Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Interview With Entrepreneurs And Ditchy’s Founders, Lisa Listama & Marc Heading

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1- Hello Lisa and Marc, Can you please introduce yourselves?

Lisa: Sure! We are have been married for nearly 6 years. We are government workers who decided the dance community needed a place to rent each other’s dance costumes.

Marc: Yeah, Lisa has been dancing for over 25 years and I could never understand why she had to buy new costumes all the time. I was shocked to learn that there was no mechanism for renting dance costumes.

Lisa: I had never thought about it until Marc said….”Can’t you just hire a costume?”

Marc: Exactly. It blew my mind how much Lisa and her dance friends were spending on Brazilian Samba costumes in particular. Like $900-$1500 for a costume, you only wear a few times? Ridiculous!

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Lisa: He had a point. At the end of last year, Marc got sick (his transplanted kidney failed) and the chances of him going to work every day were slim so we were looking for an option for him to work from home. Dance costume rental kept popping up in our conversations and eventually Ditchy was born!

2- What are your focus areas and why?

Marc: Marketing and community influence. As we are a new business, it is important for us to get our name out to the dance community. We are communicating what we offer and how our online marketplace will benefit dancers/dance parents/dance schools etc. We are on a mission to build trust and relationships.

Lisa: As this is a brand new option for dancers, building trust and advocacy is our main priority.

3- How do you describe “Ditchy” in a few words?

Ditchy is like Airbnb….but instead of accommodation we have dance costumes!

4- Where do you think it’s making an impact?

Lisa: Currently within the Australian economy. We have over 50 dance costumes for hire across Australia and our numbers are growing. We do have a site for people to sell their costumes and people have listed from Thailand and the USA.

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Marc: Ultimately, the biggest impact is money going into dancer’s pockets as opposed to the constant and common outpouring of cash.

5- What the word “Entrepreneurship” really means to you?

Lisa: Looking for a new idea and running with it.

Marc: Freedom of expression to live ones dreams.

6- And where do you see “Ditchy” in the next 5 years?

Marc: Our vision for Ditchy is to engrain ourselves into the world dance community by providing a service to help dancers reduce their financial outlay with a chance to recoup lost money by either renting or selling their costumes. We want to be the first website the dance community visits when they require a costume for a dance performance. We want all countries and performance styles to be involved.

Lisa: 100% agree. We are incredibly inclusive. Every form of performance is welcome to list on Ditchy.

7- If you could turn the time, what would you love to change in regards to way you launched Ditchy?

Marc: We would not change a thing. At the time of launching Ditchy we were not financially able to do it any other way, I also had a lot of health issues at the time. Lisa and I came together and decided the best thing to do was get Ditchy lauched, as a minimum viable product, and see what happens. Both Lisa and I do not believe in “what ifs” or dwelling on the past, we look forward to the future and take every day as it comes.

8- What is the “one-word” advice you will give to our readers when it comes to succeeding and especially the ones who are just starting?

Marc: “Motivation”. We have not been in business that long and we are not successful (yet) but the one thing every successful business has is motivated individual/s who never say no regardless of how hard or demanding the work is. It is important not to give up on your dreams and never let your fears get in the way of progress. At Ditchy, my wife Lisa has been unremitting, dedicating most of her spare time to updating the website, advertising on social media, researching and learning new ways and methods of promotion. To run Ditchy requires our attention 24/7 it is not something that we can leave and pick up whenever we want to, it takes motivation.

Lisa: I’m tired but it’s worth it!

9- What are you most excited about at the moment?

Lisa: We are about to launch Ditchy at the 2019 Australian Dance Cup. We are really excited to get amongst the Latin dance community and let them know we are ready to rent/sell their costumes.

10- The last word or final thoughts?

Lisa: we would like to thank our current community of costume lister’s on Ditchy and want to encourage dancers and performers of all kinds to jump on our website www.ditchy.org to get acquainted with us and what we do.

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Noelle Elia
Noelle Elia
is a Financial analyst at PSPC. Graduated from Telfer School of Management, Finance/Accounting with interest to Entrepreneurship and New Media.
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