Two girls, one dream & a whole lot of life experience in between. Friends by chance & business partners by choice, Lisa Gibson & Nikita Williams, are taking property staging to the next level & leaving a little sparkle as they go.
Tell us about Duo Studio. Duo Studio is a top-level property staging company that services the Central West and other parts of NSW. We provide complete staging for empty houses, partial staging for properties that have some gaps to fill with existing furniture or integrated staging, where we use the client’s own furniture predominantly.
We aim for a bespoke approach, offering a tailored solution to our client’s needs. We enjoy getting to know our clients, learning about their tastes and desires, and creating a strategic design plan with that in mind. We love coming up with a design that improves the look and feel of the property and makes the space feel elite yet warm and inviting. What inspired you to start Duo Studio? Our love of interior design and desire to work for ourselves helped birth Duo Studio. Coming back to work after kids is a strange time for any new mother, and we both had a deep desire to use our creative entrepreneurial skills learnt throughout our careers in a way that incorporated our obsession with home design.
Every home we stage, we treat as if it were our own home. We leave a little sparkle in each one because we love what we do and are grateful for our client’s trust and support, which sets us apart from any competition. We stage with heart! What were pivotal moments in your career that contributed to your success? Lisa: I have always been passionate about work, and when I became a mum, I realised how precious time is and how short life can be. That fueled me to begin focusing on my strengths and delving something I was passionate about.
I began my career in sales and marketing, and it was through this role that I learned about the psychology of being able to listen to what a client is telling you and then marrying it up with a product or service. Listening with an eager, creative mind is the key here. In my career’s early days, I ran National wholesale sales - Big supply chains and analysed different buying cultures and patterns.
High-end buying versus everyday purchases, allowing me to focus on challenges and solutions on both a personal and large scale. It gave me the confidence to promote new products and ideas to new audiences. I’ve carried this know-how and experience to Duo Studio.
Nikita: After school, I was working towards a career in Interior Design. But I was also training to compete at the Olympic Games in Water Polo, which required extensive travel. At the time, the two didn’t mesh. Water Polo had a limited career path, so I gave away the interior design for the Olympic dream, which proved the right decision as we won the Bronze medal in Beijing.
Whilst training, I worked in Marketing and Media agencies in Sydney and after the Olympics. After having my first baby, my husband and I decided to move out of Sydney and ended up in Bathurst. After the birth of my 2nd baby and being new to town, I asked if I could join the mother’s group, where I met Lisa. The rest is history! What challenges have you faced in running your own business? Lisa: We’re currently experiencing rapid growth, which is wonderful, but finding the elusive work/life balance is tricky. Not only does that mean we need more hands-on help with staff, but we are constantly looking at increasing our stock levels while still turning over older styles and keeping things new and edgy. We pride ourselves on keeping our rooms from continually looking the same, so we put a lot of focus on the inventory. We also need to stay competitive, which is essential. Nikita: For me, the biggest challenge is trying to fit the business around our families and other commitments. That has meant a lot of Sunday installs, late afternoon selections, and sitting up super late on the computer doing quotes, website updates or social media, all of which is time away from our families. What are three essential factors in being a successful entrepreneur? Resilience. Starting a business is complex, challenging and unpredictable. It keeps throwing you curve balls every time you don’t expect it. Our advice is to stay motivated and keep moving forward.
Creativity. You need to be able to identify new opportunities and develop unique solutions to problems. Doing this has proved to be one of the most significant factors contributing to our success. Adaptability. Sometimes, you will need to pivot your business strategy and make adjustments to meet the evolving needs of your target audience. What’s on the horizon for Duo Studio? This year, we will invest in purchasing a new truck. It means a much bigger warehouse as we move to double the number of clients and employees. We are excited to negotiate a contract with an Australian TV program. It’s looking promising and will change the trajectory of Duo Studio.
Location: Bathurst, NSW
Facebook: duo studio 2795