Meet Christine Lafian. Founder of SUKU Home. SUKU produces an ethereal collection of premium lifestyle homewares, bedding, and textiles, combining ethnic cultural influences for the modern household.This is her entrepreneurial story.
Where did you get the idea for your business?
The idea came when I was looking for bed linen to decorate my new room. I wanted to invest in a really good set and couldn’t find any in the market that suited my needs and aesthetic. So I decided to create my own, this was the beginning of SUKU home. I wanted the brand to tell a story because I grew up in a small town in Indonesia where most of the products that you find in your local store are also produced locally. I believe that human connection is what makes a product more interesting, it adds value to the product, and I wanted to create a brand/product that celebrates this element.
How did you get your business started?
I started with an idea and then I travelled back to Indonesia, my home country, to find a local manufacturer that could make my ideas happen.
What do you love most about what you do?
Everything! but most importantly I love telling my story through my product creations. Through this I am able to connect with people.
How important has it been for you to have a mentor?
Very important. I have been working for one of the most successful Australian retail brands, Zimmermann, for seven years now. I was mentored by the Retail Director and have applied so much that I learned from working with them back into my own business.
What are your top 3 tips for starting a business?
- Have a story to tell, this straight away differentiates you from your competitors.
- Connect yourself with your local community, because they are the ones who will support you and you’ll be surprised by the people that you meet along the way.
- Have a source of income until your business can walk by itself. Business is like a baby; you need to nourish it, spend your time, money, and energy on it. It will consume you mentally and physically and the reality is, you need to pay your bills, so don’t quit your day job until your baby can start walking by itself.