This Sunday at TVM there's a brand new kids label in town - meet Tegan Bryers, founder of Elke The Label.
My background is in Child Care. I'm a lead educator in a local child care centre and have worked there for the last 13 years. While I was at University I worked in retail and my mum has always worked in retail. I have always been around clothes and the latest fashion thanks to mum.
What made your pursue your creative passion?
I have always loved clothing, but it wasn't until I had my eldest daughter that I realised how much I actually loved children's (in particular girls) clothing. There's just so much gorgeous stuff out there for girls, so I wanted to try and make my own children's clothing range.
When did you take the plunge and start your own business?
Elke the Label started off as Harper's Place 6 years ago, but I just could never really get my ideas together and make it work as a label. This year I had a complete change of idea and business name, and this time it has finally worked and I have something to show for it.
What does your brand consist of?
At the moment we have created our very first range of tween girl's clothing- its a summer range consisting of dresses, skirts, tops and shorts. We are currently working on our Autumn/ Winter Range and have so many ideas for our next Summer range. I would love to one day include shoes and accessories.
Where is the label designed and made?
The label is designed here in Australia and is manufactured in Bali. I have worked really hard to try and find a factory that has ethical and sustainable practices in place, as I want to try to ensure my brand is as kind to the people who make it as it is to the people who wear it. And I want it to be kind to the planet as well.
What inspires you?
My daughter is the true inspiration behind Elke the Label. She has never fitted into any 'box' and is often described as unique, eccentric and different. But she just beats to her own drum and I love her for that. When she turned 6 she really wanted to start having a say in what she wore, but couldn't find anything she liked- she was never a fan of any of the traditional 'girl' clothing- pink, purple, frills, flowers, etc,. Even as a toddler she refused to wear it. So after talking to her about what she wanted to wear, we worked together to create Elke the Label- this is as much her brand as it is mine. She had a say in every item, every colour and every print we have created.
What are your plans for Elke The Label in 2019 and beyond?
I would love to see Elke the Label stocked in our local shops- I spent so much of my youth working in and shopping at the Gold Coast shopping centres that it would be a pinch me moment to see something I created hanging in a shop window. For now I'm just happy for Elke to do well enough that I can continue to produce new ranges each season......and then one day conquer the tween clothing world.
What were your biggest challenges when launching your brand?
I had no idea what was involved- I honestly thought you just came up with some designs and then find someone to make them. But it's so much more complicated than that, especially in the start up phase. It's like a never ending list of things to organise, people to contact and bills to pay. I would liken it to building a house- time-frames and budgets go out the window pretty quickly.
What's the best thing about having your own business?
I absolutely love every aspect of it - even the parts that cause headaches. When my first box of samples arrived I nearly cried with excitement. To see and hold my products was just so amazing.
Connect with Elke The Label online, here and find Tegan at TVM this Sunday 6th January at Burleigh Heads.
Images by Jenna Agius Photography.