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For Season 8 of the podcast,  I’m focusing on one of my greatest passions: business!  

I’ve had my own business since 2012 and entrepreneurship is a pursuit I devote a tonne of time, energy and focus to – whether it’s growing my own business, or mentoring others in theirs.  In this season, I’ll be taking you behind the scenes in my business – as well as interviewing business owners I respect enormously.

This week’s episode features a businesswoman I have tremendous respect for, and whose brand I adore.  After leaving school at 15, Naomi Whitfield went on to found organic spa brand iKOU.  

With her husband Paul’s assistance, the business has grown at a phenomenal rate – starting as a wholesale business, opening bricks and mortar stores, a spa, securing global distributors and establishing powerful ecommerce success.  Naomi also published her first book, Energise Your Life.

In our conversation, Naomi shares:

  • How suffering from eczema for 19 years planted the seed for her future business
  • The secrets behind how she built such a renowned brand – and why one of our greatest roles as entrepreneurs is to police our own brands
  • Her and Paul’s first trade show experience… and why they had to pack peanut butter sandwiches!
  • The step-by-step (and serendipitous) process to opening their first bricks and mortar store
  • The three decisions that most influenced the success of the business
  • The insane growth of the ecommerce side of iKOU – and how they have achieved that
  • How she leverages risk mitigation as a planning strategy
  • How she and Paul navigate working so closely together 
  • The impact that winning two Telstra Awards had on the business
  • How a brush with death in 2015 fundamentally changed her approach to life, and business
  • Helping team members to “grow into their roles” and how she has approached that
  • The Artist, The Manager-Leader and The Entrepreneur – and how understanding the difference between each led her to the most key hire she has made in her business 
  • Why she believes the more you do, the braver you get

I am so grateful to Naomi for her generosity, and the beautiful energy she brings to the business world.  To find out more about iKOU, visit ikou.com.au and follow the brand on Instagram at @ikouinspire.