Jane's place in Business Hall of Fame

COOMA local, founder of online retailer birdsnest.com.au, Jane Cay has been named in the prestigious Australian Businesswomen's Network (ABN) 2013 Hall of Fame.

Mrs Cay was one of 16 female business owners across Australia celebrated in this year's Hall of Fame.

ABN CEO Suzi Dafnis said Mrs Cay was selected because she is a "terrific role model".

"She has demonstrated that while she is based in a rural community she has been able to harness technology and build a very successful online business providing as service to women all over the country," Ms Dafnis said.

"She is so passionate about what she's doing and very passionate about her team."

Mrs Cay said it was an honour to be recognised amongst other accomplished women.

"However, I am just one bird in the nest and the success of birdsnest is the combined result of so many wonderful and talented people," Mrs Cay said.

"Of course it is wonderful for birdsnest to be recognised nationally through this program and we are delighted to be included. I hope that our story can inspire other women to follow their dreams, particularly those in regional areas."

At an early age, Mrs Cay committed herself to being part of the online revolution. In 1996, the year the internet was becoming mainstream, she began her commerce degree at the University of New South Wales, which completely captured her imagination.

On completing university, Jane worked as an e-business consultant with IBM, and not long after she fell in love with a farmer and moved to the Snowy Mountains.

The move gave her the opportunity to establish birdsnest - a unique online retail store for women that has proved being independent and in a regional location is no obstacle to online success.

Birdsnest launched in 2008. Since then it has experienced double-digit growth; it is within the top 40 most visited apparel sites in Australia and employs over 90 birds. Working with women on the shop floor, Jane discovered that the notion of retail therapy was real and became passionate about 'inspiring confidence' in all her customers. It must be translating, with 70 per cent of all birdsnest revenue coming from return customers.

Birdsnest has grown faster than she could have imagined, and she admits that she has made lots of mistakes along the way. Yet, these mistakes have proved to be her best lessons. Jane understands the importance of creating a positive work environment with a strong team culture. She ensures that every new team member understands that they can be generous and have fun with customers, which is something that you have to invest time in.

The ABN Hall of Fame has been running since 1998. The new inductees join 150 other women the ABN has recognized since it was established. Some of the women include June Dally-Watkins, Collette Dinnigan and Amanda Briskin founder of Mimco.

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