Jessica Williamson will be the first to admit she was naive when starting her first business at the age of 22.
But she thanks her headstrong approach for creating a six-figure brand in less than a year, plus a second booming venture that’s quite unusual in Australia.
When she started swimwear label Ete two years ago, it only took one week for Williamson to score an invite to show at New York Fashion Week.
Her expertise in digital marketing has now encouraged her to start an influencer travel agency, Somewear Elsewhere, which matches brands to social media starlets and takes them on content-creating trips, pairing the influencers with brands, destinations and resorts.
Williamson, now 25, said digital marketing was at the core of everything she did. “Traditional marketing just doesn’t work these days. It’s like just hoping for the best,” she told AAA Weekend.
“Influencers and digital marketing work hand-in-hand because things are becoming more niche. There are so many different styles and brands and categories, so by finding an influencer that fits your niche, you are guaranteed that the majority of their followers will like your product.
“You can be a lot more targeted. And the best influencers make their followers feel like their friends, and them making trusted recommendations have impact.”
William believes her age has only worked to her advantage, allowing her to throw caution to the wind when bringing her ideas to life. “Age doesn’t matter any more — there are 10-year-olds starting crazy successful businesses these days,” she said.
“Being young has worked to my advantage because I was naive and I just went for it. I used my life savings to start my business while I was living at my parents’ house.
“I don’t really set any barriers or limits on what I think I can achieve. If I come up with an idea or a goal, I will most likely do it today. I could have given up plenty of times when things were real tough but I think it’s that perseverance that sets someone apart.”