Sample Room + Fashion Revolution: Introducing Mai

Sample Room + Fashion Revolution: Introducing Mai

Posted by on Apr 30, 2019 in Fashion, Fashion Design, Follow the Label, Industry Know How, Lifestyle, Manufacturer | 0 comments

In honour of Fashion Revolution Week we would like to introduce Mai, one of our valued sample machinists. Originally from Vietnam, Mai has lived in Australia since 1995 after closing a tailoring shop she ran for 15 years.Mai was recommended from a family member to take the big leap and move to Australia with the promise of good working conditions and pay.Once in Australia, Mai commenced working at a large fashion factory, and stayed loyal to this position for 16 years. This was a huge contrast to her small business in Vietnam, where clothes were measured from a body and then cut. In this 100+ employee factory, Mai learnt about technical elements of producing samples and manufacturing to Australian standards. Mai sees herself as very lucky, as once made redundant from her long time employment, she walked straight into a position at Sample Room. Julia recognised her experience and expertise quickly and hired Mai straight away. Now with Sample Room for over 2 years, Mai says the main difference between Sample Room and per previous position is that at Sample Room everything is done under one roof, where previously elements of development where shipped off-shore. This increased during her time there, when she started her first job in Australia the factory had 100+ employees, when she was made redundant this was halved.Here at Sample Room, we are huge supporters of Fashion Revolution Week and are glad we could share a snippet of Mai’s story. Our founder, Julia Van der Sommen cut her teeth in the fashion industry on the factory floor herself. So has a deep understanding of the importance of respecting the knowledge of her staff, regardless of the job they are...

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Sample Room + Fashion Revolution: Introducing Sharon

Sample Room + Fashion Revolution: Introducing Sharon

Posted by on Apr 30, 2019 in Fashion, Fashion Design, Follow the Label, Industry Know How, Lifestyle, Manufacturer | 0 comments

Here at Sample Room we are proudly ethically accredited and value the importance of a safe and fair workplace. We have staff from all over the world including people local to Melbourne, creating a diverse and experienced team. Julia’s (founder of Sample Room) ethical practices are founded by the passion to respect the knowledge and skills people have. Coming from years of experience on the factory floor herself, she really understands the depth of knowledge and expertise the Sample Room team possess.We are very flattered to have been referred to as the “utopia of pattern development” by a number of people and work hard to keep this alive in our workplace.In honour of Fashion Revolution Week we have interviewed a valued member of our team, Sharon our Fabric Cutter.Introducing Sharon WickramarathneSharon has worked at Sample Room for almost one year, starting with us six months after arriving in Australia from Sri Lanka. Following the completion of a textile diploma in Pattern Making, he commenced his textile career in 1998 as a trainee Pattern Maker in a small factory where the main focus was school wear. This suburban factory had about 20 employees, and three short months after starting the traineeship his trainer went on maternity leave, which left Sharon to take the reins. The factory had strong safety processes, if a needle broke the staff would be required to return each piece of the needle or they would not be given a new needle to work with.From here Sharon moved to larger factories, where the buyers enforced approved conditions, keeping the factories to a satisfactory standard.Sharon noted that in Sri Lanka the textile industry is huge and there are also a large number of people to fill the jobs which can push the wages down, making it challenging to make enough money to support a family.The journey to Australia came with its challenges, mainly around language and also an expectation from employees to have local experience. So he was reliant on someone willing to give him a chance to build that sought after local experience. Six months into his job hunt, Sharon secured a job at Sample Room. With different systems and processes to what Sharon was accustomed to, his job role changed and developed shaping around the areas he excelled at.When asked what Sharon values the most about Sample Room his answer was “everything, it’s...

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Mentee’s Launch: Love Linen

Mentee’s Launch: Love Linen

Posted by on Feb 4, 2019 in Emerging Designers, Fashion, Fashion Design, Follow the Label, Mentee | 0 comments

Our Mentee: Helen Atcheson, owner of Love LinenRecent graduate of Sample Room’s Fashion Label Launch Pad Program, Helen Atcheson has launched an ethically accredited and sustainable womenswear label, Love Linen! Inspired by the Australian climate, in particular the tropics of Broome, Helen’s collection seeks to capture a true quality, luxury and style designed to last a lifetime.What is your collection about? Love Linen is a high quality collection of womenswear born from a passion for sustainable and locally produced clothing. Linen is the ultimate ‘resort wear’ textile, and our goal is to create a luxurious range of consciously manufactured clothing.Who is it for? It’s not just for the everyday woman. She loves quality over quantity, she appreciates classic styles, she does her part for a sustainable future, she shops local… and she loves linen!  What did you do for a career before you started your label? I have a background in hospitality, administration and HR. I also have a strong artistic side, of which I have only just been able to put into practice through launching my own label.What is the biggest thing you learnt whilst working through the development process? I learnt the importance of choosing fabric to suit your design. Fabric, fabric, fabric is the key! I think it is important to realise that you will learn something new at each and every stage of development. You are forever learning and editing your ideas. Learning how to communicate your designs is also extremely important.What would you do differently if you did it all over again? I would have definitely simplified some of my designs for my first launch before moving to more involved patterns. The relationship with your pattern maker is so important! However, I am so happy with my first range and I can only look forward to the growth from here.   How can people buy your product? Love Linen is available online across Australia and New Zealand. We will be participating at local pop-up shops and markets this year in Broome and are working on securing some select wholesale outlets in Broome and around Australia. You can keep up to date with all Love Linen news via our social platforms listed.What is some advice you would give someone else looking to start a label? It will not be easy. If you are not comfortable spending at least $30 – $60K before you make a sale then walk away now. If you still have this niggle that won’t go away of something that is your passion and you know it will work – trust. Trust yourself because you can do it, you just can’t do it alone. You will need help, you will need education and you will need support. At the very least the Launch Pad Program is a fantastic beginning. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for a resource such as this out...

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Q & A With Mentee Joseph Carl

Posted by on Sep 10, 2018 in Emerging Designers, Fashion, Fashion Design, Follow the Label, Mentee, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Joseph Carl Streetwear by our mentee, Joseph CarlWe love seeing our mentees journey throughout the Launch Pad program. A lot of hard work goes into every stage of design, construction and production and it is wonderful to see their collections in their final form. Below we have a Q & A from our past mentee, Joseph Carl, we discuss the challenges, successes and the big question – Would he do it all over again???  Visit Joseph Carl. What is your range about?Joseph Carl is a high-end streetwear brand with it’s main goal of merging luxury elements with streetwear. We are inspired by trends and era’s mixing old and new, street culture, music and sporting lifestyles. Our first collection “Chapter One: The Introduction” is an introduction of the brand to the people. It is a set of limited edition high-end streetwear basics that can be worn all together or separately and be styled formally or casually.Who is it for?It is a menswear brand but the brand is suited for anyone (male or female) who have an appreciation for street culture and luxury.What did you do for a career before you started your label?Before I started Joseph Carl, I was studying a university degree and graduated with a Bachelor of Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations, while working part-time for a media company.What is the biggest thing you learnt whilst working through the development process.There have been so many things I have learnt while starting this label. It’s been a massive learning experience. Stepping into this industry with no fashion related experience the whole development process has been a massive eye opener. I didn’t realise how much it took to create a single garment. Fabric knowledge, Sampling stages and garment construction, and dealing with people in business and the fashion industry are the biggest areas in which I’ve learnt the most.What would you do differently if you did it all over again?Time management is something that I would work on in the future. focusing your time (hours/days) on certain sections of the brand/business to really be able to excel in all areas. If this is achieved in future collections, it will be a smoother ride.How can people buy your product?People are able to purchase items through our online store at: www.josephcarl.comWhat is some advice you would give someone else looking to start a label?My advice to anyone starting is to do your research. Know exactly who you want to target and what short and long term goals you want to achieve. Once you have this you have drive to achieve the things you want.Another piece of advice is to be able to think on your feet, not everything is going to go to plan. Be able to think quickly and have a solution to problems that you didn’t think you would...

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Mentee’s Launch: Sleep With Me

Posted by on Apr 16, 2018 in Emerging Designers, Follow the Label, Mentee | 0 comments

Our Mentee: Sammie Russell, Owner of Sleep With MeToday, we would love to introduce you to our latest mentee to launch, Sammie Russell from Sleep With Me.Sammie’s journey of launching her range combined her love of prints, her understanding of social media and her new found knowledge of the development and manufacturing process. Always a pleasure to work with, her friendliness and enthusiasm for learning makes Sammie one of our favourite customers. I hope you enjoy learning about how she developed her range.What is your range about?Sleep With Me is a luxury sleepwear label. Each piece is sourced carefully utilising luxurious fabrics, while also partnering with considered detail. Our one of a kind designs are hand drawn and digitally printed making them truly special.Who is it for?Our customer appreciates high-quality fabric, ethical manufacturing and attention to detail through our packaging.What did you do for a career before you started your label?I jumped into the design world straight out of high school with no industry experience. I built the brand from a dream and a strong work ethic.Never lose your passion and don't be afraid to ask for help. Click To TweetWhat is the biggest thing you learnt whilst working through the development process?I think the biggest lesson for me is that you don’t know what you don’t know and the best thing to do is to surround yourself with industry professionals and mentors that can guide you. It can be incredibly overwhelming and things often don’t go to plan but if you have support around you and are not afraid to ask for advice, it can make a huge difference.The development process can be incredibly stressful as things don’t often go to plan.What would you do differently if you did it all over again?If I did it all over again I would hope that I would allow myself more time to work through problems that arise and I would definitely reach out for help rather than trying to resolve everything myself.How can people buy your product?You can buy our products via our website www.sleepwithme.com.au and we are currently working on stocking to other e-commerce sites which is very exciting.What is some advice you would give someone else looking to start a label?I would say that it is not easy by any means but hard work often outweigh talent so if you are willing to put in the work, you will reap the rewards of a successful business. Never lose your passion and don’t be afraid to ask for help.If you would like to learn how to develop and launch your own range. Join our Fashion Label Launchpad, as Sammie did, and learn all there is to know to be a fashion designer.Follow Sleep With MeWebsite: www.sleepwithme.com.au Instagram: @sleepwithme Facebook: Sleep With...

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Mentee’s Launch: Harry & Pop

Posted by on Jan 12, 2018 in Follow the Label, Mentee | 2 comments

Today, we would like to introduce one of our favourite mentees from Harry & Pop — Lauren. We first met Lauren a number of months earlier before, as she will mention on the blog, she went down another path which was not so successful. We were more than happy when she called us back as we knew we could get her label and her dreams back on track. Lauren has been such a pleasure to work with because she understands the difference it makes with quality pattern making, sample making and manufacturing and how it feels when you are fully supported in your journey. Lauren and Ben’s Kid 1. What is your label and who is it for? Proudly made in Melbourne, Harry & Pop has designed a range of contemporary children’s swimwear (sizes 00-4) that puts sun protection first without compromising on style. Our premium Italian fabric is UPF 50+ and chlorine resistant to ensure your little rays of sunshine look stylish while staying protected from the sun’s harmful rays. With classic unisex designs in simple custom prints across a crisp pastel colour palette, you can be confident that your child will grow out of our swimwear before it wears out so please hand it down to every member of your tribe.The idea came to me when I purchased my son’s first swimsuit (late 2015). I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of sun protective options that were also stylish.Click To Tweet2. How long ago did you start the process of your own label? The idea came to me when I purchased my son’s first swimsuit (late 2015). I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of sun protective options that were also stylish (everything was fluoro or covered in ugly motifs). We started seriously considering the idea in late 2016 and launched our first collection one year later in mid-October 2017.3. What is the biggest thing you have learnt through the process? The fashion industry is fickle. It’s very hard to get a straight answer when starting out. Everyone is vague and to be honest, I’m pretty sure it’s because no one wants to take on a start-up label. That’s where Sample Room saved the day! Finally, some transparency! Before finding Sample Room we found that no one would commit to a deadline. Days (sometimes weeks) would pass before we heard back. Costing estimates simply weren’t given which makes budgeting impossible. Be wary of this and expect to be in limbo for a while.4. What is one thing you would tell another designer before they were starting out? Make sure you keep some money in the bank for marketing once you’ve launched. Honestly, nothing comes for free so don’t rely on the kindness of strangers to help out (Instagram shout-outs, magazine editorial etc.). They will charge you! And that’s okay too as they’re also trying to make...

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