Spotlight on: Valerie Moreno from Bastille & Sons

It's not everyday that a new brand joins Flaunter and the whole office stops to stare at the images - but that's exactly what happened when Valerie Moreno from Bastille and Sons decided to share her beautiful interiors brand with us. Valerie possesses that enviable French flair (and famous good taste) that has established Bastille and Sons as a firm favourite amongst the Australian media, and today, we learn more about her story...

 

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF?

I am Valerie, the founder and director of Bastille and Sons, a new online boutique offering exclusive and contemporary French designer furniture, lighting and accessories. Every curated product is original and unique rather than mass-produced, created by young French designers and crafted by artisans that have a common passion for quality and attention to detail.

I was born and raised in Toulouse, South West of France, studied (business school and master in market research) and worked in Paris for 12 years, 2 years in London, and few months in Argentina and Brazil before moving to Sydney with 2 very young boys and my husband. I clicked with Australia straight away, especially the life style and the people. We were supposed to stay 3 years but 12 years later we continue to call Sydney home, although, I tend (and need) to travel back to France once a year.

WHAT'S YOUR BACKGROUND & HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY? 

My background is in marketing: I spent 20 years in big companies, from product manager to marketing director on categories of products as diverse as floor cleaning, facial tissues, toothpaste, and vitamins across 3 continents! A couple years ago, I was ready and brave enough to change career and follow my all time passion for design and interior decoration.

Since moving to Australia, I had the strong feeling that the distance between our two culture subsides when it comes to our love of interior design and our desire to create a beautiful home. It was obvious to me that the beautiful French brands I loved when living in Paris would fit really well here. I wanted to introduce them to Australian design lovers, share the brand stories and the know-how behind the products. So 2 years ago, I did the big scary jump, quit my marketing director job, went back to study colour and design for a year and launched Bastille and Sons.

Bastille-and-sons-flaunter
Sicilia Jug and Cups available exclusively at Bastille and Sons

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE?

Owning your own business implies a lot of multi tasking and the good thing is that not one day looks like another! Having said that, I try to maintain a little bit of routine in the morning, so usually it goes like that:

  • 6.30am - wake up and breakfast with my boys
  • 7.30am - clear my emails, check social media and organise/prioritise the day ahead
  • 8.30am - leave for an hour yoga at Humming Puppy (so good!) and a chai with my yoga buddy
  • 10.30am - the multi tasking starts: I could be at the warehouse preparing products for shipping, working on a photo shoot, meeting with journalists, working on a strategy for new projects launch, looking for new designers, meeting with my accountant, talking with clients on the phone or via email...
  • I usually have a break between 6.30 and 9pm to spend time with the family and twice a week or so I will be back on the phone with France in the evening as it is the part of the day we cross paths.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS? 

Apart from some technical challenges like freight and logistic (but you learn quickly!) I would say my biggest challenge is to stay focused daily, and be rock solid when facing obstacles. There are ups and downs, and when you start your own business it can be a bit lonely and isolating – I was used to being surrounded by lots of people and part of big teams in my previous life. Now when I feel lonely, I get out quickly, meet with likewise minds, other entrepreneurs, designers and friends to bounce around ideas, find solutions and re-focus!

ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE STARTING OUT IN THE INDUSTRY?

I am learning every day (and loving it!) but so far my advice would be:  take risks because when you throw yourself in the deep end you have no choice but make it work. Follow your intuition and stay focused, remain patient and have fun... (is that too much advice?!?)

Sarah-Lavoine Flaunter
Maison Sarah Lavoine, exclusively available at Bastille and Sons

WHAT ARE THE NEXT BIG THINGS ON THE HORIZON FOR BASTILLE & SONS? 

Our big exciting news is that we have just launched the Maison Sarah Lavoine collection in Australia, exclusive to Bastille and Sons. Maison Sarah Lavoine range of furniture, soft furnishings, tableware and lighting is now available here for the very first time. The collection is classic and elegant with a palette of dense colours that often enhances the ubiquitous black and white. Plush, luxurious textures like velvet, wood and brass create sophisticated but always welcoming decor. We are so excited to introduce you to her range! Check it out on Flaunter!

WHERE DO YOU DRAW YOUR CREATIVE INSPIRATION FROM? 

My inspiration comes from everywhere - People (I really enjoy observing and learning from how people live) and travel, but mostly arts: any form of arts. I like analogies and being exposed to new things. Right now, I am fascinated by Loris Greaud installations, Bill Viola captivating video installations and Olafur Eliasson's work with lights.

From a design perspective, I love how Lecorbusier changed the course of 20th century architecture, India Mahdavi and Sarah Lavoine for their love and work with colour, Matthieu Lehanneur's inventive spirit and Joseph Dirand for elegant interiors.

WHAT IS YOUR ALL-TIME FAVOURITE PIECE OF FURNITURE OR LIGHTING? 

The list is endless…I'm always lusting after pieces of furniture or accessories for the house. Now that I've finally ticked off two favourites - a Le Deun light and an Honore Deco velvet Croisette chair - I am dreaming about a Charlotte Perriand chair or two, a chandelier from Magic Circus Editions, few piece of arts for my walls, and anything Isabel Marant, always. I am not too attached to objects and I quite enjoy rotations!

Bastille and Sons Favourite interiors
Lust list: Honore Deco Velvet Croisette chair, Charlotte Perriand chairs, Magic Circus Editions chandelier & Le Deun light

WHAT ROLE DOES FLAUNTER PLAY IN YOUR LIFE? 

Flaunter came as a saviour to me: I knew too well the benefits of PR but couldn’t afford the services of a PR agency. Flaunter makes my life organised and easy, all the important people have access to my images and information. I can communicate and inform about novelties in a professional and time effective manner and most importantly, I can track results and build on the insights provided. The site is super user-friendly!

The other big plus is that Flaunter is more than a website, there is a team of lovely and very professional humans happy to help and support you along the way.

WHAT'S BEEN THE BIGGEST 'WIN' SINCE COMING ONTO FLAUNTER?

Being able to reach a broader range of media, especially weekly and daily ones. Being featured twice in a month in the Saturday SMH (Good weekend and Spectrum) made me be very proud! But I am sure there will more wins to come as I'm still exploring everything Flaunter has to offer…

 

Valerie Moreno Bastille & Sons

Find and follow Bastille and Sons on Instagram and their Website.

Media can find and download all hi-res images from Bastille and Sons here.

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Tory Archbold TORSTAR PR

5 minutes with Tory Archbold from TORSTAR

Tory Archbold is one busy lady - not surprising, given that she is the CEO and Founder of TORSTAR, a global brand communication’s agency based in Sydney managing some of the world's top consumer brands for the past 16 years. Lucky for us, Tory was able to take 5 to share her thoughts on the PR industry and how TORSTAR uses Flaunter to streamline their admin processes.

 

DESCRIBE TORSTAR IN ONE SENTENCE

We create and build retail brands through strategic communication.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

The opportunity to form strategic partnerships that deliver success for global brands. These partnerships allow us daily interaction with those who are at the top of their game, the risk-takers and disruptors who know that without change and the best possible customer experience a brand will stagnate.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF YOUR JOB?

Timezones – you need to be game on 24/7.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE TRYING TO DO WHAT YOU DO? 

Always start your day with a focused approach and engage those who surround you. Success is built on strategic vision, unfaltering passion and team work.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN THE PEOPLE YOU HIRE? 

Passion, integrity, a willingness to learn and adapt. We work at a very fast, dedicated pace yet we all enjoy a work life balance and proud of what we achieve together as a team.

WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR SOMEONE LOOKING TO BREAK INTO THE INDUSTRY? 

Start at the bottom, build a strong foundation so that you have the ability to climb to the top. Rome was not built in a day.

HOW HAS TORSTAR CHANGED SINCE YOU FIRST STARTED?

As our client base grew to represent global brands in multiple countries our services and thinking evolved - we are a strategic partner to HQ operations who often don’t have localised teams performing marketing functions. We deliver reach, engagement, brand awareness and sales.

TORSTAR PR

HOW DOES PR DIFFER IN AUSTRALIA COMPARED TO OVERSEAS?

PR will always be a global function – the real difference comes from those who you partner with and their ability to be agile to ensure brand success.

WHO'S THE MOST INTERESTING PERSON YOU"VE EVER MET?

Ken Downing, Senior Vice President and Fashion Director, Neiman Marcus. We worked together for two years when Neiman Marcus was focused on their Australian customer base. He is a walking encyclopaedia of the fashion industry.

HOW DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER FLAUNTER & HOW DID IT CHANGE YOUR BUSINESS MODEL? 

It was highly recommended as an alternate to Fashion GPS from another agency founder. Flaunter has streamlined our internal systems and allowed us to cut down on administration hours giving more time back to the team to invest in strategic pitching.

HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE FLAUNTER TO YOUR CLIENTS?

A digital platform that delivers results.

 

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Find out more about TORSTAR via their website or follow them on Instagram or Linkedin

Media can find and download TORSTAR's brand images via Mulberry, CremorlabFreezeframeMissguidedPolice Eyewear & Sukin.

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6 brands we can't wait to visit at Life Instyle

Soak Society Life Instyle Flaunter

THE BRAND

Our luxe bath products are for the modern woman who knows that me-time is essential for success. All Natural, Vegan & Cruelty Free Accredited, Made in Australia.

WHAT MAKES SOAK SOCIETY STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD?

Our new BathDew is launching, it's an organic bubble bath with a vegan collagen (Larch Tree extract) and magnesium! This will be out mid-August in stores and online. We are also about to launch into QT Sydney, bathroom amenities in every room.

What we do differently is really great customer service (I pride myself on it) and also creating the first organic bubble bath in Australia that is targeted at women instead of babies/children. That I can find anyway!

WHAT’S TRENDING IN BEAUTY?

Self-care and 'wellness' in general is still a trend that is gaining more traction (especially big brands catching on). Eg. #selfcaresunday and #metime as trends. I still think our Rose soak is trending too but I might be wrong?! Also our new bubble bath is shimmery, I created that way so it would look great in photos and is on trend. Ie. Frank Body shimmer scrub and the highlighter makeup trend!

See more from Soak Society: Instagram // Website // Content

Scoops Design Life Instyle Flaunter THE BRAND

Graphic driven jewellery focussing on colours, pattern and design.

WHAT MAKES SCOOPS DESIGN STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD?

Scoops Design is made in Surry Hills, Sydney and appeals to ladies who love interesting, unique jewellery pieces that are informed by avant-garde design.

WHAT’S TRENDING IN ACCESSORIES?

The biggest emerging trends are bold statement earrings and 'Post Memphis' design style. My customers are loving wooden jewellery that is made from recycled plywood with an emphasis on strong colours - hot pink, cyan, bright yellow, green and black.

See more from Scoops Design: Instagram // Website // Content

Casa E Cucina Life Instyle Flaunter THE BRAND

Casa e Cucina is proud to be the exclusive distributor for Zafferano handmade glass and dinnerware in Australia and New Zealand, bringing our love of Italy and great Italian design into your hearts and homes.

WHAT MAKES CASA E CUCINA STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD

We are making Zafferano handmade glass and tableware available in this part of the world for the very first time. The Esperienze wine glass is world famous and used by Vin Italy and other leading wine authorities for its aesthetic appeal and technical excellence. The coloured glass collections are unique in their colours and designs, reminiscent of vintage Murano styles but with a modern interpretation. We are seeking to develop the brand in hospitality.

WHAT’S TRENDING IN INTERIORS

Customers love the retro/vintage colours of the coloured glass tumblers to finish their table settings with a distinctive mise en place that allows them to express their personality and style. This trend is being led by hospitality… dining out has become much more than what we eat or drink it is about the whole experience. Zafferano has been working with hospitality for over 15 years researching and developing new products that lead the industry in Europe in style and innovation. We are starting to see interest here as they follow the lead from Europe. Great food has to be seen on beautiful dinnerware and great wine has to be enjoyed in beautiful glasses.

The other trend seen in all the magazines is handmade dinnerware – especially black. The Zafferano MAGMA range is handmade in Portugal and has a very organic matt black look and feel.

See more from Casa e Cucina: Instagram // Website // Content

Theseeke Life Instyle FlaunterTHE BRAND

Theseeke uses natural plant based ingredients to create simple, clean skincare. All of our products are made in small handcrafted batches in Sydney Australia.

WHAT MAKES THESEEKE STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD

We are continually researching new ingredients to provide the most cutting edge plant based active ingredients as well as those natural ingredients that are tried and true. Our products are vegan, uncomplicated - plus our beautiful minimalist packaging look chic in any bathroom.

WHAT’S TRENDING IN BEAUTY

The continuing transition of consumers craving organic, sustainable beauty that delivers results. More and more people are realising that a healthy lifestyle is not complete without a ‘green’ beauty bag.

See more from Theseeke: Instagram // Website // Content

Stitch & Hide Life Instyle FlaunterTHE BRAND

Accessorising your world with handmade, vegetable tanned leather goods, using the finest premium raw materials combined with skilled craftsmanship.

WHAT MAKES STITCH & HIDE STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD?

We believe it’s the leather we use along with the simplicity of our designs. Our designs are timeless, classic, stylish and have longevity. We also go to great lengths to ensure our products are made with highest respect for the makers, environment and our beloved customers. All our products are fair trade, handmade, vegetable tanned, eco-friendly and sustainable.

We have some very exciting releases coming up including our new washed leather collection, new spring collection plus a few new additional pieces that will expand the range…. but we cannot reveal just yet - you’ll have to wait and see!

 WHAT’S TRENDING IN ACCESSORIES?

We are loving the exploration of new colours, textures and finishes in leather products and are expecting 2018 to bring even more variety. Washed leather has been one of the big trends of this year and we are loving it! Using premium quality veg-tanned leather, our washed leather gives off that uniquely ‘worn’ look and has incredible soft ‘hand feel’.  We’ve also had amazing early feedback on the upcoming release of our Spring designs particularly on our new back pack and hip bag!

See more from Stitch & Hide: Instagram // Website // Content

dog&boy Life Instyle FlaunterTHE BRAND

Beautiful scarves for every journey, every day.

WHAT MAKES DOG&BOY STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD?

dog&boy is about creating timeless elegance.  When I started to design for dog&boy, I didn’t just want to ‘make scarves’.  For me personally, whenever I had bought a scarf, it was because I had connected with it somehow beyond just colour or design; it made me feel good. I wanted to create this same experience, a connection, for the customer, of something simple yet beautiful to their everyday and make them feel good.  Every scarf design is unique, and every design tells a story of simple moments of joy or beauty in time that we so often overlook with our busy lives.

WHAT’S TRENDING IN FASHION?

Traditionally part of the winter wardrobe, scarves are stepping out becoming more fashion accessory than practical function.  

Our new kerchief size this season, is a 70cm x 70cm square in gorgeous cotton-silk is perfect this spring-summer styled ubiquitously in classic nonchalant French sophistication - around the neck with a collared shirt; wrapped around the wrist for something a little different, or on those hot summer beach days it is the perfect headband. 

See more from dog&boy: Instagram // Website // Content

 

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Banner Image: Andrew Myers

 


Tradeshow tips from Life Instyle pro, Sonya Michele

If you had told me 2 years ago I’d be preparing for my 3rd retail tradeshow, I’d have laughed my head off after telling you what a totally outrageous idea it was.

But as I type this, I am indeed preparing to exhibit at Life InStyle Melbourne in August - Australia’s premier boutique lifestyle tradeshow – a whole lot more learned, and hopefully a little wiser than when I started this journey 2 years ago.

I was delighted when the team at Life InStyle asked me to share some pearls of wisdom as part of an experienced exhibitor panel at Life InStyle’s Training Wheels event recently - a business education event for new wholesale businesses and exhibitors to Life InStyle.

Being accepted into a tradeshow like Life InStyle is a big deal. It is a curated event with a specific targeted audience and if you’re in, then they think you’ve got something special. You need to make sure you maximise every opportunity.

So if you’re embarking on your journey into the world of wholesale tradeshows, or just thinking about it, here's some advice gained from my experiences exhibiting over the last 2 years...

LOOK BEYOND THE SALE

Many new exhibitors have asked me what sort of target to set for sales at their first tradeshow.  My simple advice, don’t set any.  
Of course, you should at least cover your costs of participating in the tradeshow, but lose the mindset that you will be an apparent, ‘overnight success’ like the stories you read about.  In reality, these stories are often an anomaly and there are a lot of other factors at play.

As a new brand to a tradeshow, exhibiting is not about how many sales in your first exhibition, it is about showing and showcasing your brand and what it stands for; it is brand awareness.  It’s about shouting to the world ‘HEY I’M HERE AND I’VE GOT AN AWESOME STORY TO TELL!’.

THE 3 P's - PREPARATION, PREPARATION, PREPARATION

But before you start shouting to the world you’re at the tradeshow, you need to get them excited with a whisper.  You need to start generating some interest.

The advantage you have of being a new exhibitor is that retailers love whatever the newest thing is.  If you are new to market, take advantage of it and tell the world where and when you’ll be exhibiting.

Don’t assume that you can turn up to the tradeshow put out some sample stock, some gorgeous business cards and a few order forms and expect to be fighting off the wholesalers wanting to place orders.  Yes, you have invested to exhibit at the tradeshow, but do not mistake, the trade show organiser is a facilitator and it is not their responsibility to get wholesalers to your stand.

That’s your job.  

  • Media pitches about new collections or product releases - the team at Flaunter love spreading the news. Give them something to talk about.
  • Invest in some advertising through the tradeshow organiser.  They have a huge reach through social and traditional media.  Pitch them an idea.
  • Call/email current/past stockists; past lead lists; target lists. Talk to them all.  
  • Announcement in email signature
  • Selling to retailers is very different than selling to consumers.  Their motivations are quite different.  Communicate with this in mind.

Hopefully, the reason you launched your business is to make some money, so make sure your backend processes support this and they are in place well before the tradeshow.

Retailers are going to want to know 2 key things – how much and when can they get it.  

Be clear on your pricing and ensure you have calculated it to exclude/include GST, freight or any other factors.  Tradeshows are not the time and place for negotiating or changing pricing.

If you produce after the tradeshow, have your process sorted so you know when you will be receiving stock and you can tell this to the retailers.  Be sure to build some buffers in – inevitably things do happen!

BE ADAPTABLE

Every season, every collection.  And most importantly, constantly seek feedback.

The retail industry is ever changing, and each tradeshow is different.   That doesn’t mean you change your product every collection.  It means you constantly refine it. Your product offering should be evolutionary.

When I did my first show, I was the epitome of a newbie exhibitor; idealistic, full of determination and energy, but after my first day I knew I had to change my mindset. Rather than trying to ‘sell’ retailers my product.  I started asking retailers about their store and customers.  Or if they told me, ’It’s lovely, but not for my store.’, I’d immediately ask, ‘Tell me why?’.  Retailers love to talk about their store and customers.  You will gain tremendous insight from this simple question.

I wrote enough business at my first tradeshow to cover my costs, but the feedback I gained was so much more valuable.

And finally…..

HAVE FUN

Tradeshows are hard work, but they are fun.  Connect with other exhibitors.  They are a wealth of information not to mention the amazing support you will receive.

And most importantly, be kind to yourself.  Small business is a journey; it’s not a race to the end.

dog&boy (@dogandboydesigns) • Instagram photos and videos

Sonya Michele is the founder of dog&boy, creating limited edition oversized scarves inspired by the simple beauty of everyday.

Follow Sonya on Instagram and shop the collection here.

Discover and download dog&boy images on Flaunter here.

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Images: David Grr & dog&boy stockist, The Resort Store

 

 


Trend watch: Earth tones in fashion & interiors

Trend: EARTH TONES

First Spotted: From a huge number of interiors designers at Salone del Mobile Milan.  The colour palette was also embraced by several fashion labels including Kenzo, Ulyana Sergeenko & Fendi at Paris Couture Week Fall 18

Where is it trending? Across fashion and interiors

The colours: The full spectrum of browns - dark chocolate/umber to terracotta/dirty blonde to sandy beige - you’ll also want to consult your Dulux chart for sienna, russet and ochre.

 

Designers at this year’s Salone del Mobile Milan and Fall Paris Couture Week alike are embracing colours of the earth - from all parts of the globe.

This palette is somehow at once bold and subtle; the dark umber tones of rainforest soil, and burnt sienna of the Australian outback complimented with the fresh beige of a tropical beach.  Here’s how designers are making the most of this palette right now:

HIGHLIGHT WITH GREEN

Brown and green should always be seen ; ) In the world of interiors, our love affair with indoor greenery shows no signs of slowing anytime soon, adding a refreshing element to earth toned decor. In fashion, beige and tans are anchored by forest green, creating a polished and warm palette.

Highlight with Green

Clockwise from left: Albus Lumen, Stitch & Hide, Koskela Homewares, Worktones, Macgraw, Melbourne Table CompanyYousef Akbar, Handkrafted 

 

IT’S ALL ABOUT TEXTURE

When dealing in earth tones, texture is key. Create a striking look by layering assorted textures to grab attention and celebrate these oft' underrated hues.

Texture

Clockwise from left: Meredith Bullen, Beija Floor Tiles, Kate Sylvester, Adairs, Fossil, West Elm, Sportsgirl, Casa e Cucina

 

INSPIRED BY NATURE

Look for interesting forms that give a nod toward Mother Nature, think branches, cacti, desert and leaves. Designers are bold and playful with their use of this palette -  the beauty of brown is in its unwavering sophistication no matter how many shades you mix.

Inspired by Nature

Clockwise from left: Handkrafted, Victoria Bliss, Project 82, Freedom, Mayamiko, Pottery BarnWest Elm, Marimekko

 

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Calling all media: Discover and download more earthy goodness in our curated trend mood board.

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Banner image: Italian Bark


Mother+Joey x Flaunter

Spotlight on: Peta & Rowena from Mother + Joey

Meet Australia's first fashion label dedicated to twinning. Creating outfits for mothers, sons and daughters, mother + joey redefine the concept of "matchy matchy" - making it polished, modern and decidedly cool.  We chat to Peta, one-half of the design duo based in the Hunter Valley, to find out about how the brand started and what the future holds in store.

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT WHO YOU ARE & WHAT YOU DO?

Our designs are timeless, our style is forever. Making clothes for mothers, sons, daughters and soon, fathers - we only use the finest linens and natural cottons in colours true to our country’s landscape.

Hand-crafted in Australia, designed in our Hunter Valley workshop, we are proudly part of the minority who are making clothes onshore, supporting the ‘slow fashion’ movement and keeping the traditional skills of pattern designing, dressmaking and high-quality tailoring alive.

WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND? HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY? 

We are not from a fashion background and have part time jobs with 5 kids aged 5 and under between us.

Rowena is a Registered Nurse, with an eye for design and strengths in brand development. Peta is a marketing specialist, can sew, and looks after business operations like production but also stakeholder management and marketing.

We literally had a chat over the fence about 12 months ago about starting a fashion label dedicated to family fashion after we realised no one was doing it in Australia. A member of Peta's family was in the industry and made clothes in Sydney, she was kind enough to pass on her little book of contacts, which gave us the start in the production process. After 9 months of planning, testing and organising the business essentials, we had a product to launch.

Spotlight on Mother & Joey

WHAT HAS CHANGED FOR YOU GUYS THIS YEAR & WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO? 

We have refined our business model after learning what works best with a season behind us, and have started ramping up our marketing activities and profile building with the media and other stakeholders within Australian industry.

Next is to take our Australian brand global and create a reputation. mother+joey is determined to slow down fast fashion, where it’s becoming more common to ask the question “who made my clothes?” as part of The Slow Fashion Revolution.

We hope our fashion label becomes recognised for its genuine roots and ethical principles. We hope to rule the world with 'slow' family fashion. As Vivienne Westwood said, “Buy less, choose well, make it last.

For the new season ahead, we are launching some new lines, which cater for Dads! Also a very exciting new collaboration with fellow Australian designer of fabric and wallpaper, Kate Swinson of Native Swinson. It’s called ‘mother native’ and will be available this coming spring.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR AVERAGE DAY? DOES IT EXIST FOR YOU? 

Ha, no way does it! Because of our children being so little, nothing is the same with them around. Our work meetings are usually play-dates with some element of business and a zillion coffees thrown in.

When in production though, our day would start with a team briefing with our production manager, a meeting with the pattern grader, a visit to our fabric wholesaler and fittings to make sure the samples are coming together as planned. On another day we might have a photo shoot in the city’s studio or in a cool location, sponsor a fashion or industry event with some stock on display, a meeting with a personal stylist or simply be in the workshop packaging up orders with love and a heart-felt note.

IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT... CAN YOU SHARE A QUICK 'THIS WILL FOREVER CHANGE YOUR WORKDAY' TIP? 

Yep! Outsource the things you can’t do or just don’t enjoy! Engage a specialist to cover the essentials that you will spend hours cringing about (that just isn't worth it!). Then you can focus on ‘your genius zone’ or the reason you started the project to begin with.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS?

Getting started without a lot of capital. Although we have managed to generate a lot of positive publicity for no cost. This has been pivotal to creating a brand, which is now established so quickly.

Mother+Joey

HOW HAS THE COMPANY CHANGED SINCE YOU STARTED? 

It’s still we two as business partners at the top, but we now have an amazing team of specialists we use to create what you see and we are so proud of what we have managed to achieve considering we weren’t experts in the fashion industry. Experience overall, and time in seat is hands down the most crucial thing. Good or bad, you just keep learning and growing.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST 'WIN' SINCE LAUNCHING? 

It would have to be entering and winning the Lexus x Collective Hub Start Up Package. We have been fortunate enough to have mentoring by magazine Editor and Founder, Lisa Messenger, use of a brand new Lexus car and fuel for three months plus a huge amount of advertising, all worth $50,000. That changed our course big time, as you can imagine as a little start-up!

WHAT'S THE BEST FASHION PURCHASE YOU'VE EVER MADE? 

We would both have to say our RM Williams boots. They last forever and we style them with all of our designs.

IF SOMEONE COULD ONLY BUY ONE NEW ACCESSORY NEXT SEASON, WHAT SHOULD IT BE & WHY?

The linen earrings that match our clothing. They are handmade by another small business mum in our signature custom fabrics.

 

Mother+Joey

Find and follow Mother + Joey on Instagram and their Website.

Media can discover and download all hi-res images from Mother + Joey here.

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Part Two: How to measure PR // Rate & calculate

Whether it’s traditional media (TV, radio, newspapers), digital media (websites, blogs) or social media coverage that mentions, features or tags your brand, the big question we hear most in the PR world is – how do I know it’s working?

In this two-part post, we look at how to value PR, how to know what’s really going to work, and what to look for to see if it’s working. Part One covered how we currently value PR, and how to know if a piece of PR is going to work for your brand.

This instalment covers how you can rate PR coverage to see if it’s hitting the mark, and a more accurate way to measure the impacts on your business.

 

RATE YOUR PR COVERAGE

It’s generally agreed that you need to take two things into consideration when measuring the outputs of your PR campaigns:

1. Reach - How many people saw it? (circulation, readership, unique views, followers)

2. Appropriateness - How good was it really?

Appropriateness means getting real about:

  • Whether the media outlet is on brand
  • Will it be read by your target audience
  • What is the tone of the piece? Good, bad, luxe, budget – is it a fit?
  • How much of this piece is actually about your brand
  • How visible is it?
  • How much of your key message (your WHAT) was included
  • Did it include a call to action?  

A really simple way to do this is to add a number 1-5 next to each of these – 1 being the lowest/least value and 5 the highest/most value, and adding them up and dividing by 7 to get an average. This is your appropriateness score for this piece of editorial.

Looking at the figures for reach and appropriateness can tell you whether the PR is pointing people in the right direction and how many of them.

You can now rate every piece of traditional, digital and social press for reach and appropriateness, look at averages per month and season, and see directly if your PR is hitting the mark.

 

I CAN'T SEE SAKES SPIKE? HOW DO I KNOW PR IS WORKING?

If you want to see a PR person wince, ask them to create a strategy that will directly drive sales. No PR can guarantee this, and if they do – RUN.   

Can PR help to drive sales? Absolutely. But of course, it’s not as simple as that!

Here’s what PR CAN do:

  • Drive awareness of your brand and product offering
  • Increase knowledge and share your key messages
  • Create preference towards your brand and elevate positioning
  • Generate action amongst your target audience – lead generation, increase customer loyalty, and establish, protect and grow market share 

If you were solely looking for spikes in sales, you wouldn’t see how your PR is effectively creating an environment for your business to flourish now and in future.

 

MEASURE YOUR OUTCOMES

So here are the outcomes that you CAN and SHOULD measure during a PR campaign –

  • Website traffic – can you see spikes in your traffic following specific placements or an increase after a period of PR?
  • Lead generation – a well-executed campaign can generate sales leads, but it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly if it was just one piece of coverage that triggered the sale – more likely it’s a much more complicated journey to making the decision from awareness, to the right attitude, to the decision to purchase now
  • Social media following – rises or dips in your following can show changing awareness and attitude towards your brand (which can be a result of PR in conjunction with your content and publishing schedule)
  • Social media mentions – often increase with well-executed PR, but they can also increase during times of controversy – so this measurement needs to be combined with appropriateness. Use services like Meltwater to measure social mentions.
  • Market surveys – PR related questions included in your market research and surveys will help you understand if your target audience is seeing placements and if they are beneficial, neutral, or detrimental to your brand

 

THE WRAP UP

While measurable results are incredibly important, there are so many more ways your PR is adding value to your business.

Your PR is building your brand identity, keeping your competitors out of the spotlight, and forming valuable relationships and attitudes towards your brand that will have lasting impacts on your future success.

By analysing the results of your PR efforts for reach and appropriateness, and monitoring the outcomes within your business, you'll be much closer to seeing the true value and best of all - able to laser-focus your communications - like a boss!

 

Missed Part One? Read it here.

//

 

Words by Adriana Glass – Founder of Talk Division, a consultancy specialising in strategic PR, media and communications for lifestyle, fashion and wellbeing brands. 

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Banner image: Lucia Giacani for Vogue Italia


The PR puzzle

Part One: How to measure PR // Solve your PR puzzle

Whether it’s traditional media (TV, radio, newspapers), digital media (websites, blogs) and social media coverage that mentions, features or tags your brand, the big question we hear most in the PR world is – how do I know it’s working?

In this series, we look at how to value PR, how to know what’s really going to work, and what to look for to see if it’s working. Part One covers how we currently value PR, and how to know if a piece of PR is really going to work for your brand.

 

HOW DO WE CURRENTLY VALUE PR? 

So many old-school techniques - like measuring up column inches (we actually used to get a ruler out!), to finding out how much the article would cost if you were advertising (Advertising Value Equivalent or AVE) – just won’t tell you the whole story:

  • What if an article is negative? Is a $5,000 page in a magazine then worth -$5,000? Obviously not – the impact on your business could be far more devastating.
  • What if the brand is not just about you, but also 4 of your competitors? Would the value be one-quarter of a page? Probably not, especially if you come out looking better (or worse)
  • What about social media? There’s no agreed way to value social media posts?

So whilst many agencies and PRs are still using the AVE or similar methods, it’s also widely agreed that it’s not actually reflecting the true value of PR.

 

SO, HOW CAN WE MEASURE IF PR IS EFFECTIVE? 

A group of PRs from around the globe met to discuss exactly this question. Essentially these global PR experts all agreed on one thing when it comes to measuring PR – you don’t HAVE to AVE.*

It’s tempting if we want to measure the return on investment - we spent $$ on PR, so what did we get back for it? But for the reasons we outlined above, you’re only getting part of the picture. Here’s the new way forward.

 

GET CLEAR, REALLY CLEAR. 

Before you start, you need to get specific about what you want your PR to do and set concrete goals you can benchmark your success against.

Seriously, write the answers down to these 3 questions:

1. WHO are you trying to reach, with WHAT messages?
Who exactly are your customers? What should they see, hear, read, know about the brand that they don’t know already?

2. WHAT do you want them to UNDERSTAND?
What do they know and believe now? What should they believe and feel?

3. WHAT do you want them to DO as a result of your communications? 
This is key and missing from a lot of strategies. Get specific with the results you want in your business – HOW MUCH of WHAT and BY WHEN?

 

These are the goalposts for your PR. Every single result in your PR can now be measured against how effectively they contribute to these goals.

Stay tuned for Part Two of how to measure PR, where we look at how you can evaluate coverage as it appears to see what impact it might have for your PR.

 

* Footnote: They agreed on a set of principles called the Barcelona Principles (Ketchum Global Research and Analytics “The Principles of PR Measurement”).

 

//

 

Words by Adriana Glass - Founder of Talk Division, a consultancy specialising in strategic PR, media and communications for lifestyle, fashion and wellbeing brands. 

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Banner image: Lucia Giacani for Vogue Italia


Spotlight on: Marlen Wolff from Stitch & Hide

HI MARLEN! TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF & WHAT YOU DO :) 

Hi!  I’m Marlen Wolff and I’m the Creative & Marketing Manager at Stitch & Hide. I am originally from Germany and moved to Australia 5 years ago. I’m very lucky to call Byron Bay my home. I love everything about Byron Bay – the weather, the beaches, the food, the people, and of course my job!

WHAT'S YOUR BACKGROUND & HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY? 

Design and creativity have always been part of my life. When I was young, my mother would help to create and design clothes I envisioned. She would always find me drawing and scribbling away. It’s passion of mine that I’m lucky to now have turned into a career.

I studied graphic design in Europe and I worked for several years with an international fashion company prior to coming to Australia and working for Stitch & Hide.

CAN YOU TELL US 'WHO' STITCH & HIDE IS AS A BRAND & INTRODUCE US TO THE TEAM? 

Stitch & Hide blends the cultures and lifestyles of both Australia and Southern California... from Byron Bay to LA. The natural beauty of these two places is reflected in our rugged, yet classically styled products. The designs are everlasting and enduring. Our product line for men and women includes a full collection of beautifully crafted wallets, belts, card holders, clutches, bags and belts. 

Made from the finest quality leathers by the hands of skilled craftsmen, the treatments implemented in creating our products are natural processes, using time-honoured techniques and formulas that were developed by ancient and traditional methods. Our leather is prepared using the vegetable tanning process which produces only the finest and most luxurious products. 

The earth was here before us, not the other way around, so it comes naturally to us to run our business according to industries best practices and with great respect for both the environment and people. We take responsibility for our part in nature’s cycles and will continually seek for new ways to increase our knowledge and improve the sustainability of our processes. We practice fair trade with a goal to maintaining long-term relationships based on solidarity, trust and mutual respect that contribute to the promotion and growth of fair trade.

Stitch & Hide Australian HQ comprises of a small team of four. Working with me in Byron Bay - Lauren: Sales & Operations Manager, Hilary: Admin & Operations Assistant and Grace: Social Media & Warehouse Assistant. We are a very small but passionate team who enjoys coming to work every day. We also have parts of our team based in LA and India. We are in contact daily and work really closely together as a team.

Flaunter x Stitch & Hide

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE (IF IT EXISTS!). HAS IT CHANGED SINCE STARTING STITCH & HIDE? 

My role is pretty varied and it depends on how much workload there is per day. I juggle many tasks at the one time (like most people) – ranging from graphic design, to product research, product design, managing production, planning and organisation of photoshoots, stock management and daily admin tasks. Even when I leave the office I’m always contemplating new styles and designs! That’s what I love about my job – the variety. 

My role has definitely changed since I first started at Stitch & Hide. I started off doing only graphic design but over the years I have moved into the marketing and production side. I love that I have been able to grow within the company and continue expanding my knowledge and experience. I’m always learning something new!

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS?

We produce four releases per year plus two limited edition releases per year so this alone keeps me quite busy with all that it entails. It’s a constant juggle to process, coordinate and balance our new collections and keeping up with the everyday workload. There never seems to be enough time! But it sure does make the days go quicker. Time management is key!

WHAT'S BEEN YOUR BIGGEST 'WIN' SINCE LAUNCHING? 

The best reward is seeing the products we design and produce sitting on the shelves in our much-loved stockists' stores across the globe. We wouldn’t be here without them. Plus, we are always getting lovely feedback from our end customers so this makes us happy.

I love that we are able to continue to grow the company and expand the range. Introducing our larger handbags last November has been an exciting and positive development for the Stitch & Hide brand. The release of our bags has given us a broader reach in the marketplace.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE STARTING OUT IN THE INDUSTRY? 

Balance is the key. If things seem impossible and there is a lot to do and I don’t know where to start, I like to go for a walk to clear my mind. This helps me to renew my energy and thoughts, collect myself, breathe and refocus. And of course, chocolate always helps me get through a busy day ;)

Flaunter x Stitch & Hide

WHAT'S ON THE HORIZON FOR YOUR BRAND? 

We have just launched a new line in washed leather which myself and the team are really excited about.  Our washed leather collection gives off that uniquely ‘worn’ look and has incredible soft 'hand feel'. The collection is a little different from our previous designs but that is what we love about it. This range is edgy yet timeless and includes a style to suit everyone’s taste and occasion. You must check it out!

IF SOMEONE COULD ONLY BUY ONE NEW ACCESSORY NEXT SEASON, WHAT SHOULD IT BE & WHY? 

For the girls, definitely the Cassie clutch! Cassie is the perfect all-rounder – wear it casual or dress up for an evening out. The hardest decision is which colour! I currently have 5 and my collection and its growing! For the men out there, our new Casper wallet is a winner! It’s a funky three-fold wallet that can fit everything and comes in four awesome colours.

NOW, SOME FOR US :)  WHAT ROLE DOES FLAUNTER PLAY IN YOUR DAY TO DAY LIFE? 

Stitch & Hide is 4 years young, so being a relatively new company in the world of fashion and accessories, Flaunter has been a great platform for us to connect with a wide variety of media agents. This platform has allowed us to expand our brand awareness and given us more exposure to well-connected people in an influential industry. Stitch & Hide is in a very exciting growth phase so any additional support we can receive from platforms such as this is a real bonus and we are very grateful. 

WHAT'S THE MAIN PROBLEM FLAUNTER SOLVES FOR YOU? 

Media access and awareness. Simply by listing our latest product shots and campaign images, we are immediately reaching a large media audience and they can access us!

 

Marlen from Stitch & Hide

Find and follow Stitch & Hide on Instagram and their Website.

Media can find and download all hi-res images from Stitch & Hide here.

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10 minutes with Nikita Fursman from Fusion

Nikita Fursman is one of the most charming people we've ever met. Bubbly, motivated and clever - she's a triple threat in the competitive world of fashion. Hailing from a small mining town in North Queensland, Nikita recently took a leap of faith to move south - landing on her feet as the Marketing Assistant at Fusion Retail Brands in Melbourne. She now works with the wider marketing department to create brand awareness around Mathers, Williams, Diana Ferrari and Colorado.

 

WHAT DID YOU STUDY & HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY? 

I studied Business Management, majoring in Human Resources with a second major in marketing. I’m still completing this degree, as last year I deferred to undertake an internship at Sandhills Pacific based in the Brisbane office as a sales representative. That was definitely a game changer and really made me realise that I wanted to work full time and study part-time, to gain experience and knowledge along the way.

At 17, I landed my first retail position at the Silver Shop in the town where I attended boarding school. I’ve always been an avid fashion lover, and the fast paced environment of retail is something to be marvelled at. I think I realised I wanted to be in a corporate marketing based role during my time as sales coordinator at Lorna Jane’s HQ in Brisbane. I spent a year and a half managing budgets, seeing the fluctuation in consumer behaviour and analysing how marketing initiatives impacted sales, giving me nothing but drive and hunger to know more.

WHAT'S THE WORST FASHION PURCHASE YOU'VE EVER MADE? ;)

I purchased a pair of acid wash denim overalls when I was 18 and had just moved to Brisbane, I thought they were the trendiest item in my wardrobe. I used to wear a floral t-shirt underneath them and I felt like I belonged in a 70’s sitcom.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE TRYING TO DO WHAT YOU DO? 

Persist and apply for internships. Not only are you opening up doors but these experiences also offer great exposure to a corporate environment and being able to learn essential life skills. Networking and making connections within your industry are also important. University organised events are great for this so definitely attend as many as you can if they’re within the industry you want to work in - you’ll find there are people who have travelled a similar path to you or are still on that path. Keeping your LinkedIn up to date is a must - it’s all about who you know and who they know. Potential employers, recruiters and new connections will examine it to learn more about you before contacting you to ask further questions so make sure it’s an accurate representation of your professional persona.

Flaunter x Nikita Fursman

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF GREAT PRODUCT PHOTOS IN TODAY'S MEDIA LANDSCAPE?

Product imagery is so important, particularly in the way you style the product in any campaign shot. Customers are hungry to see how they can maximise usage, being creative with content, and the way you push your imagery out to your consumer, allows them to visualise the need for what you’re marketing. Images need to be up to date, hi-res and easily managed from the back end otherwise things start to get messy and you lose track of valuable resources.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR AVERAGE DAY? DOES IT EXIST FOR YOU? 

I wouldn’t say I have an ‘average’ day but it mostly starts and finishes the same. I wake up at 5am and go to the gym to get my mind and body moving. I arrive home around 6:30am, eat breakfast and get ready for work. I have the luxury of being able to park at work so I drop my partner at his office, swing by my favourite café, Giddiup, for a coffee on my way and check my emails once I’m at my desk (usually around 8am). I then glance at my to-do list prepared from the evening before, check our Instagram account, Facebook, social media stats and flag any emails that require my urgent attention. By 10am, it’s snack time and I usually have a meeting or catch up with someone followed by checking our inbox for marketing requests that come through from stores and actioning any urgent matters. Lunch is usually at 12pm, with a quick walk around the block and by 2pm, I’m asking reception if there’s mail for my team and refreshing those social media stats again. Depending on whether we’ve changed sale strategies or if there’s an urgent marketing related request, I re-write my to-do list based on what I’ve completed and what requires further follow up and I’m out the door by about 4:30pm.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? 

I need to break this down into two parts; the first being the exposure I’m subject to. I’ve been quite lucky in the sense I’ve had a lot of opportunities to meet and communicate with big industry players. I was beyond excited and flattered to meet Gaby and Margot from Flaunter when they were in Melbourne. The second part is being able to work alongside different stakeholders in each brand within the business. Being the marketing assistant, I work with the Brand Managers, the Digital Manager, our Visual Merchandisers and the Graphics team daily.   

Fusion Brands Nikita

HOW HAS THE COMPANY CHANGED SINCE YOU STARTED? WHAT ARE THE NEW DEVELOPMENTS AT FUSION? 

I think one of the biggest changes I’ve seen in the seven months of working at Fusion is the expansion of the marketing team and what we’re doing creatively in regards to campaigns. We have the ability to really think outside of the box and plan brand direction. Colorado has been the latest brand we’ve focused on giving exposure to and I’ve been lucky enough to manage the Instagram platform for this.

DO YOU EVER HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO TALK TO THE MEDIA? IF SO, WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR FORMING RELATIONSHIPS WITH JOURNALISTS? 

Speaking with journalists is definitely something we’re focusing on over the next six months however the few journalists and stylists I’ve corresponded with, know what they want.  If you can’t deliver what they ask, be upfront and tell them. They’re looking for the most efficient way to source their information, if you can’t provide samples or a press release, let them know. Time is vital.

DO YOU USE INFLUENCERS IN YOUR STRATEGY? IF SO, HOW DO YOU CONNECT WITH THEM? 

Influencer marketing is definitely a huge opportunity and it’s something we’re reviewing. Ultimately, you want a variety of individuals, these people are representing your brand and product, make sure they’re proud to do so.

WHAT ROLE DOES FLAUNTER PLAY IN YOUR WORK LIFE? WHAT'S THE MAIN PROBLEM THAT FLAUNTER SOLVES FOR YOU?

It wasn’t until I was handed the role of managing Flaunter for all brands under the Fusion Retail Brands umbrella that I really began to appreciate and understand how important product imagery is, particularly because initially, I had very little exposure to the public relations. You want your new arrivals to make an appearance in The Age travel section? Make sure your brand profile is up to date so that your journalists, bloggers and stylists are filtering through the latest and greatest product. Flaunter has really helped to keep communication streamline and allow me to track who is downloading imagery and how it’s being used. It means I can ensure I’m across any requests and documenting any exposure we receive.  

 

 

Fusion Retail Brands x Flaunter

 

Follow Nikita on Instagram & Linkedin

Shop the latest from Fusion Brands via Diana Ferrari, Colorado, Mathers & Williams.

Media can find and download all hi-res images from Flaunter via Diana Ferrari, Colorado, Mathers & Williams.

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