I was asked the other day, by an Australian author of international best selling business books, what made me decide that I could make a successful business out of designing and making ironing board covers.
I couldn’t stop laughing.
Never. Ever. In a million years. Would I have chosen ironing board covers as my life’s work!
This is an accidental business.
In Paul Keating’s ‘recession we had to have’ in 1992, my partner Victor Pleshev, and I, lost everything. Victor’s architectural practice. My market research business. Our 16 staff. Our home. Our cars. Our personal possessions.
We left our inner city suburb of Balmain. Where we’d lived for 22 years. And escaped to the bush. Where we could afford to live. Where no one knew us. And where we could reinvent ourselves.
My partner, Victor Pleshev, is the architect who designed the Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover for his mother, Margarita, in 1994. To help her with her ironing when she was recovering from a second stroke.
She needs a cover that ‘Fitz Like A Glove™’. Not one that flip flops all over her board.
And so an accidental business is born.
Life is a journey.
Much like being dealt a hand of cards.
Some, like me, like pulling brass rings on my way around the merry-go-round.
Sometimes I miss.
Sometimes I score a brass ring.
But what’s important is . . . that I like putting my hand out. Ready to grasp opportunity.
Not every opportunity. I’m like Goldilocks. The opportunity has to be ‘just right’.
The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover was the light bulb moment we needed when recovering from our crushing loss.
It wasn’t the glamourous business we envisaged. But because we had envisaged ourselves being in business again, we recognised it as a golden opportunity.
A dream we had, then became a reality.
We could have waited until we were dealt a hand of cards that was all aces.
That’s gambling with the game of chance.
This bird in our hand was real. And it was up to us to feed it. And nurture it. And make it big and strong.
Which we’ve done. Since 1994.
Business is a tough gig. And this business has been a roller coaster ride with very deep lows. And very high, thrilling moments.
We’ve been down very dark alleys. And fallen into black holes where there was no light to guide us out.
And we’ve had to contend with the prevailing image of ironing board covers being very down market. And cheap. And. The worst of all. Ironing is a chore!
And we raised the image of the humble ironing board cover.
As Graham, the marketing manager of Hills Industries, said when he saw the Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover in 1994 . . . “this is the Rolls Royce of ironing board covers’.
We achieved this because we had goals. With the one overriding goal being . . . to create a business where customers love our products. Love buying from us. Want to come back and buy again. Love telling their friends about us. And best of all. Where we can become friends with our customers.
Life is a journey. With bumps in the road. And detours. And sometimes deep potholes.
But with dreams. And goals. And determination. And a willingness to act on those dreams and goals. You can turn a sows ear into a silk purse.
The icing on the cake is that today, we have close to 400,000 customers in 29 countries. Gained one customer at a time.
Journeys are about putting one foot in front of the other. Until you reach your destination.
And life is the most important journey of all.
~Carol Jones, Ironing Diva❤
PS. Ironing really is my gateway to having a very successful business!
PPS. I am not only an Ironing Diva. But as one friend says, I am ‘The Queen’ when it comes to ironing.
PPPS. You can read Our Story. How We Built A Worldwide Business From Broke here.
I Am The Purveyor Of The Tantrum Free Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies
Made with love and care in RURAL Australia by men and women who have a disability.
It’s not for everyone.
But it’s definitely for you if you’re fussy about the cover you iron on.
And if you love to support Australian made.
And want to put something back into the community when you make a purchase.
The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover cover has more than 350,000 customers in 29 countries. Because it lives up to its name. It ‘Fitz Like A Glove™’ every time you iron.
And these are the ‘Other Goodies’
The share button is at the end of this post.
Have a question? Email me at the bottom of this post.
Or phone me, Carol Jones, in rural Australia on 02 63 588 511.
Photos of my rural property are courtesy of me, Ironing Diva – who is also known as Paddock Paparazzi – and taken at sunrise every morning.
A Jacky Winter. Flapping Its Wings. Much Like We Felt All Those Years Ago!
PS. And I have a fabulous newsletter ‘A Smidgen Of Gossip’. This is what a subscriber says about it. “Carol. Just had some time to read it and found that it is, as with everything you do, rather wonderful. A great read. W” You can subscribe to it by clicking this link. It’s FREE! This is not a lifetime commitment. You can Unsubscribe at any time. Don’t miss out. Click this link now!
A Majestic Magpie. In The Canopy Of A Stringybark Tree.