We are proud to introduce our latest mentee launch!
ELLEE THE LABEL is an Australian womenswear label proudly designed and made in Australia, crafted in natural and cellulose fabrics. The label is 100% female founded and owned by sisters Abbey and Jessica Smythe who desired to create an Australian designed and made, conscious womenswear label. Their passion is to design clothing that is effortlessly beautiful and flattering on the wearer and will be a wardrobe staple that can be worn time and time again.
What is your range about?
Proudly designed & made in Australia in natural and cellulose fabrics, the range focuses on event dresses and casual dresses designed to make the wearer feel effortlessly beautiful and will be a wardrobe staple that can be worn time and time again. Our first collection was inspired by an exploration of our love of gardens and nature; it encompasses subtle colours, a reflection of the world around us, incorporating prints to reflect a whimsical state and soft natural fibers inspired by the beauty of art. 100% of the collection is made with sustainable fibers, utilizing linen and Tencel (responsibly sourced cellulose fibers) promising a lower impact on the planet.
Who is it for?
Women who value consciously made, high quality clothing right here in Australia who are willing to invest in wardrobe staples that have a lower impact on people and the planet that they can wear season after season.
What did you do for a career before you started your label?
Jessica, co-founder and Director of Operations is the business specialist of the pair. Jessica studied commerce and business management, followed by a career in the fashion industry working across many women’s brands and categories in areas of merchandise planning, logistics, wholesale account co-ordination and digital analytics. Abbey, co-founder and Creative Director is the designer of the pair.
Abbey studied Design at the Whitehouse Institute of Design, followed by completing her Master of Fashion (Entrepreneurship) at RMIT, whilst also working in retail across customer service, store management and visual merchandising positions. Following study, Abbey’s career in the fashion industry included specializing in design, development, manufacturing and product management of women’s knitwear and dresses categories.
What is the biggest thing you learned whilst working through the development process?
Producing in Australia is very different to overseas, instead of having an agent as you would overseas, in Australia you usually work directly with the producer of each element of the garment, for example fabric supplier, fastening supplier, label supplier and manufacturer. With this comes a bit of extra work, however better communication, better quality and more transparency. Dealing with fabric agents in Australia has been a big learning curve for us, we have had a range designed around certain fabrics/prints with developments made and down payments placed only to be told last minute it was sold out, so finding good fabric suppliers is a very important exercise to focus on. Also, always allow more time than you think you’ll need in the beginning. There are always going to be unexpected delays so it is better to be running ahead of schedule than behind.
What would you do differently if you did it all over again?
We would invest more money into our development in the beginning. We started with a small range and if one fabric becomes unavailable or one style doesn’t look the way you imagined, you end up trying to develop new things or source new fabrics later on and run into delays. You can always space out your production, so it’s better to have your developments ready to go.
How can people buy your product?
Via our website elleethelabel.com.au, when you sign up to our mailing list you will receive 10% off your first purchase and we also have Afterpay available.
What is some advice you would give someone else looking to start a label?
Jess: Make sure you are really passionate about the label and product as you will invest a lot of time and money, particularly in the beginning. Ensure you or your business partner have experience or knowledge across business areas as well as design as you will be the business’s accountant, logistics manager, marketer, website manager and customer service provider until you can afford to employ others. Also, it will cost more than you budget so ensure you have enough budgeted/keep working for someone else after producing the product to be able to afford to promote and invest in the next collection until your brand is up and running.
Abbey: Don’t overthink it. There will never be a perfect time to start, so if you’re passionate about it and have been thinking about it for a while, just start!
Where can people find Ellee The Label?
Are you a new designer? Or are you looking to move back from overseas production and are not sure where to start?
At Last! A program that will share priceless insider secrets, giving you the tools to turn your designs into garments and help you achieve the ultimate success of creating your ethical fashion or clothing business.
- Weekly information-packed videos to give you the inside knowledge and language you need to know to talk with businesses in the fashion and manufacturing industry.
- Monthly webinars with industry experts, suppliers and past successful mentees.
- Assistance throughout the entire development process of your product.
- Knowledge on the best suppliers, pattern making, garment construction, the manufacturing process, reducing costs, cashflow, and much more detailed knowledge that you MUST have to succeed in this industry.