Trade’s in the bag for Svard
From small business to exporter
While her career as a flight attendant may have ended for Christin Svard, her passion for making life easier for travellers is in full flight.
The Bunbury-based owner of Travel & Living Collection is all set to export her designer purses and handbags to New Zealand.
Not knowing how to start the process, Svard went along to a CCIWA-hosted Free Trade Agreement workshop to find out more.
“You feel dumb when you start off with these things,” Svard says.
“There are a lot of things to learn, but I learnt that it is possible. The follow-up conversations after the workshop are really good because you can ask all the questions you want to.”
The Norwegian-born designer has been in business for four years and while business is going “up and up and up” in Australia, she wants to test out the market in New Zealand.
“My main sale focus is retail shops, since I have a product that is a super soft, quality leather that can’t be felt online,” she says.
“My bags are a tactile experience; it’s a ‘touch and feel’ thing with my bags. I am a big supporter of shopping in your local store, otherwise we will not have any stores left.
“I am targeting retail shops in New Zealand, but if I get a sale online I like that too, of course. I take pride in having an updated quality website for our retail shops, suppliers and customers as a reference point.”
Svard works closely with a manufacturer in Indonesia, where she sources lamb and cow hides for her range of bags and sells to about 25 businesses in the south west of WA.
The workshop empowered Svard to understand how to sell at a lower cost to both local and some export markets. She’s looking forward to unravelling the export process and getting her niche travel and everyday bags out to a wider market.