Couple working with laptops at cafe

The secret to running a business as a husband-and-wife duo

It’s one thing figuring out your rhythm when it comes to parenting as a team. Throw working together in the mix, too? Some people might think this sounds crazy. For the husband-and-wife duo behind super-cool retailer, Tip You’re It!, they’re nailing it on both fronts.

With an awesome brick-and-mortar store in Canberra’s hip suburb of Braddon – as well as an online boutique – Che and Trev McGee deserve one hell of a pat on the back having recently celebrated Tip You’re It!’s third birthday. What an achievement with TWO kids – Evie, 5, and Finn, 2 – in tow. Go mama and papa!

Tip You’re It! is a gorgeous shop that stocks a sought-after mix of stylish lifestyle, homeware and fashion products for children. Think a mix of brands including Huxbaby, Kip & Co, Miann & Co and Tiba + Marl.

“Our goal when we started is the same as it is today, we want to create a space where parents and parents-to-be can shop the brands they love and create amazing spaces and wardrobes for their special little people,” says Che.

“To grow the business to the stage where it can support us both from an employment viewpoint is a major goal for us.”

We sat down with Che to find out how the journey started and what their secret to making it work when you go into business with your partner.

 

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Thank gin and tonic it’s Friday!! I had big plans this week to restyle a section of the shop showing off our divine new @yorkelee_prints animal illustration prints. I finally got them framed and on the wall and they bloody sold!! 😝 . . . So…… here is an image of her boys room Kate from @yorkelee_prints prepared earlier 🤷🏻‍♀️. We are now restocked and ready for the weekend!! . . . #tipyoureit #yorkeleeprints #interiorwarrior #animalprints #animalprint #typographyprint #kipandco #kidsroomdecor #kidsroominspo #kidsroomideas #kidsroomstyle #kidsroomstyling #boysroomdecor #wildandfreechildren #littleandbrave #letthembekids #letthembelittle #kidsofig #wildkids #nordickidsliving #pixel_kids #canberrakids #lonsdalestreet

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Tell us how the journey to start Tip You’re It! began?

“The journey began over five years ago when we were pregnant with Evie. I’ve always had a strong interest and a background in design and consequently had a list of ‘go-to’ brands when planning the nursery and beyond.

The further we got into the process we found that Canberra – our hometown – did not have stockists for many of the brands we loved. So, our idea was born out of need and seeing a gap in the local market.”

What backgrounds – career-wise – have you both come from?

“I studied interior design, while also working full-time, to indulge my passion in all things beautiful and functional. My background in putting interior stories together and selecting stock that resonates with fellow mums is vital to not only what items Tip You’re It! stocks but how it looks instore, too.

Trev has a background in both retail and hospitality, so those interpersonal skills are a benefit also. Trev’s career has been in both store and area management – so, his understanding of running a retail store, the disciplines of stock control and, of course, the customer service attention have been important.”

Who does what for the business? 

“Trev is the face of the business. He is usually at the shop and is responsible for all the daily operations – customer service, online store maintenance and enquiries, stock control, re-orders, promotional activity and so on.

I still work a ‘real job’ three days a week, so while I’m not on the shop floor as much, I do some online store maintenance and run the Tip You’re It! social accounts. I select all the social media content and ensure it engages with our community.

My true passion is kicking Trev out of the store and getting in there to work with our customers while re-styling to my heart’s content. And possibly enjoying some time away from the kids.”

 

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HUMP DAY CONFESSION: Giving children and toddlers the chance to make decisions and express their likes and dislikes is such an important part of the their development BUT bloody hell it really bugs me to let the kids choose the book at story time! 🤷🏻‍♀️ No I don’t want to flippin read Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom for the 100th time!? But of course I will because I love you 🤦🏻‍♀️ What story books are your kids obsessed with? . . . . Lucky for me when doing a photo shoot with @hkrea and @hcreations72 I got to choose the book- my favourite Frida Kahlo from the Little People Big Dreams series. What story books do you love Mum’s and Dad’s? . . . . #tipyoureit #workingmum #mumlife #everydayparenting #reallifeparenting #candidmotherhood #honestmotherhood #motherhoodunplugged #storytime #books #childrensbooks #booklover #fridakahlo #littlepeoplebigdreams #strongwomen #influentialwomen

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What does an average day at work at Tip You’re It! look like?

“Once the kids are safely locked away at day care and school, we get to the store to start on the day at hand. Any overnight online orders are picked and prepared for shipping, the floor gets vacuumed and we open the doors.

In between customers, there are many tasks that make up the working day such as merchandising, unpacking new arrivals, re-ordering bestsellers, online store maintenance, invoicing, banking, paying bills – the list goes on.

Once the doors close for the day, we make any necessary inventory adjustments to the website and if there’s no furniture deliveries to do, we head home.

After dinner and bedtime stories, my work begins as I wade into the Instagram and Facebook jungle.

While I fall down that rabbit hole, Trev can usually be found on the laptop updating website content, reconciling the paperwork, keeping on top of BAS and so on.”

What happens if there’s office conflict?

“We share the same vision for Tip You’re It! so conflict is pretty rare. I have an eye for picking stock and Trev puts orders together in terms of sizes, quantities and so on. So, when he reduces my $30,000 order to $3,000, sometimes there is a Mexican standoff.

We’re lucky in the fact that we are working towards a common goal with the business, so we haven’t hit many hurdles in the three years we’ve been doing it.”

Pros of running a business with your partner?

“Having a common goal and making the same sacrifices – family time, family holidays and so on – and understanding these sacrifices need to be made, makes running the business together easier.

We both wanted to create something our kids would be proud of and that drives us both to keep going. Plus, a bit of unconditional love goes a long way. There’s no-one you could trust more than your partner.”

What are your top tips for making it work running a business as a husband-and-wife duo?
  1. “Ensure you have a clear, common goal.”
  2. “Prior knowledge and agreement on the sacrifices that will need to be made.”
  3. “Compartmentalise the relationship. Have clear boundaries between home and work.”
  4. “Identify each person’s strengths and work them.”
  5. “Date nights! Make time for each other as partners not colleagues.”

Follow Tip You’re It..

Website: Tipyoureit.com.au

Instagram: @Tipyoureit

Facebook: @tipyoureitcanberra

You might also like: Shops we love: Fancy-shmancy new Oishi-M in Torquay, At Home: Olli Ella co-founder Chloe Brookman’s Byron Bungalow and Home Tour: A children’s bohemian wonderland.

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