Client Testimonial: What the true value of advice meant for Trudie Cox and her business
By Nicki Bourlioufas
Australian label Eadie Lifestyle was founded by entrepreneur Trudie Cox, from her dining table seven years ago. The business has grown successfully in recent years, but a devastating fire at Eadie’s offices and warehouse in Newcastle earlier this year brought unforeseen disaster upon the business. But with her financial and business advisor, Glen Reilly of Fitzpatricks Private Wealth, by her side, Trudie has overcome this disaster and emerged stronger on the other side.
Eadie Lifestyle creates quality home furnishings and easy-to-wear women’s apparel, including handcrafted linen cushions, throws, bedlinen and lounge wear. The business develops all its textiles in-house, exclusively designed and manufactured in India. The range is sold both to retailers and designers, and also directly to the public. The business has showrooms in both Newcastle and Melbourne as well as an online presence and it ships products across Australia and New Zealand in addition to Singapore and the US.
The business has grown strongly since it was founded in 2014 and now employs 14 full-time staff. Sales had been soaring ahead, but when a devastating fire struck the business’ Newcastle headquarters in March of this year, it caused a sudden halt to the business’s growth.
The fire completely destroyed Eadie’s warehouse, office and all of its stock. Ironically, the fire occurred during the heavy rains of March when water leaked through the roof of the building, causing an electrical fire that quickly got out of control to reach a devastating level. Thirty fire engines attend the scene, given the risk of an explosion as the warehouse was located close by to a fuel depot. Residents nearby had to be evacuated as the fire ripped through the building, an old wool shed. The next morning there was nothing left and all of Eadie’s stock had been destroyed.
“It was devastating. We lost all of our stock, our offices burnt down, and we had nothing left, not even our pens. Two of our staff members even lost their cars. We lost everything,” says Trudie.
“For the next day or two I just attempted to pick up the business again and get on with it, but it was on day three that I realised the gravity of what had happened, and it all caught up with me. I’m very grateful that I had Glen by my side and he guided me through the process of rebuilding the business, step by step.”
With Glen’s advice on how to navigate out of the huge setback, Trudie focused on moving ahead; she found temporary offices and focused on restoring stock and cash flow. “After the fire, we had to act quickly to get our business back on track. Glen drove the recovery mission. He immediately rallied all of my advisors and we looked at the cash flow statements, at the accounts, at [where] our debtors were and our creditors, and he supported me on taking step-by-step measures to get our head back above water.
“He even helped with making an insurance claim and we just got on with it. Glen made me feel supported right throughout this incredibly difficult time. That support and encouragement has really solidified our relationship which I now see as long-term. With his quick thinking, Glen has been key to our recovery, and he went well beyond being just a business advisor.
“Glen was new to our business as we only began to work with him in November 2021. But after the fire, he helped move forward and refine and improve our business strategy. After three to four months, we have found new officers and a new warehouse and we are building a new showroom nearby,” says Trudie.
Up until the fire, Eadie had been enjoying strong growth. Turnover for the 2021 financial year was in excess of $4 million and this year Eadie Lifestyle is on track to do in excess of $5 million in annual sales. The business had enjoyed year-on-year growth of around 100% for 2021 and the sales momentum has continued notwithstanding the fire. Sales this year are up 23% on last year’s levels.
But the fire has had a financial impact. Trudie estimates that the fire has cost the business approximately $500,000 in revenue since March 2022. But by responding quickly with Glen’s help to the dire circumstances caused by the fire, Trudie expects the business to be fully stocked by the end of July and says the business has come out the other side with a more robust strategy and infrastructure.
With the help of her amazing staff, and other stakeholders such as suppliers and customers, Eadie is moving ahead, supported by its values, which include the wellbeing and happiness of its staff, stakeholders, artisans and customers. And the trust goes both ways. Its artisans, whom Trudie regularly visits in India, continued to supply the business following the fire on a priority basis, working to deliver exceptional quality orders to ensure the ongoing growth of the business. Trudie expects Eadie Lifestyle will gain even greater momentum moving ahead, reborn stronger after the fire, with Glen Reilly by her side.