The idea for Showpo was born out of Jane’s hatred of hauling herself down to the shops when she needed a new outfit. Her best friend was dismissive. “She looked at me and said, ‘No-one wants to shop online Jane,’” she recalls.
Jane decided to trust her gut and did it anyway, betting there were plenty of other women who felt the same way. The gamble has more than paid off, with Showpo now shipping to 120 countries.
“Even now, if I go with a girlfriend [to the stores], I’m sitting on the chairs out the front with the husbands and the boyfriends shopping on my phone while they browse,” Jane explains with a laugh.
Since starting her business, Jane’s life has changed a lot. In 2019, she tied the knot with James Waldie and the pair have welcomed son Lachie, 3, and 10-month-old daughter Rosie.
While it took a lot of sweat and hustle to make her company the success it is today, Jane believes becoming a mother has only helped to finesse her skills as a people leader and find balance. The self-professed “lazy CEO” credits that, along with “a lot of coffee”, as the secret to her ongoing success.
“I’m a lot better at prioritising what’s really important and knowing the things I need to do and what I can get other people to do instead,” she explains. “I’m more creative, so I leave combing through the finer details and the accounts to others, even though I used to be an accountant.”
Having learned a few lessons about doing things the hard way, Jane is now passionate about helping others – especially women – to have an easier time in starting
a business. And she’s even willing to stake some of her personal $55 million fortune to back them by coming on board as a shark in the new season of Shark Tank. The reality show sees aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of seasoned moguls like Jane, hoping to convince them to invest.
“Having been on the other end, it’s very exciting to get in on the ground floor on helping other people start their empires,” she says.
It’s more than just money that Jane is willing to part with. She is looking to build a relationship with and mentor the person who is lucky enough to catch her eye.
But with two kids and her own business to run, she admits she’ll be hard to impress.
“At Showpo we have three values: think big; get s--t done; and have fun. I’m looking for someone who lives by that ethos,” she says. “This is going to be a long-term investment and relationship, so I want to work with someone who is really hungry for it and wants to have some fun along the way.”