“You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, not everything will go to plan and you may be pushed outside your comfort zone. You have to adapt quickly!”
These words of wisdom come from Modibodi founder, Kristy Chong, just one of the female entrepreneurs inspiring the next generation of go-getters.
International Women’s Day may have passed by for yet another year but thanks to inspiring women such as Kristy, our daughters are growing up with relatable role models who prove that entrepreneurship is an achievable dream.
To celebrate International Women’s Day earlier this year, Small Business Minister Michael McCormack, Australian Small Business Commissioner Kate Carnell, Grace Papers founder Prue Gilbert and Council of Small Business of Australia chief executive, Peter Strong, formed a panel to nominate the most influential entrepreneurs in Australia. Kristy Chong was among nine of the influential women who formed the list that included Ally Watson (founder of Code Liked A Girl), Felicity Zadro (founder of Zadro Agency) and Angela Vithoulkas (founder of Vivo Cafe and Eagle Waves Radio).
It’s fair to say this honour and recognition felt inconceivable back when Kristy began researching whether Modibodi was capable of becoming a viable business back in 2013.
“Starting a business does not come without 100% persistence and while stressful and exhausting some days, I know in my heart that I am building a great brand that is making a difference to women.”
Inspiration for Modibodi struck as Kristy was enjoying a run…
realising that her underwear wasn’t capable of protecting her from occasional bladder weakness and sweat. She admits, “the thought of wearing a panty liner filled me with dread.”
Despite women’s issues such as menstruation and urinary incontinence being common occurrences for women on a regular basis, open discussion and conversations about these kinds of issues have long been seen as taboo.
“It’s ridiculous that in this age, such common occurrences are still not seen on TV or spoken about in the general media.”
The more Kristy actively sought out to discuss what she calls their ‘unmentionables’ with family and friends, the more she found that women at all stages of life were suffering in silence.
“It felt right that I should develop a line of underwear for women that was flattering, comfortable and could give women peace of mind when we needed it most.
“I’m proud that via our marketing campaigns, we’ve been able to create open discussion about these issues and continually encourage our customers to share their story with us and other women, to empower them to know that they are not alone.”
As any entrepreneur will attest to, Kristy admits to facing many challenges along the way, especially at the very beginning given she had never worked in the textile industry before. To overcome a limited budget and her lack of knowledge, she admits to doing copious amounts of homework right from the start.
“I needed to learn what it takes to start a clothing label as well as learn about fibre technology and feminine hygiene as well. It certainly hasn’t been an easy path, and has pushed my limits at times, but I’m very proud of how far we’ve come.”
Kristy also acknowledges the support of her husband who has been by her side from the very beginning.
“It was his advice that if I am going to make this product, I need to take a scientific approach, which we did and because of the rigour, we secured a patent on our Modifier Technology™.”
So, what’s next for Modibodi?
“We are always looking to evolve our product offering by expanding our range to suit a wider audience in key markets. As a primarily online business, the potential for international expansion is always something that is in our sight.”
“Additionally, one of our core pillars is empowerment, empowering women regardless of their socio-economic status, religion, issues or where in the world they live.”
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