Kristy Withers on Building Incy Interiors
Pick your niche and be different.
Kristy Withers is the founder of Incy Interiors, a designer children’s furniture brand which launched in 2011. With an annual turnover of $7 million, Kristy has firmly established herself as The Queen of Kiddy Bed Kingdom.
Incy Interiors specialises in beautiful modern and contemporary designer furniture for young children, providing Australians with well-designed, high-quality, stylish products that are not only luxurious, but also functional and affordable.
Incy Interiors was inspired by Kristy’s quest for her son’s first ‘big boy’ bed. Working for eBay at the time, she was travelling to Europe and the United States every six week, and seeing the myriad of products and styles on offer, it gave Kristy a clear idea of what she wanted. “I had a picture in my mind of a dark brown wrought iron bed,” says Kristy. After an extensive search, Kristy even considered importing one, when her husband said “why don’t you just do it?”
From sharing her experience of searching for the right piece of furniture with friends and family, it became obvious to Kristy she wasn’t wasn’t alone in her frustrations. It offered her the perfect opportunity to, “introduce designs for children that would rival their parent’s beds.”
It was a fast turnaround from concept to creation, with Kristy resigning from her job at the time in August, to officially launching the website and selling products the following February.
“Setbacks stimulate conversation and inspire a deeper dialogue about processes, procedures and better ways to do things.”
With a background as a corporate marketing executive, Kristy’s experience has proved invaluable over the last six years and has been the leading factor in Incy Interiors success. Kristy says “it helped that I didn’t have any preconceived ideas of what was involved” which aided her ability to navigate and manage any setbacks.
And there were setbacks, but according to Kristy, “setbacks stimulate conversation and inspire a deeper dialogue about processes, procedures and better ways to do things.” Despite initial challenges in establishing a company with such a niche market, and having little experience in areas such as manufacturing, logistics and warehousing, Kristy made it a priority to become an expert, and looking at the final product, it’s certainly paid off.
What began as an online retail business now boasts an online store, a physical store in Sydney’s Chatswood Chase and over 170 stockists nationally and internationally in New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore and the United States. As the business is constantly evolving, Incy Interiors has recently expanded to include a small range of adult furniture.
Kristy attributes her inspiration to her team, “I am lucky that I am always pushing to do more and try new things but it also helps immensely that I am doing something I love and that I work with an amazing group of people.” She also travels overseas regularly to meet with designers and keep up with the latest trends to ensure the range is fresh and new.
Classic styling, high quality materials and affordability are the hallmarks of Incy Interior’s beautiful, functional pieces. The range has expanded from cots and beds to change tables, bookcases, side tables and toys. Kristy ensures that style and functionality reflect contemporary trends while maintaining a timeless quality that gives each piece heirloom status.
Kristy’s two tips for decorating a little one’s room are to personalise the space to make it their own, and spend as much as you can afford on quality furniture and then use inexpensive items that can be changed regularly, such as cushions and wall art to add personality. The recent addition of their Velvet range has be hugely successful, adding textural interest and a hint of flamboyancy with vintage charm, “there’s something timeless and eternally alluring about velvet”, says Kristy.
With the growth and expansion of the business, Incy Interiors has just launched their Incy x Hobbe Blush Rocker ($1,229) as part of a collaboration with Hobbe, one of Australia’s most recognised children’s furniture brands. A drastic departure from the traditional wingback chair, it’s indicative of the sleek and contemporary style that is Incy Interiors.
Despite her many and varied roles as mother of Oscar and Polly, wife of Simon, and successful owner and manager of Incy Interiors, Kristy still manages to make a great capricciosa!