By Brendan York | Portfolio Manager at NAOS Asset Management
Podcast Review | AFR Female Founders: Tania Austin and Decjuba
Tania Austin is the founder of retail brand Decjuba (pronounced De-Cuba!). This interview conducted by Julie Anne-Sprague delves into the journey of Tania from growing up in Perth and studying Psychology, to firstly co-founding Cotton On with her then husband Nigel Austin 30 years ago, and then stepping out of that business in 2008 to buy a small 5 store brand called Decjuba. Fast forward to 2023 and Decjuba is now 140 store strong and generating over $170m in revenue – one of Australia’s retail success stories.
Overcoming many of the challenges that come with finding sustainable growth in retail, Tania provides great insight into the fact that businesses never travel in a straight line and need constant refinement by adapting to local and global signals. Taking nearly five years to nail down the brand vision to make the customer look and feel amazing and then building her passion around the brand, Tania’s philosophy was that you must get Plan A right and that Plan B is making sure that Plan A works.
Tania has also adopted a small business mindset when it comes to focusing on bottom line profit and only growing as fast as it could sensibly finance. Scale within the business came by ensuring the business was centred around the right idea, grounded by logic and that retail is as much science as it is art.
Link to podcast
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