It started with a dare. To prove to my father that it was easier to move from a right brain to a left brain career, I embarked on an accountancy degree. To help apply all the theory, I also started working for an accountancy firm who just happened to have a fashion client. That connection was to become the beginning of my fashion career and the end of my accountancy career.
My fashion business officially kicked off on 14th April 1992. At the time I was 30 years of age, married to a Waikato-based dairy farmer, with two small children. Not exactly the scenario you would expect from a fashion designer! However, what I lacked in the ‘glamour stakes’, I more than made up for in self-belief, my absolute love for business and my art background and accountancy skills.
I don’t know how I could’ve possibly ended up in anything other than fashion and mum’s business. It’s been around me my entire life and so it kind of feels like home.
I think I’ve worked in every part of the business; from button counting when I was very small to retail roles in high school. The fact that I know the business inside out is something that I think mum really loves and values.
When I finished my marketing and communications degree, my fate was well and truly sealed. Fashion was always going to be my career and the family business was always going to be where I ended up.
Facing into an exciting future
I feel incredibly blessed to get to work with my daughter every day in a space that brings so much joy. The fact that Sami is as passionate about the business that I have grown and nurtured over the last 30 years is priceless to me.
The events of 2020 have created so much opportunity and permission to reignite the brand and rethink our entire fashion business model. It really feels like we are in start-up mode again and I’m loving it!
I can honestly say that I’m in my happy place and looking forward to many more years of designing gorgeous clothes for all women, working alongside an incredibly capable and loyal team, and supporting the growth of my beautiful daughter Sami.
Just like mum, I want to reinvigorate the brand in a way that embraces everything our existing customers love about the brand while bringing in a whole generation of new ones.
2020 has taught me so much about the need to constantly evolve and adapt a business. And while nothing can or should ever remain the same, there are some things that will always be important to me and the brand like continuing to produce clothes with heart and helping all women to feel AMAZING no matter whether they are going to that super-duper event or just the mad dash around the supermarket.