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Sep 15, 2017

From home based business to corporate success: Erica Stewart's story

Since launching hardtofind in 2008, Australian entrepreneur Erica Stewart has taken a revolutionary retail concept and turneric ed it into a multi-million dollar business announcing a turnover of $15 million in 2016, and an expected $20 million in 2017. (Source:

Celebrating the success of HardToFind

Looking at the phenomenal growth of hardtofind, Deborah asks the entrepreneur, founder and CEO Erica Stewart if she takes the time to celebrate her success.

"I don't think we do that enough," says Erica. "The business is growing, so by the time I got to the goal I'd set, however long ago, I've got another goal ahead of me."

"The goalposts always move [...] I'm really forcing myself to celebrate those wins along the way and ensure that the team are as well."

Deborah and Erica agree that celebrating success is good for morale and can give team members the impetuous to move forward.

Hiring her first employee

For any business, growth and success mean change.

In Erica Stewart's case, the growth and success of hardtofind in the early years meant she needed to move out of the tiny home office/kids' playroom and hire her first employee.

These two massive changes were ultimately exciting for Erica despite the realisation she "was now responsible for somebody else's livelihood.

"I think it really changed things for the better in terms of my mindset and then where the business started to go," she recalls. "It was terrific being able to offload a lot of the more admin-type tasks that I was doing because at that time, I did everything."

Erica moved from the playroom to share an office space with two creative professionals. 

As the business surged forward, Erica’s team outgrew the office space and moved into another shared office within the same building. Continued success meant more staff for Erica, prompting another move within the building.

Erica now has 30 employees in her own dedicated office space in Sydney’s inner west.


Read full article here: From home based business to corporate success: Erica Stewart's story

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Erica Stewart is founder and CEO of online curated marketplace

In 2008, Erica saw a gap in the market for shoppers looking to locate beautifully designed, handcrafted, unique products and drew on her skills and experiences working in lifestyle magazines to launch the online retailer.

While on maternity leave from her position as National Sales Manager with News Life Media, Erica decided to prioritise the growth of the platform and began working on the business full-time.

hardtofind has its home in Sydney's vibing inner west and works with sellers from all around Australia and as far away as London, Lithuania and Puerto Rico.

The site brings together an expertly sourced global community of cottage industries, independent studios and hole-in-the-wall retailers with people looking for something different - and creating a much more personal maker/manufacturer-to-customer shopping experience.

More about hardtofind