Christina DuVarney is the proud owner of Beautiful Disaster Clothing. Beautiful Disaster is a multi-million dollar brand that distributes confidence and self-empowerment through fashion with a purpose.
With a team of 9, Beautiful Disaster has been in business for 13 years, from its base in California.
Thanks to Christina for taking the time to share her story and top tips for business success.
Tell us about your customers
Our customers are women of all ages, backgrounds and experiences, the tie that bonds us all together is that we have been through traumas and struggles. We have been through hell and back and like the Phoenix when we were reduced to ashes, we emerged stronger than ever.
Identifying with the concept of being a beautiful disaster has become incredibly powerful, and we are so honoured to be able to give women a platform to wear clothing that makes them feel empowered, strong and better about themselves. The need it meets is Self Acceptance.
What did you do before you started your business and how has that experience helped your venture?
Sales. I was a natural born salesperson. From selling cars to making over half a million cold calls over the phone, I lived, ate and breathed sales. I had a 20+ year career in the Automotive Industry and that is where I got my chops. I was belittled, I was bullied and I was harassed. That is where I got the gift of a chip on my shoulder to be great. It only fueled me to be better, to work harder, to work faster, to work smarter and to win. Those experiences gave me grit and that is the characteristic that separates good from great.
If relevant how does family fit alongside the business?
I am fortunate to run this business alongside my husband Tory, we have built this brand together, hand in hand for the last 13 years, our motto is “Everything Together Always”. We are often told that it is quite the feat to work side by side in love and business with such ease. We know we are very fortunate to have the strong relationship that we have. There is nobody I would rather have by my side, through every failure and victory. We have a 6-year-old daughter who is already a pro at folding t-shirts and labeling packages. Everything Together Always.
What do you do to relax?
Pilates and vacations. I have a non-negotiable on my pilates days, it is my sacred time. We, as a family, also have non-negotiables for our vacations and time off. We take 3-4 vacations a year and that is our most precious time together to laugh, play and have fun. Our phones and laptops are always with us – not by force, by choice. We are in love with what we do and we don’t mind taking it with us everywhere we go. From Hawaii to Mexico and everywhere in between we are always happy to keep working on this incredible brand and legacy.
What are your values and what role do they play in the business?
I will give you my top 3:
Time: I am very aware of how precious time really is. It is our most valuable asset and should not be wasted. While I do not live life like today will be my last, meaning fearful, I am very conscious of how I invest my time. I am careful not to spend it – only invest it.
Joy: There must be joy in just about everything that I do. Do I have tasks that I do not enjoy – of course, but I keep them to a minimum and I have no problem saying no to things that will not fill me with joy.
Personal Growth: I am a personal growth JUNKIE! I have more mentors than I can count and I rely on the advice experience and wisdom of others to help me be the greatest version of me I can be. From books to courses, to podcasts I am obsessed with self-development!
What are the high points of building your business?
The stories from our tribe of women. When I receive an email, video or comment from a woman in our tribe who tells me that Beautiful Disaster has positively impacted their life and self-esteem that is the highest high I could ask for. Recently I had a vendor make a comment that they wished they worked for more brands like Beautiful Disaster because what we are doing is a movement and really making a difference for people. The highest points are when people are genuinely touched by what we are doing.
What were the toughest challenges and how did you get over them?
We have failed more times than I can count, we had to change the name of our brand 2 times and we struggled for 10 years to get the brand off the ground. There were countless times when giving up would have been much easier than pressing forward. Giving up on this was never an option, we just had to fail forward and learn along the way – and by we have learned a lot! I can safely say we have probably learned every way NOT to succeed and those lessons have been the foundation for our success.
Money – if you needed funding for start-up or to grow, where did you get it from and how was the process?
We are proudly a 100% self-funded debt-free company.
Marketing – tell us about a marketing tactic that works really well for your business?
Storytelling. This is the people’s brand, their stories are what has shaped us into the brand we are today. Hearing from the women in this tribe about their stories and why they identify with the Beautiful Disaster brand has been the catalyst for our growth. The women in the BD tribe have paved the way for every design, every quote, every ad, and every marketing strategy. We listen to them and we give them what they ask for.
What are your main sales channels?
Our website bdrocks.com, Facebook and IG.
Technology – how does technology fit into the business?
Everything we do is content and the distribution of that content on all platforms, we utilise technology to be the messenger.
Where do you get support from?
The Beautiful Disaster Tribe, we are all so connected on a deep level. I also get support from my mentors, there are so many people that I turn to for advice and inspiration. I never have to do anything alone. Also, my incredible business partners, my husband Tory and our Co-Owner Jamie – they are my rocks.
Who has inspired you and why?
Where do I begin?? This is probably the hardest question because I am inspired on a daily basis by so many people, I may sound like a broken record but it is the women in the Beautiful Disaster Tribe that inspire me the most. They are the everyday heroines. When you take the time to learn about them as individuals it is impossible not to be inspired. These women have suffered and survived, have had pain and joy, have been beaten down and continue to fight.
What are your future plans or goals?
We are just getting started, recently we expanded our collections into plus size (we call it Curvy) and that was a huge undertaking and investment. We have a very high demand for expanding into other categories such as footwear, cosmetics, housewares and more. In time we will give this tribe everything they have asked for.
Three things you have learned?
- Surround yourself with people who inspire you – this is non-negotiable.
- Failing is only a lesson. If you truly learn from your mistakes you will find that they are guiding you – this is not always easy but I promise you there is a gift in every misfortune or mistake.
- LISTEN. If you just listen to your people, your customers, your vendors, your employees and YOURSELF the answers will be revealed.
Your best piece of advice?
Do something you care about. It is not just a saying that if you do what you love you will never “work” a day in your life. I can honestly say that it almost never feels like “work”. That may sound cliche but it is so true.