Ela and Jackson ~ The beach babe best friends behind this new fashion line

 

Two best friends + one shared obsession with fashion = Ela and Jackson, a sleek line of swim, beach and yoga wear perfect for the active Perth lifestyle. The Perth Collective talks to co-creators Keely and Ela about fashion, inspiration, and running a successful business when you work full-time.

Tell us a bit about yourselves…
Keely was born in the rural south of WA in a little sleepy town called Pemberton. Growing up on a farm, she is naturally fearless, and confident in demobilising spiders and using firearms. She is also a coeliac so don’t feed her anything delicious with gluten!

Ela was born and raised in the leafy green suburb of Subiaco to Polish parents who migrated to Australia in 1985. Her name is spelt with one ‘L’ which belies her Polish heritage – she speaks the language fluently and loves pierogi.

We also both adore dogs, the beach, travelling, coffee and anything made from potato! Oh, and of course fashion!

Our obsession with fashion came from a young age, with both of us constantly drawing pretty dresses and collecting Vogue magazines. When we met it was like we had finally found another person who was on totally the same wavelength with regards to fashion design and potato-based foods. We would always speak of having our own label and how wonderful it would be to create the clothes we wished existed.  You know what I’m talking about, when you find this piece but it’s not quite right?

How was Ela and Jackson founded?
The two of us met through mutual friends and after initial resistance from being told we would be a perfect match, we actually realised we got along like a house on fire.

We became firm friends very quickly and as we got to know more about each other we discovered that we both had aspirations in fashion. Deciding that two heads were better than one, Ela & Jackson was born.

Where are you based?
Our workshop in based in Wembley at Ela’s house. Keely lives not too far away in the leafy suburb of East Perth, so early morning breakfast meetings are easier to get to.

What inspires your collection?
Ela & Jackson’s spring/ summer 16 collection captures the active seaside culture of our home, Perth. The essence of health, beauty and activity bonded to create swimsuits and beachwear that translates from the great Indian Ocean coast to the sweat dripping onto a yoga mat.

Each piece is an extension of our own personalities, wrapped into the seamless nylon-lycra with a palette of rich earthy tones and attention to detail, and glimmering from the stunningly vibrant silk we’ve hand-sewn into a collection of magical kimonos.

The natural beauty of the female silhouette paired with clean, sharp lines and influences from our yoga practice has brought you a collection that is hardware-free and of the highest quality and, most importantly, comfortable. Each piece can be adapted in various ways providing a wealth of self-expression in form and function. What serves you for flowing in the ocean will serve you for flowing on the mat in your next Vinyasa class

Whether it’s down at Cottesloe Beach, island hopping in the Pacific or in a yoga class, Ela & Jackson can be there with you in spirit joining you on your journey.

Do either of you have a background in fashion?
Ela studied Fashion as well as Public Relations and Marketing whilst Keely studied Design – however we also both have an extensive history within the fashion industry, with involvement in the Telstra Perth Fashion Festival, management in high-end fashion retail and experience working as stylists on numerous occasions.

What is your current favourite key piece from your store?
We are obsessed with the Dhyana Top at the moment because it is just so versatile. A simple shelf bra available in 6 colours, it’s perfect for wearing as is on the beach, or with yoga pants in the studio. It even stands in as a layering piece to give a little more coverage underneath that one dress/ top we all have that is just too much to wear with just a bra as coverage!

Where can we purchase your label?
As well as our online store www.elaandjackson.com, we are stocked exclusively in Merge Clothing in Northbridge. We also take appointments from home via email for our local Perth gals.

Where did your business name come from?
Our business name came actually came from Ela’s partner Bart. He had the clever idea of using Ela’s first name and Keely’s last name to create Ela & Jackson. It rolled off the tongue and it just stuck!

What do you find is the biggest challenge of owning your own business?
The biggest challenge is time. Both of us work full-time and in the early stages Ela was also studying full-time – now we find balancing much easier. Being the faces of our company, we also need to be fit and healthy and always bikini body-ready, and trying to fit all this in with full-time work can be difficult.

What do you do for your full-time jobs?
Ela works at Kookai and Keely works for lululemon – both are companies we love, and they support our aspirations. We do this outside of our full time jobs – basically every spare second we have is put into Ela & Jackson.

What has been the best moment so far in your business?
Being in such early stages of our business, it’s hard to just choose one as so many moments are on par with each other. Some include getting our first order from someone that wasn’t one of our amazing friends, getting our first stockist, and having our first show (Melbourne Cup 2015). However the best moments are when our stock arrives and we see our ideas become tangible in lycra. Then we’re obliged to go straight to the beach to celebrate. Also seeing people wearing our product is probably the most rewarding feeling! It’s solid proof that people actually love what we are making!

Most memorable challenge you’ve had with a client or stockist?
The most memorable challenge would be with the first stockist we had late last year. A customer appropriated one of our bikinis and then posted a photo of herself wearing it on Instagram. Then she actually tagged us in the photo! This was rather emotional as we weren’t able to follow up with any formal kind of action and just had to sit back while she continued to post photos.

Your favourite quote or mantra?
If it is to be, it’s up to me.

Basically if you want something done, work hard and do it yourself. Most things in our business we have learned to do because we had to. For example, Ela built our website from scratch and we think it looks pretty damn good. The more we learn to do ourselves, the more we can control.

Who do you look up to for inspiration or admire for their business growth?
We know so many inspiring hard-working women that we look up to so it’s hard to name one, but if we had to? Sophia Amoruso of Nasty Gal. She’s a badass CEO who makes no apologies for who she is and where she has come from. She freely offers a whole host of good advice with a huge side of reality to anyone wanting to get into business, plus is all about supporting new talent!

What is your advice to WA women who want to start their own business or turn their hobby into a small business?
If you have an idea then go for it. If you want it enough you will find a way to make it happen! Work at it every day and be realistic about how much you need to do to get there! Also create a support network for yourself to get you through the hard times, because there will be hard times. Plus, starting your own business is probably the most rewarding thing you could do.

What is your vision for your business?
To create a label that truly expresses who we are through classic lines and high quality fabric as well as empowering women to feel comfortable in their own skin. We want to be able to grow from swimwear to resort and ready-to-wear and not limit ourselves with what we might do or where we might go.

Favourite WA coffee –  Tropico , Foam Coffee Bar
Favourite WA fashion label – Natalie Rolt, Morrison, Bruug
Favourite WA homewares– Empire
Favourite WA bar– The Cottesloe Beach Hotel
Favourite WA restaurant– Ingredient Tree
Favourite WA Instagram account – Salty Wings (@saltywings)

25% off with the code EJLOVE25

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Edited by The Write Stuff Collective

How to save your visual business branding with SOS… Designs

Stylish. Original. Simple. That’s Hayley from SOS…Designs’s mantra, and she applies it to every piece she designs for clients who need a little bit of brand saving. Her clean lines and miminalist aesthetic have helped build the brand identities of a number of Perth businesses, and an exciting new venture makes her designs available to us all…

Hayley has designed the new The Perth Collective website that launches next Friday.We have been so impressed and we can’t wait to unveil it to you all!

Tell me a little about yourself…

Continue reading

The Zest Group WA ~ Effortless coastal-chic events styling

 

From bohemian tipis on sand-swept shores to rustic weddings studded with fairy-lights and vines, The Zest Group WA creates effortless yet unforgettable events with their styling and for-hire services. We talk to Kate from Zest Group WA about living in Dunsborough, the company’s new Santa Fe-inspired showroom, and why it’s so important to find your signature style…

Tell me a little about yourself…
I am fortunate enough to live in beautiful Dunsborough with my husband Luke, who I work alongside in our business, and our two children – our daughter Havana, 3.5 years, and our son River, who is 1.5.

I grew up in the area and moved away in my 20s to travel and live overseas and interstate. I moved home in 2008 and could not be happier living back in this stunning part of the world.

What led you to establishing The Zest Group WA?
With a background career in interior styling, I created Zest in 2008 after noticing the demand for wedding and event styling in this much-loved area which is extremely popular for celebrating special occasions.

What services do you offer, plus which areas do you cover? Do you ever work in Perth?
Zest offer a complete event design and styling service specialising in weddings and corporate events across Western Australia.

We work with clients big and small to create compelling events that reflect the brand or mark your special occasion with flair and an uncompromising attention to detail.

Our entire collection is also available as a hire-only option for those wishing to do their own setup and styling.

I would say your tipis are a huge part of The Zest Group WA signature. How important do you think it is to have point of difference to other hire businesses?
Our personal style, exclusive event tipis and our ability to customise events by sourcing and manufacturing unique one-off pieces for events definitely provides us with a point of difference and we feel this is very important when offering a service.

How would you describe The Zest Group WA’s style?
Earthy and effortlessly chic.

Your best moment so far in your business?
There have been many special moments in our business over the past few years as it is always such a lovely feeling to see events come to life after months of planning and working with special clients.

We have particularly been enjoying designing our new showroom and office building, which will be completed by the end of the year. This Santa Fe-style creation will also double as an event space to cater for corporate events, dinners, and exhibitions.

What advice would you give to WA women wanting to start their own business?
Hard work and determination is what has made Zest the success that it is today. Also, stick to your own signature style.
Favourite WA CoffeeAlbert & Nikola – a very cool hole-in-the-wall coffee shop in Dunsborough
Favourite WA Homewares: Sensei Pots is a studio and gallery by local potter and ceramic artist Ian Beniston and he has some stunning ceramic plate creations which I just love.
Favourite WA BarI always enjoy having a vino at my favourite local, Caves House in Yallingup
Favourite WA RestaurantEagle Bay Brewery and Vasse Felix Winery have always been two of my favourites. Miki’s Japanese and Tepanyaki bar in Margaret River is also outstanding.

CONNECT WITH THE ZEST GROUP

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The Zest Group WA by Paris Hawken Photography

Editing/ copywriting by The Write Stuff Collective

Francesca GNAGNARELLA + Your invitation to the Emotional Landscape Art Exhibition

Italian artist Francesca Gnagnarella has had a love affair with WA light since she moved to Perth nine years ago. And we’ve had a love affair with her abstract landscapes, which use 23 karat gold to capture that elusive light to stunning effect. The Perth Collective talks to her about her international profile, the one painting she won’t sell, and her upcoming exhibition (you’re invited!)

Tell us a little more about your background. How did you become an artist?
I was born in Italy and studied art between Rome and Paris, then fell in love with an Aussie guy during a ski trip and moved to Australia in 2007. I started exhibiting in group shows before finishing uni in Paris, and held my first solo exhibition in Rome in 2006. Now I am a full time artist, and I have been painting professionally since 2011. 

Describe your paintings – what style would you refer to them as?
I like to call my paintings ‘abstract landscapes’. My works are abstract interpretations of seascapes, beachscapes, or landscapes reinterpreted loosely onto canvas. I don’t work from photographs but only from the memory of a particular place with a vision that is emotional and intuitive, remembering a sunset or a sunrise, looking at the earth and sky in the sunshine or after rain, contrasting splurges of red, magenta, orange, yellow, and blues to recall a sunburnt desert, the clearest waters, the softest sand, the brightest sunsets.

 

Where do you paint? Do you have a studio?
I paint from my studio in Pakenham Street. It’s a beautifully restored old Woolstores building in the centre of  Fremantle with a collective of about 30 artists. 

What inspires your collections?
I am fortunate enough to live close to the ocean and usually I start my day walking my puppy on the river shores surrounding my home. On my walks I can slow down, observe my environment, take in colours, patterns, textures, and, most importantly, the light, which has a particularly vibrant quality here in Perth and is represented throughout my works with the use of 23 Karat gold leaf.

Who influences your art?
I of course always had my favourites when studying art at school. Definitely the artist I have always looked at for inspiration is the American painter Rothko, I love his use of colour and large scale works. 

How long does it take to produce one of your larger paintings?
Probably 4 to 5 weeks in total. Most of the time I work on two or more paintings at the same time so I can switch back from a piece and while I work on another one, I let the unfinished work rest in my studio so I can observe it and see where I’m going with it. Then when I get back to it I know what I need to add and how to continue working on it. Knowing when an abstract piece is finished is all up to the artist, so sometimes it takes longer to know when a painting is completed.  

In most of your art you use 23 Karat gold leaf. Tell us more…
Since I moved to Perth from Europe I was amazed by the intensity of light that I found only in Western Australia and I wanted to replicate its vibrancy on canvas. I found that the gold leaf does it best, enriching the paintings with a unique luminosity. The play of light of the gold leaf affects the painting in different ways throughout the day, or if the sunlight hits the gold through a window, or if it’s artificial light bouncing off it and transforming the painting as you look at it from different angles. I purchase my gold leaf in booklets of 25 little 8x8cm sheets. They are the thinnest as they are the purest in grade and easily breakable. I always use 23 Karat gold leaf. 

You have just returned from the Singapore Contemporary Art Show. Is this the first time you have exhibited there? 
Yes, it was my first time exhibiting in Singapore and it was a wonderful experience during Art Week, when the city hosts a myriad of art shows and events. I’ve met with many young collectors getting interested in collecting art and received a great interest in my works, including a big name in the hotel industry for which I have put together a proposal for custom made artworks for the hotel bedrooms. I will definitely go back to Singapore to exhibit again.

You also produce resin art. How are these made and why do you add them to your collections?
It all started last year, with a collaborative exhibition with South West-based artist Todd Cleave. Todd and I share a passion for the same colour palette, most often inspired by the blue-greens of the ocean, the reds and oranges of the sunrise and sunset, and the amber and browns of the earth. The resin works are characterised by organic shapes, tactile feel and bright colours. Each piece is unique and, like an original painting, it’s impossible to recreate – and that’s what I love about resin. They beautifully complement the colours and inspirations of my paintings so I love adding a different dimension to my works particularly exhibiting them together. I just adore the way colours come out so brilliantly in resin form.

Do you find you have a bigger response to your art internationally, or is it well-supported locally?
I’ve been exhibiting in Hong Kong for three years and have two international shows each year there, so I’m building a small following of collectors and art lovers in Hong Kong which is incredible. Seeing my pieces find their new forever homes somewhere far from where I’m based is what I love most about my job. It gives a sense of appreciation greater than anything else. I love seeing people fall in love with a piece and just wanting to have it regardless of the name of the artist, since most new clients didn’t know me before the show. I think that’s how art should be purchased, just by what instantly attracts you to a particular piece. It fascinates and excites me. But I am also very grateful to have many local loyal supporters who have seen me growing since I’ve started here in Perth and continue to follow me.  

Where can we purchase your art? Do you have any upcoming exhibitions in Perth?
You can purchase my art from my website www.fragnagna.com (paintings, iPhone cases and resin art) or you can visit my gallery in North Fremantle by appointment. My upcoming exhibition, Emotional Landscape, launches on Thursday 5th May. If you would like to attend please RSVP to info@francescagnagnarella.com – here’s the invitation with all the details.

What do you find is the biggest challenge being a Perth-based artist?
Not being able to travel as easily as when I was in Europe for major art exhibitions that I could go visit on a weekend if I was still living in Rome or Paris. And getting inspirations from different cultures has always been very important for me. I guess my focus and inspirations have really been redirected to our local surroundings now that I live in Perth. 

Do you have a favourite painting?
My favourite painting is ‘Always always always’. It is part of my neon series of works, which wants to show the light that we see in dreams and the thoughts that seem to come from them. It’s the only piece of my works that I have decided not to sell and to keep in my personal collection. 

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Most memorable challenge you’ve had with a client or stockist?
My current job with Crown Hotel. I’ve been working with them since June last year, working through colour schemes and samples for 340 hotel rooms! Definitely the biggest and most challenging job.

Your favourite quote or mantra:
Never leave ’til tomorrow what you can do today.

Who is your biggest support?
It is definitely my husband Russell, my biggest supporter since day one. It has been him who pushed me to start my career as a full-time artist and has always supported me along the way. He has always been the source of my ambition to create something better at each exhibition and to move forward. 

Who do you look up to for inspiration or admire for their business growth?
I am very lucky to be surrounded by amazing and talented people that I have met through work but I now call friends and I love seeing them growing and succeeding in their business. Amongst my favourites: artist Anya Brock who I work with at my studio; landscape designer Monica Palmer; fashion designer Jonte Pike; stylist Megan Plowman; and blogger Maya Anderson of House Nerd. 

What is your advice to WA women who want to start their own business or turn their hobby into a small business?
Dedicate your everything to it to make it happen and get ready to work 100 hours a week! But most of all, always trust your heart and trust your dream – it will become your story.

What is your vision for your art?
In June I will start looking for opportunities to take my works over east in Australia, between Sydney and Melbourne, and concentrate more on expanding on the national market. 

Favourite WA Coffee Studio 37, Fremantle
Favourite WA Fashion Label Ethel and Leo, Claremont
Favourite WA Homewares A Cup Of Chic
Favourite WA Bar Mrs Brown, North Fremantle
Favourite WA Restaurant Bread in Common, Fremantle
Favourite WA Instagram Account @housenerd, love sneak peeking into WA homes 

Exclusive The Perth Collective Offer
20% off Original Art, Phone Covers plus Resin Art
shop now

to 3 May 2016
Use the code ‘FGXTPC‘ at checkout to redeem.

CONNECT WITH FRANCESCA GNAGNARELLA
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LIKE A GOLD WAVE TO THE SHORE OF A SEA PARADISE 115x115jaded sea in situ

Claire Tincey Designs~ Perth Watercolour Artist


Inspired by world maps and summertime motifs, local artist Claire Tincey paints whimsical watercolours that give us a serious case of wanderlust. The Curtin Uni student chats to The Perth Collective about the power of social media marketing, her girl crush on Anya Brock, and how a bank balance of $4 kick-started a thriving small business.

Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m a student in my final year of Interior Architecture at Curtin University, and I love to travel and design. I also think about – and eat – food way too often, and I love cooking. Summer is my favourite season as I love being in the water; winter turns me into a sad old lady. An interesting fact about me is I have an irrational fear of painted statuesque street performers!

I was born in Adelaide, but moved to Perth as a baby. I grew up in the southern suburbs of Perth and spent the majority of my summers as a kid in Rottnest – my favourite place.  Family is the most important thing to me, and I’m lucky to have such a large, blended bunch of wierdos to call mine. I am one of 5 kids, all between 20-25 years old – our family events are always overly loud, and never boring!

Your art is so unique. What led you to start painting watercolours in images of the world?
For one of my uni classes, we had to use different mediums for a project, and I chose to focus on watercolour. I had never really painted before, but loved playing with them and wanted to keep doing it! I had been looking for a large piece of art to put above my bed, but just couldn’t find anything I loved, so I decided to give it a crack for myself. I love to travel and wanted something to reflect this, plus I wanted something to brighten up my room, so a world map seemed perfect!

What mediums do you use to create each piece?
I use acrylic paint as it lets me build up colours in different areas and is a bit brighter than watercolours. I also make sure that I always use really good quality canvas so that all of my paintings have a smooth finish and the colours bleed together seamlessly – every painting is different and I love watching the colours mingle.

Do you do custom orders, and can we find you at any upcoming local markets?
I definitely do custom orders! I love a challenge and welcome anyone to contact me with inquiries – Contact me at claire.tincey@student.curtin.edu.au or through my website or Facebook.

I’m always thinking about new designs and have recently started selling prints. I post on my Instagram a lot (@clairetinceydesign)  but love suggestions! I love painting bright, colourful things that remind me of summer – my favourite painting other than the world is my flamingo.

This year I have decided to really put myself out there and get involved with markets – I love going to them, so I thought, ‘Why not become a stall holder!?’ So far I have exhibited at Little Market Place and The Hyde Park Community Fair. I’ve always got my eye open for more markets and events to attend, but will be exhibiting at the Beaufort Street Art Markets on the 1st of May – perfect timing to grab something nice for Mothers Day!


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You’re currently studying Interior Architecture, will you continue painting once you’re qualified ?
I can’t see myself stopping anytime soon! I find painting really relaxing – I get into my little zone (my dining room table – mum hates it), put music on, and lose track of time. I currently study full time and work 4 days a week, so I always make painting a priority. If anything, working full time will (hopefully!) allow me more time to paint, as I can spend weeknights doing that rather than assignments!

What do you find is the biggest challenge with owning your own business?
Time management. Uni, work, and running my own small business take up a lot of my time… and on top of that I love to socialise! So I have to prioritise my time properly –  although some weeks when uni is too hectic and I’ve pulled two all-nighters in a row, I just don’t have time to paint. I always make sure that I spend a little bit of time each day replying to clients and staying up to date with social media though

You’re a very fresh new artist. What have you found to be the best method so far in terms of getting your artwork noticed? 
Social media is amazing! I first started selling my paintings after coming home from a two month holiday to America with only $4 in my bank account. I was lying on my bed looking at my own painting, and thought I would post it on Facebook to see if anyone would be interested in buying one. It got over 1000 likes and my phone died four times during the day from so many people contacting me! Since then, I have created my own Facebook page, website and Instagram, and attend markets regularly. I always ask my clients to send me photos of my paintings in their homes, and sometimes they even share the images with their friends on Facebook or tag me in their Instagram posts. Social media is great, but I really love markets as I get to talk to people and hear what they think about my art – or what they would like to see me paint.

Most memorable challenge you’ve had with a client or stockist?
I was at a market and a girl asked me if I could do a custom painting for her. She wanted me to paint a portrait of her and 3 friends… If I attempted that, they would’ve come out looking like the Teletubbies!

Your favorite quote or mantra
‘I don’t care, I’m never going to see these people again’ – comes in handy when you’re about to do something really embarrassing! 😉

Who do you look up to for inspiration or admire for their business growth?
I love Anya Brock! In fact, both of the Brock sisters [Anya and Marika, a photographer] are very talented. The first art exhibition I ever went to was Anya Brock’s at Moore and Moore and I was obsessed. I love her style and one day (when I have my own house and more than a student budget) I’m buying one of her originals! Her range is huge – from coasters and cushions, to the side of buildings.

What is your advice to Perth women who want to start their own business or transform their hobby into a small business?
What have you got to lose? Start small and see if there is enough interest in your product – if there is, go for gold! If not – market the crap out of it! Once people start noticing your product, you’re bound to gain interest. Use social media and develop your own style and branding – be individual! Oh, and join The Perth Collective  Everyone is so supportive and helpful, and you notice just how many creative ladies there are in Perth. SUPPORT LOCAL!!

What is your vision for your business in 2016?
I just want to keep building my business and have fun, attend more markets and create new designs and products. I think with writing my thesis for uni, I’ll need it as a creative outlet!

Favourite WA coffee I don’t like coffee… but for some strange reason I LOVE espresso martinis!
Favourite WA fashion label Natalie Rolt
Favourite WA homewares Empire for furniture, but for homewares I love what the other Perth creatives are up to – at the moment I want to cover my house with succulents and kokedamas… but I’m a terrible gardener.
Favourite WA bar Bobeche – you get free popcorn!
Favourite WA restaurant I recently went to Young George and fell in love! But I would never pass up Mr Munchies – the sushi salad blows minds.
Favourite WA Instagram account The Boutique Diaries and The Bargain Diaries – love what these girls do with simple, cheap products. If we all do Kmart hacks, we can afford to splurge on local art and homewares.

15% off hand painted originals enter TPC15 

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Edited by The Write Stuff Collective

What is TRAM? We are TRAM.

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“We love the way small businesses are growing at the moment by not actually employing other people or intentionally building ‘big’ businesses, but instead by collaborating with other like-minded small businesses whose morals and ideals work well together, to create a network of ‘business growth’ opportunities by sharing and brainstorming and creating together on one-off projects and concepts. “ TRAM Continue reading

Elle et Lui~Did you know Portuguese shoes in particular are the world’s best kept secret? Discover Why on todays blog post

Elle et Lui opened its doors in Claremont only 4 months ago. Focusing on Portuguese designer shoes, this stunning store will impress you, as will the two women behind it!

Welcome to the TPC Blog Ladies. You’re both from overseas, how did you end up in Perth?
We both came over to study and loved it here so much that just stayed! We were born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe. Alda’s family is all originally from Portugal, whilst Sammy’s family is of Greek and English descent. We have called Australia home for 10 years but do enjoy visiting family and friends in Africa whenever we can. We’re more than just ‘besties’: Sammy married her high school sweetheart, who is also Alda’s brother! We’re family, and to say that we’ve known each other for a long time would be an understatement!

What lead you to opening Elle et Lui Designer Shoes?
Sammy and I are passionate about design and fashion. Our respective backgrounds in Interior Design, Events, and Wedding Styling have led us to greatly appreciate beautiful items that are well made and of great quality. We also both have performing arts backgrounds which allows us to appreciate the drama and decadence of fashion and design. We have always been into fashion, and being girly girls, we especially love shoes and handbags! This is why we decided to bring some of Portugal’s renowned designers to Perth.

We really wanted to create something unique that is not offered anywhere else in Australia. We also felt that it was important to carry quality pieces that are an investment in timelessness and longevity.

We opened our doors in December 2015 and are located on St. Quentin Avenue in Claremont, one of Perth’s premier shopping precincts.

Claremont is an amazing retail hub! How have you found having a store in such a high traffic, high fashion area, rather than just an online boutique?
Claremont is amazing! It is definitely the hub for Perth high end fashion with so many great boutiques around. We love the buzz that the town has- there’s always something going on, be it to do with Art, Fashion, Food or Entertainment!

We love having our store in this area simply because we’re very active with Claremont Town Centre and a lot of their initiatives. We have access to some great local labels that we are looking to collaborate with soon. We’re all about connecting and engaging with not only our clientele, but our fellow business owners in the area.

We’ve found that being personable and taking the time to serve people with care and attention is more valuable to us as a business than just having an online store, which we have also launched this year, giving the Eastern states the opportunity to shop with us as well. In store, people have that tangible experience; they can look closely, touch, feel and try on our collections and find the shoe that fits so to speak!

Where did your business name come from?
Being of European descent, we wanted a name that was European, simple, elegant and had a bit of pizazz.

We chose the name Elle et Lui (pronounced Elle eh Looie), which translates to Hers and His. The name encapsulates us perfectly, because we have something for everyone.

Another reason we chose the name was because European brands carry a certain savoir faire and being in Claremont, which is known for being high end, we wanted to create a brand that was synonymous with the flair of Europe while having the elegance to fit in with what’s already in Claremont.

What are the origins of the labels you carry?
The Portuguese have a very rich history in shoe manufacturing. One of the labels we carry has been around since 1946. Most of our designers have worked in the industry all their lives, having either created their brands from scratch or have continued and improved on their trade through watching and learning from previous generations.

Each designer has their own creative streak that runs through their collections season after season. They are all incredibly passionate about their work and some have won awards for their design techniques.

We are currently stocking the following labels:
* Egidio Alves
* Luis Onofre
* Paulo Brandao
* Carlos Santos
* Armando Silva
* Sir Wolf

How would you describe the style of Elle et Lui?
We would definitely have to say that we embrace colour, we focus on uniqueness and of course, favour high quality design and craftsmanship. We pride ourselves in the knowledge that our clients will be investing in something that is well made, one of a kind, and that will last them a lifetime.

Describe the quality of the leather and design in your collection?
Being that all our collections are designer pieces, it goes without saying that the leathers, embellishments and craftsmanship are all of the highest quality. Portugal is renowned for its meticulous hand crafted goods. Portuguese shoes in particular are the world’s best kept secret. They are number one in shoe manufacturing technology and hence some of the bigger high end fashion houses are now producing their collections in Portugal. Names like Prada, Dolce and Gabanna and Bally are now produced in Portugal just to name a few.

Do either of you have a background in Fashion?
Our backgrounds, as we’ve mentioned have design elements. We have translated our passion and understanding of design into fashion. Alda’s father has owned and operated a shoe factory that was manufacturing Portuguese handcrafted shoes. We have been surrounded by shoes for most of our lives! Alda is also currently completing a stylists course through the Australian College of Professional Styling which she hopes will expand the services at Elle et Lui in the years to come.

Do you both share the business roles?
Sammy and I share a vast amount of the responsibilities. We are both in the store every day and take turns to be out front with our clients, giving the other a chance to catch up on the many behind the scenes bits and pieces, such as the marketing, blogging, buying or financials. That said, we will often fit a client together giving our clients the opportunity to meet us both. Our boutique is our second home now, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!

What do you find is the biggest challenge in owning your own business?
We have found that bringing something new to the fashion market, and making people aware of it, has been the most challenging. Our collections speak for themselves, but it’s just getting that awareness out about who we are and what we do that we have found challenging. We also think because we are so passionate about what we do, that we just want to share this with everyone as quickly as we can!

What is your vision for your business?
We are an exclusive boutique which means that we hold exclusive rights to bring these brands to Australia. We currently only bring in a few sizes of each design so that our clients know they are getting something special and unique that not everyone will have. At the moment, we are only located in Perth, because it’s home and where our heart is. This fact delights our clients no end and they often comment that “it’s nice to have something that the Eastern states don’t yet!” We are aiming to go interstate in the future but for now our commitment is to Perth and making our store and service all it can be for our clients in WA.

mid res

What is your advice to WA Women wanting to start their own business or turning their hobby into a small business?
Don’t talk yourself out of it or put it off! So many women have so many roles and responsibilities to fulfil: wife, mother, business owner, daughter, sister. Sometimes it’s hard to put your dreams first. If it is your passion, them commit to making it as much of a priority as you would anything else. Women deserve to be fulfilled in every aspect of their lives. Go for it with all you would invest in every other aspect of your life!

What is your best moment so far in your business?
So far, we would have to say that Launching in December last year was a big highlight for us- after all the hard work of getting the space we wanted, designing and fitting out our store ourselves, down to displaying the collections. Watching it become a reality was just magical.

Another great moment was being selected and featured by Claremont Town Centre as one of the stores to shop in, in Claremont during their latest lifestyle campaign.

Who do you look up to for inspiration or admire for their Business growth?
Oprah Winfrey- what an amazing, inspiring, hardworking and humble woman!

What is your favourite quote or mantra?
“If you do work you love, and the work fulfils you, the rest will come.” Oprah Winfrey

What is your current favourite key piece from your store?
We are in love with the Navy and Yellow Sandal from designer Egidio Alves- this shoe is so versatile and makes your legs look amazing! It’s definitely a statement piece that works well with capsule wardrobes to enhance your look. They’re just a great pop of colour and are unique!

Favourite WA Coffee– The Academy and Lemon Lane Café
Favourite WA Fashion Label Steph Audino, Natalie Rolt and Aurelio Costarella
Favourite WA Homewares– The Furniture Gallery
Favourite WA Bar– The Flour Factory and Five Bar
Favourite WA Restaurant– Kailis Bros. for seafood, Pinchos for the tapas and Asado for the perfect beef.
Favourite WA Instagram Account– @perthluxury for her versatility in fashion, lifestyle and support of the Perth business community.
@eatsttours for something fun, different and yummy to do in Perth!
@littlemissmonbon for her personal takes on fashion and style
And to save the best for last @theperthcollective for inspiring and supporting all WA based female businesses.

20% off across all our shoe and handbag collections when you use code TPC20 online

SHOP NOW

Use code TPC20 in store until May 8 for additional specials. 

www.elleetluishoes.com.au

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Image Credits~
Photography Project

Tim Angell (shop front image only)
Claremont Town Centre
Jessica Wyld.

Le Petit Cadre ~ Bespoke Name Frames and Blocks Designed by Perth Interior Designer Cha

 

Morning Cha, your designs for children are bright and modern what lead to you establishing Le Petit Cadre?
I’m an Interior Designer by trade and when I became a mother last year, I started seeking pieces for my son’s nursery. Nothing out there inspired me so I started to think about how I could create meaningful pieces that would work with my existing interior and also celebrate this new step in my life. Early motherhood is such a challenging time, it was important for me to stay true to myself and the style of home I had created. I came up with the idea of a modern name frame that would be timeless and was elegant enough to be displayed in any area of the house.

What items will we find in your online store?
My Bespoke Name Frames are my signature product, each one is unique and entirely hand drawn. When I am given a name, I play around with the letters to see how they look best and then sketch it out, then use inks, pencil and acrylic to create my ‘linen style’ or fill in the letters with illustrations according to a chosen theme. My prints are hand lettered, I digitize them but am quite particular about barely editing them, so I spend a lot more time at the drawing board than I do in front of a screen. I also create timber ornaments and letter blocks, I originally just wanted to make some for my son but got quite a few requests so ended up adding them to my range. I am open to taking on new stockist so please email me if you are interested in stocking Le Petit Cadre.

Do you create customised gifts?
Yes, pretty much everything I do is customised. My name frames are popular for births and weddings as they are such a personal and meaningful gift. The letter blocks obviously are all personalised but I also do custom hand lettered quotes. All of my orders are also carefully gift wrapped and can be hand delivered in Perth Metro.

Where did your business name come from?
Le Petit Cadre means ‘The little frame’ in French (to make it easy to find, I use the #thelittleframe) I have a multi- cultural background but I grew up in France and my immediate family still lives there. Although Australia feels more like home than anywhere I have lived before, a part of me is and always will be French.

What do you find is the biggest challenge when owning you own business?
Time management. I have always been a planner and list-writer but remaining focused on my schedule with an active crawler around the house is challenging to say the least. That said, I decided early on to not stress about it: some days I just have to sit on the floor and play with my son. I eventually started to realise that the love I felt in those priceless moments fuelled my creativity and the next day I achieved more that I could ever have ever imagined, so I guess in the end it’s all about life balance.

Your best moment so far in your business?
I recently hand delivered a Bespoke Name Frame to a young mother on behalf of her own mother who lives over East. She invited me into her beautiful home and when she unwrapped the gift, she started crying because she loved it so much and it felt so personal. I got quite emotional myself and felt so honoured to have been a part of that.

Favourite Quote
The harder I work the luckier I get.

Who do you look up to for inspiration or admire for their Business growth?
I’m pretty impressed with The Perth Collective, not only the business growth but also the positive vibe that it conveys!

What is your advice to Perth Women wanting to start their own business or turning their hobby into a small business?
Do a lot of research, write a business plan, be smart about it… but planning isn’t everything. There comes a point where you have to take the leap and give it everything you’ve got. Also remember that it’s so easy to get caught up in your ambition but you must always remember why you started in the first place and stay true to that.

What is your vision for your business in 2016?
I am really inspired by the talent here in Perth. I would like to collaborate with other local businesses this year and create personalised products. I have some ideas but it will all come down to finding the right people to work with.

Favourite WA Coffee Rubra on Carrington (great coffee drive through)
Favourite WA Fashion Label Infamous Friends (my big crush of the moment)
Favourite WA Homewares Out With Audrey (just spectacular pieces)
Favourite WA Bar Mrs Browns In North Freo
Favourite WA Restaurant Chez Pierre in Nedlands
Favourite WA Instagram Account Maiko Nagao

 

20% off all bespoke name frames + free delivery

To redeem visit the website and enter the code THEPERTHCOLLECTIVE
or contact chahigginson@hotmail.com

SHOP HERE 

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