This week we chat to designer Amanda Yarsley, who launched her locally designed and made women's fashion label Amanda Monique in July 2017.

Tell us about your background, in a nutshell?

A: I was originally undertaking a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology whilst working casually in fashion retail, which was where I ended up finding my real passion. I decided to leave my current course to study Fashion Design and Technology and went on to work for a major Australian Swimwear brand.

What made you pursue your creative passion?

A: I’ve always enjoyed being creative. I love fashion and how there are no limits to what you can do with it. The support and encouragement I received from my fiancé helped push me to pursue my dreams too.

When did you take the plunge and start your own business?

A: The creative process began in 2016, but a lot of the hard work was done last year before the launch in late July 2017.

What does your brand consist of?

A: Women’s casual clothing. I wanted to start with a range of functional and comfortable women’s dresses and go from there. I have just introduced a range of t-shirts now too, which is pretty exciting.

Where is the label designed and made?

A: My whole collection comes from right here on the Gold Coast. The design process takes place in my Burleigh studio and is made locally here as well.

What inspires you?

A: Creating unique and fun staple pieces. I like getting inspiration from my environment, different eras and cultures, and I love the idea of reworking different elements of fashion. I don’t want to make disposable pieces – I’m not into fast fashion.

What are your plans for the brand and where do you hope it takes you?

A: My plans are to grow the brand into something amazing and unique, and I hope it takes me everywhere!

What were the biggest challenges when launching your brand?

A: Of course, taking the plunge financially was always in the back of my mind, but doing everything for the first time was the biggest challenge for me, especially as I was doing it all on my own. Each step was a learning curve, but I’m all the better for it.

What is the best thing about having your own business?

A: I love the freedom it gives me to pursue my ideas. Being in charge gives me a chance to explore creatively as well as being able to stick to my moral compass by using local companies in the production process and having the freedom to gather all of my materials from ethical sources.

One piece of advice for someone hoping to start their own small business that you wish you’d been told?

A: Start as soon as you can, and don’t listen to anyone telling you that you can’t. Figure out what you really want to do and don’t spend too much time trying to get it perfect before you start – you can always build and change things along the way.

Shop online with Amanda Monique, here and find her at TVM.