On the occasion of OSMEN’s 20th Anniversary, I cannot help but feel an immense amount of gratitude for our community. The 20th Anniversary of the company also marks my own twenty years since immigrating to Australia, and the support we have received from the community has played immensely into the company’s growth and my leadership as Brand Director.
I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to our customers, our partners, and our community. The support from this past year has been overwhelming and will push the company forward into the future. Referrals are the greatest display of trust in our industry, and I am humbled by the support we receive in this area.
I believe OSMEN’s 20 years of success lies in the product. We select the best products, handpicked from Europe by the Managing Director and myself, and bring them to the Australian market at great value. We present samples in full collections by the container rather than simply one or two pieces. When perfecting our cushion range, we flew samples back and forth from the factory over thirteen times. It is the design and quality of our brand that lent us so many opportunities during our precious years as a supplier and allowed us to keep the trust of our customers in retail. Now with 10,000 customers annually, I believe we have a steady base to grow off.
With twenty years officially under our belt, we have the means to be able to give back to the community that built us up. I have personally been Director of the Chatswood Executive Business Lion Club since 2013. OSMEN has been a sponsor of the Children’s Cancer Institute for the past two years, and a sponsor for Variety The Children’s Charity since 2011. It is important to the company to give back, and I would like to express the gratitude that we owe the community through a partnership with Variety this year. Our OSMEN 20th Anniversary Notebooks will be sold at all our locations, with all proceeds going towards Variety - the Children’s Charity.
OSMEN also had the honour of sponsoring the 7NEWS Young Achievers Awards this year. The OSMEN Creative Design Award is a project I am extremely passionate about. I am excited to see the rise of the new generation, and to encourage young, upcoming designers in perfecting their craft. We have already established ourselves in bringing the best of European furniture to Australia, and pride ourselves on our Australian designer cushions. I am pleased to announce that we will continue to further our support for Australian design.
There is a myriad of people I would like to thank. Our time with Harvey Norman, Domayne, and Freedom is very precious to me. It gave us ten years to establish ourselves as Australia’s top supplier and distributor, but more importantly to understand the Australian market. Thank you to the Centre Management and landlords of each of our stores for your support during COVID. Thank you to our digital marketing team who turned over a 100% growth purely from online sales. Thank you to our customers again, for your referrals and their support.
Internally, the OSMEN team is always working on improving. To better serve our customers, for instance, we're adopting Salesforce as our new CRM. Direct communication with customers is a move that I have personally been championing for many years, and as our twentieth year rolls around we finally have the means to put it into practice. We will install QR codes in each store to capture customer feedback and improve customer service through direct communication. With increased data and a new insight into the OSMEN community, we will be able to better measure the needs and wants of our customers.
I have learnt that as long as you have good quality products, good design, and are good people, that Australians will give you a chance. It is what we experienced as suppliers, and it is what now allows OSMEN to prosper as a retailer.
In the next few years, it is my hope that OSMEN will achieve widespread recognition as the go-to outdoor brand. We strive to see OSMEN recognised as the brand for outdoor furniture. We have been leaders in this industry for many years, and we will never be stagnant in our growth. As OSMEN reaches its twenty-year mark I look forward to seeing each of our projects play out, continuing to work on future initiatives and seeing the brand recognition of OSMEN grow.
Last but not least, I would like to thank my husband, Michael Li, who has always been a strong supporter of all the charity initiatives that OSMEN has sponsored. Although we grew up very differently and still have very different personalities, we share the same values for our business, our life, and our beliefs. I will also take this opportunity to thank my two outstanding and kind children, who are the angels and the love of my life. I have always been so proud of both of them, and I feel it is a blessing to have them in my world.