Power Equipment Australasia

XXXX AN EARLY START “I started working with my father when I was just 13 years old. He is also a successful STIHL deaIer and a Mitsubishi car dealer,” says Emily who credits her father for always encouraging her. “I count myself really lucky as he taught me about the trade and how to operate tools at a young age. Often girls are discouraged from picking up power equipment. It is dismissed as – ‘it’s not for them’. It was quite the opposite in my case. If I said I wanted to learn something about any tool or equipment or how to operate it, my Dad would say, ‘I will teach you that’.” Support from the family can go a long way says the young dealer who worked for her father’s dealership for five years and managed it for two years. “Even today, if I call him to ask a question, he says, ‘If you think it’s the right thing to do, then just do it’.” STARTING THE BUSINESS After working with her father, Emily also worked at another STIHL shop and soon decided to branch out on her own. “My partner Jese and I sold everything. We had a suitcase each and rented a factory and started this shop in 2019,” she says. “We were lucky. Since I had worked with my father, I had contacts in the power equipment industry. I knew the team at STIHL and they trusted us and really backed us. They had known me and my work since I was 12 years old,” she says. TEAM WORK Emily admits she has been ably supported by her husband Jese, a mechanic who she says has a “problem solving mind”. “Initially, when we started the business, everyone was nervous as Jese and I hadn’t been together for very long when we started. But we work very well together…he trusts my decisions, he lets me take control and supports me as and when required.” Emily also credits her team, including two mechanics, a front of staff and casual staff member, for helping her achieve her goals. THE CHALLENGES Steering a dealership comes with its share of challenges - being a woman at the forefront topping the list. “I didn’t realise how much it would come into the day to day running of the shop. Men can be apprehensive as they think a woman won’t be capable for this role. But it changes when they understand I knowmy job well,” says Emily. JULY - AUGUST 2022 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 21