Let me paint the picture here for you. It’s a Wednesday night, I’ve gone to a meet up of women and the room is buzzing. Women are sharing their successes, supporting each other’s faults and networking in a way only a group of like minded bitches can.

The theme of the night is “On Wednesday’s We Wear Pink”. I’ve helped out with the event by designing signage and creating some of the design elements around the event. The cosmos are flowing and the feeling in the room is enough to make this bitch brave. Really brave. Brave enough to walk up to a woman I admired online for what she does and ask her “So when are you going to let me design a dress?”

No sooner had the words escaped my lips that I internally gasped. The few seconds before she answers seem to stretch longer and cause more pain than a visit to the dentist!

“Sure, why not?” She replied, and I am sure it’s just the cosmo’s talking.

She did hear what I said, right? Does she really mean it? This woman has made dresses I have stalked harder than ex boyfriends on Facebook, why is she willing to take a chance on me?

Now I am not a shy person, I have no problem going up to someone and striking up a conversation. I’ve been known to walk into businesses and say “Hi, you need me to fix this, let me know when you are ready”. But for some reason, this felt different. Like it was more important and braver than usual. I had just told an amazing business woman that I wanted to create and design fabrics for her dresses, her brand, her business.

In the months that followed, we met and developed our first collection.

We discovered amongst the business and design talk that we were both foodies, both a little dorky and both passionate about what we do. So over many coffees in cafes, dinners in Melbourne alleyways, and champagne toasts with each milestone, we forged not only a working relationship, but a friendship.

I still remember each milestone. The night we first looked at different collection florals and settled on Australiana florals, was in a restaurant down a laneway and we shared chicken stir fry and delicious rice. The day we developed the colours was in a little café in Kensington, after many coffees and colour tweaks. I even remember the champagne toast we did when we put in our first order of fabric, her biggest order ever (we almost doubled it in the next order, so that was amazing). And the moment we officially launched the collection and we made our first sale, I totally got tears!

Every step of the process was celebrated and we supported each other through the process. After all, this was the first time I had developed fabric prints and this was her first time working so close with a designer. Discovering how to work together was something that was important from day 1.

After the fabric came and the first dresses were made, I was afforded the proud moment of naming my babies. The first was Jasmine (obviously), a dusty Teal covered in eucalyptus and wattle, named after me and my love of teal. The second was a bubbly, bright raspberry colour named Kate, representing my fun flirty side, after my middle name. The third was Florence, (Sam named this one) and she’s been super popular. The last, and the one close to my heart, is the Hannah. Hannah is my best friend, and she has always wanted to wear yellow but struggled to with her fair complexion. Hannah was made for Hannah, to shine as bright as the sunshine she brings to my life.

Since it went on sale, the Flora collection has sold over 200 dresses and we have even had to reorder fabric.

But my most incredible moment that made my heart soar was seeing a beautifully pregnant woman at Canberra Handmade Markets wrap herself in a dress I designed, look at herself in the mirror and say with surprise “I look beautiful”. If I can give that feeling to women who buy these dresses, that feeling that you can be effortlessly beautiful, I will be forever a happy designer.

Our next collection took us across the ocean, all the way to Italy, so we could live La Dolce Vita. Read on here.

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