Erilan is 10 years old! From just a dream Erilan has become the go-to store for thousands of women.
The idea of Erilan first popped up 12 years ago. I saw a gap in my local area where the local women weren't being serviced as well as they could be. After approaching the Territory Manager of one of the main distributors in Australia I was told that it couldn't possibly work. So I shelved the idea for 12 months. But I was bitten by the idea and decided to take it up again. Erilan was launched in April 2009 and ten years later is a successful business for both on-line and in-store shoppers.
Erilan was meant to happen! After firmly making up my mind that I was not going to be deterred, a Triumph bra fitting course was held in Sydney. The timing was most opportune as there were long waits between the courses and I believe Triumph no longer hold them in Australia. Then, immediately after that two prosthetic fitting courses were held by different distributors in Australia which I attended and I became a Certified Fitter.
My first home store was truly a home store - it was in the front bedroom of my home.
Now I have a purpose built addition to my home with it's own entrance (no steps) and enough room to display a wide collection.
Over the past ten years I have attended women's breakfasts, choir lunches, community gatherings, garden parties, high teas and field days where I have been a guest speaker and/or staged fashion parades to raise money for charity.
In 2017 I was honoured to receive The Wagga Business Chamber's Choice Award and to be one of ten national finalists in the On-line Regional Heroes Series run by the Regional Institute of Australia.
In 2018 I, along with some other women, was chosen to have a video made in the Hear Them Roar Series designed to promote women in business in regional Australia. Also, last year I was asked to be on a panel hosted by 'Kochie' at the Australian Chamber Business Leaders Summit at Parliament House in Canberra where a video was shown which Google had produced about my journey.
Also, earlier this year I was on a panel at an International Women's Day forum in Melbourne. All of these experiences have given me opportunities to meet new people, hear new ideas and to learn from others. I treasure those moments.
Acknowledging my journey over the past ten years encourages me to look forward to the next ten years. There are many things that I hope to see and achieve such as more time to manage my growing store. To this end, I am in the process of employing an additional staff member to help with the admin work. I would like to reach out more to the rural and regional areas of Australia and build my network in New Zealand so I always working on my website and social media pages to keep those women informed. I am proud to be a Community Friend of the McGrath Foundation and am currently organising a major fundraising event later in the year (more news about that in coming months). I hope that such events will be a regular fixture.
I would also love to see the Medicare Rebate paid at the time a breast prosthesis is purchased rather than having to claim afterwards and wait for the money to credited to your account. This is a burden for a lot of women as it can be difficult to find 400 odd dollars upfront. I hope that those bodies who are lobbying the government will be successful.
And of course, an end to cancer being a life threatening disease would be a dream come true. I am sure it will happen one day but until then, I am honoured to work with strong women and be able to assist, in even a small part, in your journey.
Something I have learnt over the last ten years is that there are definitely no two women alike. We all come in different shapes, sizes, colours with different ideas and needs. It has been a privilege to meet so many, either in person or over the phone. So I would like to invite you all to help me mark Erilan's 10 year anniversary. Keep an eye out over the coming weeks for my emails or Facebook messages as I celebrate 10 years of meeting, sharing and growing with you all.