GIRLS BOSS // Fiona Claire
Name: Fiona Green
Location: Richmond, Melbourne
Current Title / Company: Designer/ Founder, Fiona Claire
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB OUT OF UNIVERSITY & HOW DUD YOU LAND THAT POSITION?
I didn’t attend university, but did love my time studying fashion at Box Hill TAFE! My first job in the industry was as a dressmaker at a Bridal boutique in Melbourne- Simonelli, (they’re unfortunately no longer around).. I got the job after doing my work experience there during my studies. They were happy to have me back as an employee! I then moved into the commercial fashion industry and have done the full circle, coming back to bridal ☺
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE YOUR BUSINESS?
I often had friends, and friends of friends coming to me desperately looking for a paired back bridal look which reflected their personality, was comfortable and made them feel completely right on their big day- without breaking the bank- which I would then design and make for them.. I saw this as a niche in the bridal industry and wanted to fill it!
TAKE US THROUGH A DAY IN THE LIFE OF YOUR BUSINESS
Every day is different, which I love! From sales meetings, to bride appointments, to marketing plans and designing – it’s never boring and I enjoy each part of the process.
HAS ANYTHING SURPRISED YOU ABOUT THE JOURNEY TO CREATING YOUR BUSINESS?
That it's so much more to me than just a business- I have put my heart and soul into my business and so I am very emotionally connected to every aspect of it…
OBVIOUSLY, YOUR BUSINESS HAS GROWN! SO, LET'S TALK MONEY. TELL US ABOUT THE INTIMIDATING PROCESS OF FINDING FUNDING FOR YOUR BUSINESS. ANY ADVICE FOR WOMEN WHO NEED TO FIND FUNDING FOR THEIR OWN START UPS?
My AMAZING parents supported me with a financial loan for the initial funding on the business, which I will be forever grateful for. From there it was important to me to make sure the business could continue to fund itself, and that it was not only something I loved doing but also viable. My advice would be to not let the spending get out of hand, but at the same time to back yourself when you feel it’s right.
YOUR BUSINESS HAS DEVELOPED QUITE A FOLLOWING. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS? HOW DID YOU SPREAD THE WORD?
I’m not naturally good at marketing, so I’ve had to find the right people to help me firstly get the vision clear and secondly put that into visual representation using social media, photoshoots etc. I believe we’re still evolving in this area and one of my focuses right now is to connect with more creatives to get our brand out there.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE KEY TO THE SUCCESS OF YOUR BUSINESS?
Persistance, believing in myself, agility- making quick changes when needed and taking things one step at a time.
YOUR FAVOURITE BRIDAL TREND AT THE MOMENT?
DIOR inspired wide set straps on a straight neckline- It’s a fashion trend which I believe translates to bridal perfectly, and I have included this element into a couple of styles in our latest Studio collection.
YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE FROM YOUR CURRENT COLLECTION?
Our CLARITY wedding gown. It’s so clean but has an amazing shape when on the body.
BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED?
It sounds corny, but when I was around 11 years old my uncle told me “you can do anything you want, if it’s physically possible”- and I have never forgotten that ☺
I WISH I KNEW HOW TO ...
Put words together easily and write (and say) wonderfully engaging things..
WHAT IS YOUR COFFEE ORDER?
Large latte. I LOVE coffee!
TV SHOW DO YOU WISH WAS STILL ON THE AIR?
The Wonder Years
NEXT TRAVEL DESTINATION?
Byron Bay or somewhere not too far away.. I’ve done a lot of travel this year and not wanting to go back to the International terminal anytime too soon!!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR 23 YEEAR OLD SELF?
It’s great to be different. Don’t take on board other peoples judgement or negative opinions and keep developing who and what you want to be without fear.