystartup George McEncroe, who founded the first ever women's ride-share app. Post continues after.
What made you want to start your own business?
It was time for a new chapter to start. I was at a real crossroads in life with a growing family and wanted to be around more to experience being a mother, if I could manage to make it happen.
Managing a team of people and travel is fantastic in any job, but my constant absence and work demands were really playing on my emotions. This combined with the constant nagging that I really wanted to give this a try, and it was the perfect time to take up the challenge of running my own business.
Fun styles just added at your fav preloved celebrity & fashionista clothing store @aceyaceyeboutique like these from @givency, @maisonmargiela, @prada & a vintage tee!! #shopnow #designerfashion #vintagefashion #ethicalfashion #sustainablefashion #prelovedfashion @ladystartups #ladystartups #ladystartup #denim #clothing #fashion #designer #recycledfashion #consignmentfashion #rususe #blog #streetfashion #sunday #fun
How did you come up with the name?
I’ve been operation on eBay when just a hobby since 2004 and ACEYACEY was my user name. It is taken from my beloved first cat Ace, whom passed away quite a while ago now. It just made sense to keep this history and he was an amazing cat, so it's great I get to forever keep him in my life in some way.
By coincidence, much later I found out that that ACEY is now a recognised slang word on the Urban Dictionary!! ‘ACEY- A word to describe a girl who is different than anyone else, she has her own style, a total original’. How cool is that! Everything was just falling into place.
Describe the structure of your lady startup.
Me, myself and I. All jokes aside, I’ve started out by myself, but have had some assistance along the way including with the build of the aceyacey.com.au website, which was my first major step. To do this I was lucky enough to work with the most amazing lady, someone to whom I am forever grateful: Vanessa Picken of Comes With Fries, a digital agency based in Sydney. Van assisted in the build, selecting the best back-end site, taught me the basics of social media and provided me with many of the tools to get my business up and running.
Did you require investment to start your business?
No. After tossing around ideas for a few years trying to figure out whether aceyacey.com should have a shopfront component, and after looking at costings it just made sense to start small and build from an online business. This kept costs really minimal, and when the consignment side just grew and grew the pressure of spending big money on stock balanced it all out. I was able to re-invest net profits to grow the business slow and steady.
What advice did you get before you started and from whom?
It really was a natural transition for me. However I’m also part of a school community and there are just so many parents that are all in the same position with life, work and the balance in between. Many are running successful businesses; from graphic designers, make up artists, accountants, all sorts! The best advice was to start slowly so you really get an understanding of what you’re building and offering with your service.
What’s the single best piece of advice you got?
Actually I have to count a really recent piece of advice I received when I was lucky enough to have a mentoring session with the wonderful Tash from TheyAllHateUs.com. I was looking at ways to expand in 2018 and her advice is that you have to ‘put yourself out there’. Get out of your comfort zone and promote all your achievements past and present to move forward. I do find it hard to promote myself, but my business is me and that is written on my inspiration board for 2018.
What’s the one bit of advice you would give yourself if you were starting again?
Keep a clear vision on your ultimate goals and not to sweat the small stuff.
At Mamamia we use the term 'flearning', which means failing and learning. What have been your biggest ‘flearnings' throughout this process?
I just love that term! I have another I use all the time, ‘Flailing’.
I realised I had to stop procrastinating and just do it. It’s a big step to change careers on so many levels, and the future is never sure. That’s why you should never waste time just getting on with it and giving it a go.
What’s the smartest thing you’ve done since starting your business?
It is definitely diversifying my stock sources. Since expanding the consignment side of aceyacey.com.au, it’s not only allowed me the opportunity to sell amazing pieces, I’ve also met some wonderful women from all over Australia. It’s given me greater engagement with both buyers and sellers and really feels like a growing community all based around the site.
Are there any pieces of technology or software, apps or systems that have made it easier to do what you do?
I use the Shopify platform to backend my website which is just fantastic, low cost and very user-friendly. My social platform of choice is Instagram, but of course I also use all the others too.
What do you do when you’re feeling like you’re in a hole emotionally? How do you handle those moments?
I go for a run. I’m big on exercise to pull myself out of a rut. There’s nothing like getting a sweat on and to just zoning out.
How many hours a day do you work on the business?
It’s all-consuming. Running my own business allows me to balance my time between family and work which was always the goal, but when it’s only you there’s always something that has to be done.
What are your non-negotiables?
Seeing my children, Kobie and Jed, and husband Simon. When in my previous roles I had nannies, after-school care etc., and I hated it. I wanted to be there to pick them up from school, take them to sport or whatever the schedule might be. I changed it all to do this and I always remember how quickly time really does go.
What is the biggest misconception about starting your own business?
How long it would take to set up and how much work it really is. Remember: PATIENCE.
Tell us about your proudest moment?
When the one and only Mia Freedman found me on Facebook! I always refer to this as my ‘Oprah’ moment. When I started selling on consignment for her after being recommended it was a milestone for me. I also publish a weekly blog (sign up at aceyacey.com.au) and she loved my writing style and I had the opportunity to write a few articles for Mamamia which was not only such a great change to writing scripts for music TV, it really gave my business a kick into the next level.
What does your personal life look like?
I have a very active social life, which is great. Aside from the kids activities I have many close friends who are very supportive and my husband runs a music company in Australia and Asia. We are out and about at many gigs, so I always see all my mates I grew up with in the industry and incidentally some whom are now also clients and shoppers at aceyacey.com.au! I still get a taste of my old life, and music is another major passion, so I’m very lucky.
How much sleep do you get every night?
At least six. I’m terrible functioning on anything fewer than that.
What can you recommend to women who might what to get their own hustle going?
Just give it a go. This is where flearnings or flailing come into play. You don't learn if you don’t make mistakes, right? I remember when first telling people that I was changing direction, I was so worried about how it would be received. I didn’t know what they would think of me changing from a big TV job to running an online store, but once I got past my own insecurities it feels like who I am and it really is looking like a big future. And the bonus, one that I control.
Do I have a mentor? Who do I go to for help or advice?
I’m lucky to have many inspirational female friends whom are a constant source of support. As I work solo, it’s great to have the opportunity to discuss ideas with like-minded women to sort through your own ideas.
Van Picken is one lady I just keep going back to. The way she set up her own business Comes With Fries alone, has been a constant source of inspiration and she’s coming back on in 2018 to assist with growing my brands’ awareness.
Another amazing female, Leonie Conley who has a big career in music and publicity gives me all sorts of advice and opportunities. Leo founded and runs Specific Music with her husband Robert Conley. Specific is a hugely successful music company signing and developing great Australian talent. I find her advice so spot on and relevant and hope to also work further with her in 2018!
Since we’re in the #LadyStartUp spirit, which Lady Startups do you recommend? Who should we be looking out for?
comeswithfries.com.au- Van, my everything guru.
elastik.com.au- Tanya Savage from my school community designed my logo and assisted me with technical support; amazing designer.
specificmusic.com.au- my amazing friend Leo who runs a music company, recording studio and a bunch or other things.