(shop.inspiration) whiteport

Ah, now I know some of you are REALLY going to love this. A shop that sells things that are only white. Yes, you white junkies are going to get high! Haha. But that perhaps is doing a slight disservice to Whiteport because its products are really beautiful and even though I'm a colour addict, when I look at the wares on offer I really do feel a sense of calm. Perfect tonic for this long weekend. So, please meet Jennifer McCabe, the owner of the online shop.

How and why did you start Whiteport? Whiteport came about after a brainstorming session my husband Lee and I had. We'd often talked about starting a business together and when the company I was working for at the time decided to close its Sydney office, we thought maybe this was the catalyst. Before this, I'd lived overseas and upon returning home to Sydney, was disappointed with the lack of homewares stores offering good-quality online shopping. Overseas, everybody shops online. We brainstormed lots of business ideas and given my longtime love of interior decor & design, we spent the most time discussing what was to become Whiteport. We spent a lot of time on the name and also consulted an expert in the field. Lee has a marketing background and although he has his own day job in the travel industry, he continues to make an invaluable contribution to Whiteport as well as being a great sounding board for new ideas.
What's been your best decision? Sticking to an all white palette with our products. Not only does this help differentiate us from our competitors, but it makes sourcing and product development a lot easier. White products are simple, timeless and complement any colour scheme. The possibilities really are endless when you decorate with white.
What has been a highlight? Running my own business and being my own boss has been the highlight. After many years in the corporate arena helping make other entrepreneurs richer, it's been a real accomplishment to have gone out and made it on my own. Proving to myself that I could do it was a big thing for me as I'd always been in the background with others in the limelight, taking the credit so I had started to doubt my own abilities. I am definitely Whiteport's harshest critic and think this is a good thing. It's pointless thinking you've done everything perfectly first time round - there is always something you can improve upon especially when you put yourself in your customers shoes.
Where do you look to for inspiration? I've always had a pretty clear vision of how Whiteport would look and feel so I don't often get stuck for ideas or new products. Having said that, I do have an overflowing folio with pages torn from magazines and brochures that I revisit often for ideas for our Whiteport blog and monthly newsletter.
What are you passionate about? My family - considering you can't choose them, I really have been blessed. I'm also a huge dog lover and Scout, our Parson Jack Russell we rescued from death row, is my best friend (excluding my husband, of course, in case he reads this!).
What's the best advice you've been given? My Dad always told me don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today and that if I'm not making some mistakes along the way, then I'm probably not learning. Thankfully I haven't made too many costly mistakes with Whiteport, but I always think of his advice and wonder if I should be taking more risks.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? Straight out of school I studied to become a nurse but after 2 years of shift work when all of my other friends were going out to parties, I soon decided on a career change. Before Whiteport I'd worked in financial services and investment banking mostly overseas. Whiteport is by far the best job I've ever had.
If you could meet one person, living or dead, who would it be? Can I have 2? Martha Stewart simply to rack her business brain. Love her or loathe her, she's certainly built a successful empire and Robert Redford - do I need to elaborate??
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Becoming a mum (soon to happen!) and seeing Whiteport become a leading Australian lifestyle brand. I'm already so lucky with the life I have, that these last 2 things would be the icing on the cake.
What are you reading? With our first baby due next month, I'm currently reading Juju Sundin's Birth Skills along with Permission Marketing by Seth Godin.

images courtesy of whiteport

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