A lawyer at the time, Alyce realised it was time to quit her day-job when TDE began to skyrocket; scoring mass media coverage and delivering huge, national growth. Today, the brand is synonymous with young, professional women across the country and beyond.
Tran puts her success down to tenacity and just plain ol’ hard work, which she says is the “easiest part” for any budding business owner. We caught up with Alyce to get the lowdown on the inception of TDE, it’s current place in market and Alyce’s aspirations for the future.
What was the catalyst for starting TDE?
Well long story short, I hated talking to my friends about my legal work (boring, who wants to hear about that) and started TDE as a creative outlet that then turned into a clothing line and in August 2014 we launched a small accessories line which has now grown into the TDE you see today with an online presence, stores across the globe and a huge range of products
What measures did you take to grow the business in its early stages?
We grew the business organically at the beginning stages using social media. I think when it comes down to it we just worked really hard to ensure we nailed 100% of our orders at the start and hoped that our new customers would love our product and tell their friends about it (I mean we still do this now and this is the core of the business)
When did you realise that you needed to commit full-time to the business?
When we were bringing in more dollars with TDE than we were working as lawyers!
Were you fearful or apprehensive to do this?
Not at all. The business was pretty substantial before we left our jobs as lawyers. We had banked up quite a bit in savings before we left our jobs which gave us a bit of a runway and fall back if things didn’t work out
What is the financial position of TDE today?
In terms of sales we are at around $30m for the financial year just gone with a team of around 140 globally.
How does the average day play out for you?
Generally I have personal training in the morning, I then have breakfast out, get to the office around 10am, catch up with various team members on all the days’ issues – inventory planning, logistics, shipping, finances, website development. I still create every single piece of creative output for the brand so some afternoons I set up shots for our Instagram, any collateral we are printing. In the late afternoon I might head to one of our stores and see what’s happening, have dinner, get back on my laptop and usually I am asleep by 11pm.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
I have realised the easy part was getting the business this far, getting to the next stage is going to be harder and actually require some strategic thinking, up until this stage it has just been pure hard work (which is easy!)
What does the future hold for TDE?
I would love to keep pleasing our customers, continue to create new and interesting products and continue on the growth trajectory that we are on.
How would your friends and family describe you
hardworking and passionate.
Do you think female entrepreneurs face any unique challenges that men don’t?
I’ve actually been quite fortunate to have a business in today’s climate, being a woman has been a powerful thing for me, it has provided me with opportunities that perhaps a man might not have had! I say that VERY lightly though as I haven’t had hardships as a woman and I know that others have, perhaps it’s because I haven’t had to juggle having children yet and I don’t work in a male dominated industry right now!
What advice would you have for other emerging female entrepreneurs?
You are a talented person and you can do anything you put your mind to.
Alyce is an ambassador of H&R Block’s ‘Grants for Growth’. If you’re looking to launch Australia’s next big thing, apply now.