The Y NOT SISSY Story
Hi I'm Jo and the Y NOT SISSY story began as a hobby with me making a few dresses for friends and that led to more dresses for their friends. Eventually I decided to do some markets, which turns out isn't as easy as I thought! Like anything there were alot of politics and big personalities in the mix plus I found I needed to travel a long way to get my brand out there. Often I was getting up at 3am in morning in the dead of winter which this Summer loving chook didn't love. I also found the Mum guilt real and hated not spending time with my family on weekends.
Once I was established I started enjoying markets more and found beautiful friends who would become my market family. We would sometimes spend more time together than with our own families. Those friends were very supportive of my business (as I was of theirs) and they encouraged me to build a website. Well, this felt pretty big as I had no idea about IT and found it challenging just to send an email or play on social media.
But I was up for the challenge, I started the website and the business started to grow. I sent a dress to a lady I found on Instagram called Jenni Eyles who shared on her social media platform which really helped my beautiful business grow. At this stage I only had one seamstress working for me and with the doors that Jenni opened for me we needed another person, amazing! We now have several seamstress on my beautiful team in Indonesia that I work very closely with.
I'm so very proud that we've been able to give them an independent lifestyle and their own ethically run small business 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 truly are like my family.
Each dress is designed by me and then made into a sample. Then it's time to gather a few special ladies of different shapes and sizes who try them on to get that perfect fit. Once I'm happy with the fit It's full steam ahead as I go into production.
I love to work with lightweight and cool Rayon which is screen printed by hand. The team ensure all fabrics are washed several times (as rayon will shrink if it’s not cared for) before making the garments which guarantees a great fit and no shrinkage.
From the concept of design for each fabric it takes about 10 weeks before we have that gorgeous dress, but when each style lands the time taken is totally worth it!
As my business grows each day I have changed our direction a lot, not doing as many markets, instead concentrating on big events such as the Royal Easter show in Sydney and local pop up shops. I still enjoy these events as I get to meet so many amazing customers, have a chat (which I love), get feedback both positive and negative which is great as that's a way I can learn and I even get to bump into some of my original market community.
This small business is a one woman band, answering messages, wrapping all your goodies, looking after social medial and back of house duties, that’s all me. I'm also lucky enough to have some beautiful friends model my designs and when I get my dates mixed up and find myself in a tizz my amazing sister will step in and do a market. 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 ( and me) 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 💕