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Phoenix rising

SIOBHAN LEATHLEY
Last updated 05:00 07/02/2013
phoenixrenata
Beauty entrepreneur Phoenix Renata.

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Kiwi entrepreneur Phoenix Renata is on a mission to beautify the world. She already has 11 stores across Australia and New Zealand - eight with fashion designer Annah Stretton – and four more are on the plan.

Stretton is more than just Renata’s business partner, she’s a mentor with 21 years’ experience in the fashion industry.

In fact, Stretton says the business relationship goes beyond mentoring.

“A mentor is too fleeting, I prefer to encourage and occasionally tweak.

“I help her move forward by guiding her. I have 21 years of experience in this industry, and I use this experience in steering them to avoid the school of hard knocks I went through.”  

Renata and Stretton’s stores are called Birds of a Feather and offer Stretton’s clothing, Phoenix cosmetics and café cuisine.

Their locations - including Invercargill, Hamilton and the Auckland suburb of Howick – seem at odds with luxury brands. But they’re a key part of Renata’s growth strategy.

“I don’t care about glamorous locations, I care about the business. I target small areas so I can make money and build my brand until I’m ready to open in larger cities.”

The pair plans to open a Melbourne store soon, and then expand into Perth and Sydney.

Renata’s advice for would-be startup founders is to do the groundwork. “You need a solid business plan, plenty of capital and a thorough understanding of the market and industry,” she says.

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