How many identities do you have?
1. Creative Director of Mode & Affaire
2. Part-time Gin Critic
3. Musical Theatre Nerd
4. Closet Lover of Punk Music & Gangster Rap!
Please tell us your story of how you started Mode & Affaire?
I actually don’t know to be honest, it kind of just happened. I began my career in fashion and it was here where I fell in love with beautiful quality clothing and mesmerised by how one simple piece of clothing could completely transform a woman - making her feel beautiful and filling her with incredible confidence that perhaps didn’t exist before. I loved being apart of this and experiencing it first-hand. So, the feeling of dressing women in beautiful clothing became rather infectious. I have always been a sales person (professional hustler) and from when I was a child I was selling lord-knows–what to friends and family, so one weekend about 6 years ago now I decided to make a vest in four colours for myself and then anytime anyone enquired about buying one I would just make more and sell them one, it grew from there! 6 years later the brand is now stocked in boutiques across Australia and New Zealand and this year our wedding collection has been picked up by a boutique in New York City which is super exciting!
What has been the biggest life lesson you have learnt so far?
Oh definitely realising that what you do is never going to be for everyone. I’ve wound up in a very polarising sector of the fashion industry so there is always going to be people who do not like what we create. So perhaps in a way it makes it easier as you know there will always be people who either love what we do, or don’t like it at all – there are no fence sitters. It has over the years made things very interesting to say the least, but understanding that we exist only for the people who love what we do has been a big lesson so far.
How do you feel women have been affected by stereotypes?
Well 20 years ago everyone wanted flat bottoms and now thanks to the Kardashian explosion people are paying for Brazilian Butt Lift surgery?! The pressure of society is real! And it’s hard not to be affected in some way or the other, that is why platforms such as The Modern Day Women are so important. To create a platform which encourages women to empower other women is phenomenally positive, especially in a world typical of critique and negativity. It is so damn refreshing = bring on the positivity! The more we empower other women, the more confident we collectively become to be who we truly are and comfortable with that, breaking down the notion of needing to fit into a stereotype.
What do you believe your secret to success is, in balancing your many passions and pursuits?
I may have not been the most studious person but I was always a hard worker, I would throw everything I had at my work and some. I am can also be rather relentless (just ask my partner!) and persistent so I just continued to work the business even when there were moments where I could have definitely given up. I also have always been seriously self-motivated which I think helps!
What advice would you give to other women out there who want to start their own business but don’t know where to start?
Ask other people for help – reach out to someone who has been through a similar position as they will offer invaluable advice on where to start and people are generally always happy to help! Then just start, don’t overthink it, definitely don’t worry about what other people will think, just commit & keep on going. * cue the music * “DON’T. GIVE. UP….”