The Y NOT SISSY story began as a hobby with me making a few dresses for friends and then their friends. I decided we might try to do some markets, now that’s not as easy as I thought! Like anything there is a lot politics and big personalities in the mix. I had to find a market that would let us trade but as soon as you say "women’s fashion", it was met with hesitation. So I had to travel to get our brand out there, getting up at 3am in morning in the dead of winter is bloody hard, let me tell you. So off I would go travelling feeling like I would never see my family on weekends.
Once I was established, I found some beautiful friends in the markets, they would become my market family, as we would sometimes see them more than my own family. Those friends become very supportive of my business as I did of theirs. They encouraged me to get a website which for me is my biggest challenge as I have no idea about anything IT, it was hard enough to do a email or social media.
So I started the website and the business started to grow. I sent a dress to a lady called Jenni Eyles who helped my beautiful business. At this stage I only had one girl working for me. With the doors that Jenni opened for me we needed another person. We now have two main seamstress that I work very closely with in my amazing team in Indonesia.
I am very proud that we have been able to give them an independent lifestyle and their own small business, that runs ethically as that’s very important to me.
These girls do not work in a factory and I don’t take them for granted as they are like my family.
The dresses are made into a sample, then I have ladies try them on to get that perfect fit. We then have the sample made into the dresses for purchase. The fabric is screen printed by hand, washed several times (as rayon will shrink if it’s not cared for) then we make the product.
From the design of the fabric it takes about 10 weeks approximately before we have that gorgeous dress.
As my business grows each day I have changed our direction a lot, not doing as many markets concentrating on big events such as the Royal Easter show in Sydney and local pop up shops, which I enjoy as I get to meet so many amazing ladies, have a chat (which I love), get feedback both positive and negative which is great as that's a way I can learn.
This small business is a one women band, answering messages, wrapping all your goodies, looking after social medial and back of house duties, that’s all me. I am lucky enough to have some beautiful friends that model for me, my amazing sister will do a market when I get my dates mixed up. My family... well they put up with my days when I think to myself “oh my god what I’m I doing”, but I would not change a thing as I have loved every step of watching my business grow and change.
I think it’s so important that all women should feel beautiful in everything they do, that’s what I want my customers to feel as soon as they put on a Y NOT SISSY dress.
I hope you get to join me with what will be our next chapter. Who knows... one day we could be doing a pop up near you, so call in and say 'hi'.
Cheers Jo 💕