This week we chat to Chloe Murphy, founder of Sunshine Coast based swimwear brand Lionel the Label.
'My business started as a self taught hobby, my school friends loved what I was creating and there was a demand for the products I was making. I started social media profiles and a few years later a website. It wasn't until I had started my brand that I realised wanted to work for myself. Lionel the Label has organically grown into what it is today out of passion, long hours and hard work.'
What is your creative background/qualifications?
From a young age I have always been creative from jewellery making, colouring in, drawing, painting and all things DIY.
While I was in school I selected Sewing as a subject. Before the subject began I got out my mums sewing machine that she was gifted on her 21st Birthday and taught myself to sew. I have literally never stopped sewing since! In year 11 and 12 I studied a Certificate 3 in Applied Fashion Design and Technology and then went on to study an Advanced Diploma, which I didn’t actually complete, however I learnt so much from the time I was at TAFE and many wonderful opportunities were presented.
As a start-up, is Lionel the Label now a full-time gig for you?
Lionel the Label is now my full-time job, I feel incredibly lucky to wake up every day to do something I am truly passionate about.
Tell us about your brand name, how did this come about?
I rebranded my Business in 2013 as I wanted my brand to have 'the Label'.
Lionel is my Grandfathers name, although I did not learn this until his passing because he actually preferred and was known by his middle name.
Tell us about your swimwear collections?
Every year in September I release a new swimwear collection. I also create a festival collection with many one off pieces included in the range. Some of these garments are available to purchase online, but many are sold at festivals and events all around Australia.
What inspires you creatively?
I am inspired by a coastal lifestyle and festival culture. I often find myself inspired by my travels and exploring new unfamiliar places.
Do you work from home, an office or creative workspace?
I work from home on the Sunshine Coast. I have an office/stockroom and a studio with all of my industrial sewing machinery.
Do you implement any sustainable practices within your company, if so tell us about this?
Yes we do, we offer brown paper bags to our customers and package all online orders in recyclable materials. I create hair scrunchies out of off-cuts of fabric and operate our online store with all swimwear and festival clothing made to order. This reduces waste and excess stock.
I am constantly learning and implementing new ways of creating a more sustainable brand, for example at the moment I am sourcing compostable postage satchels.
Do you collaborate with any other local GC/Brisbane businesses?
Occasionally I collaborate with creatives such as photographers, videographers, hair and makeup artists, models, brands and Airbnb's to create Instagram content. I love collaborating, its a great way of seeing my products through the eyes of other creative, whether that’s the style of image that is produced or the way the garment is styled. I love and appreciate work from all of the creatives involved in a big collaborative shoot.
Why did you choose TVM as a platform for your business?
I had heard wonderful things about TVM so I went one Sunday and loved the vibe of the market as well as all of the other brands showcasing their products. With a large following on Instagram from the Gold Coast and leading into Summer I couldn't have joined TVM at a better time of year.
Websites or profiles you’re loving for business inspiration right now?
I love Pinterest.