KATIE NAPRASNIK, orange sherbet
Starting a business in 2006 at just 17 years old, it’s safe to say that Katie Naprasnik knows what it takes to build a business from the ground up.
From opening the doors to Orange Sherbet with the vision to provide women of the Peninsula somewhere to shop without having to leave the region, to now running a very successful retail and international online clothing boutique.
Peninsula Life shares Katie’s story and journey to becoming the successful business entrepreneur she is today.
Tell us a little about Orange Sherbet…
Orange Sherbet opened its one roller door back in October 2006 in Comino’s Arcade in Redcliffe. I was 17 years old at the time with big dreams. Essentially, I wanted a space for women to come and feel beautiful and empowered by what they wear. Jump forward 12 years and Orange Sherbet has grown into a destination for women both here and overseas to visit in store & online.
What drove you to become a business owner?
I was only 17 when I first started and I guess I was simply fearless. At the time I was studying business and fashion at TAFE and saw that there was a gap in the market. I had no intention that Orange Sherbet was going to become what it is today. I opened the store thinking it would be a location for friends to come and buy clothes without having to leave the Peninsula.
There have been moments when I thought about giving up, but they don’t last long. The moment passes, I see what I have created and I couldn’t be happier.
What is your ‘why’? Why do you get up every morning and do what you do?
I believe that fashion plays a vital role in adding to people’s self-confidence and express their uniqueness! Orange Sherbet is more than a boutique retail store, it is a place for women of all ages to come in and feel beautiful in their own style.
I still love what I do, and I feel the same excitement unpacking and seeing stock as I did when I first opened.
The enjoyment and satisfaction of seeing customers (many now friends) fall in love with a piece (just as much as I do) also drives me. The support and love from locals makes me continue to grow still to this day.
What do you think the most important aspects are to running a successful business?
Having a connection with my customers has always been one of my main priorities. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a business owner?
Over the years I have been able to build my business by working with strong, like-minded women and have created a strong team around me. This allows me to work flexible hours as I am now a first time mum so I am able to spend time with my son Henry. Essentially I am having my cake and eating it too.
Why should people look to invest in the Peninsula, and why did you invest in the Peninsula?
What isn’t there to love about Redcliffe! I am the 3rd generation growing up on the Peninsula and I’m not going anywhere. You get a real sense of community when you are in Redcliffe and that is why I love it here!
Katie’s advice for other business owners?
If you have a big dream, go for it! The satisfaction is AMAZING but you need to be willing to put in some blood, sweat and tears!