Age is certainly no barrier when you are passionate and willing to take risks. In fact, there has never been a better time to go for it. Josie Cross is a great example of this. The 17 year old entrepreneur is a fifth generation Gold Coaster and co-founder of newly launched swimwear label 88 Fahrenheit, which will be part of the line-up this Sunday 17 February at TVM.
Today we chat to Josie about motivation, creating a brand that reflects your beliefs and the opportunities created by social media.
“Born and raised on Australia’s Gold Coast, with a family history dating back 5 generations of local Gold Coasters, I have a definite obsession with the beach. Intertwining my love for the sun, sand and sea with my passion for fashion and travel, in my senior years of highschool, at just 17, I decided it was time to live out my dreams and create a lifestyle label that incorporates all of my favourite things. With my mum and co-founder by my side together we ensure that 88 Fahrenheit offers only the highest quality fabrics manufactured ethically and with love in one of our favourite places to travel - the beautiful island of Bali in Indonesia.”
What made you pursue your creative passion?
I’ve certainly had an obsession with bikinis from a very young age and have always had a very creative mind. As I got older I started messing around with designs and discovered the concept of working for myself. Alongside my passion for acting I had my dad telling me “I would never make any money as an actor’, so I decided it was time to prove him wrong and become my own boss – and that’s where it all started.
When did you take the plunge and start your own business?
During my senior years of high school, I would come home after being at school all day and then acting classes at night and meet with my mum about what I needed to do to make this really happen. Together we developed my ideas and design concept to create a brand that reflected everything I believed would embody the perfect beach day.
What does your brand consist of?
Dreaming of a perfect beach day, 88Fahrenheit (or 31ºC) is exactly that - sun, surf, sand and salt. Inspired to create a brand that reflects the beauty of nature, 88Fahrenheit offers beautifully designed swimwear to beach lovers throughout the world. Create your perfect beach day and join our tribe to share your stories with us, as together we celebrate life!
Where is the label designed and made?
Our label is designed In Australia and made in the beautiful island of Bali, Indonesia.
What inspires you?
Being inspired by strong women who are willing to take risks creating the life they want, and the way that social media embraces young entrepreneurs and gives them opportunities that has never been afforded to young people before; I discovered there is no better time to take the leap of faith than now.
What are your plans for the brand and where do you hope it takes you?
The idea of travel is one that I find immensely appealing, so I aspire to create a life where the brand will allow me to travel the world and share the story of 88Fahrenheit with other young entrepreneurs who are looking to create their own pathway. I plan on expanding the brand to include everything for the ‘perfect beach day’, not just swimwear. Every photoshoot we do, every time new stock arrives, or we are showcased at a fashion show or now a market, I feel as though I have gone on a new adventure and look forward to continuing that for the brand.
What were the biggest challenges when launching your brand?
Obviously as a high school student, being categorised as ‘just a 17-year-old girl’ has a stigma that encourages some people to overlook the potential of the brand – which was certainly something I had to work hard to overcome in the development phase. However, with my mum and co-founder, Michelle, by my side we worked extremely hard to create a professional, authentic brand that is ethical, mindful of environmental sustainability and we hope to encourage growth in young entrepreneurs and promote the amazing Gold Coast lifestyle.
What is the best thing about having your own business?
Without a doubt the best part of owning your own business would have to be working your own hours from anywhere in the world. A week before we launched 88Fahrenheit (on December 16, 2018) my family and I were on a trip to the US to celebrate my graduation, however, not for one second did 88 Fahrenheit stop. Whether it be in bed, by the ocean, on a plane, train or at my dining room table I can really work from anywhere in the world to create the brand of my dreams, which is something I am extremely grateful for.
Visit 88 Fahrenheit online, here.