This week Pigtails and Pirates celebrates 3 years as a business!
I have always wondered about the “Why?” of my business (especially on challenging days!) Why do I do it? Why do I want to keep doing it? The “Why?” behind Pigtails and Pirates has changed over the 3 years we have been around.
Initally it started as I needed to do something for myself – I had left teaching to have my 2 children, at that stage they were 2 and 4. I was not ready to go back to work but I REALLY needed to do something for myself. I had gone to a friend’s (Hi Janene!) place for a weekend, and she is a talented quilt maker. I saw some of the things she had made and thought I should give it a go. I asked my mum for her old sewing machines and with the help (and I mean A LOT of help) from my friend and also from an Aunty of mine (Hi Jano!!) it still took me 2 days and some colourful language just to work out how to thread the machine.
It took me a number of months to make the quilt and I felt an immense feeling of pride when it was finished – and most importantly my children loved it. I also learnt that I was not going to become a quilter!
I had left over fabric from this quilt and decided to make my children some simple clothing. I showed a few friends and some of them suggested to me that I could sell them. I actually didn’t think I would sell anything but I spent time thinking of a business name (Pigtails and Pirates actually represents my son and daughter) and a logo and thought I would set up a business and a Facebook page just to showcase the items I would make for my children and it would be a bonus if anyone bought anything.
18 months in I had developed a great understanding of the price of clothing. I now wondered if places could sell a t-shirt for say $5-$20 and make money off it even after manufacturing costs shipping costs, buying it wholesale etc – how much was the person who was making it getting paid? This is when the “Why?” of my business changed. I wanted to become a label that fought against fast fashion (I don’t produce clothing that is only designed to be worn for a few months and then thrown away) and produce high quality, ethically made fashion. I also wanted to offer employment locally and keep everything I did Australian made.
It was at this time I wanted to also move into ladies wear. I designed and made 4 items and got them photographed by a lovely photographer called Natasia at This Studio. This was the turning point for me with these items receiving very positive reviews on social media, and moved the business towards a greater focus on ladies wear
I now have a great small team of people around me that help in all aspects of the business. I would love for this to continue to grow as I am passionate about keeping my label Australian made and providing local employment.
In terms of designs we will be starting to do some more evening wear and hopefully in winter we will bring out a winter range, so stay tuned!
You can see a small video of me discussing Pigtails and Pirates here
Read more about our story in Adore Pinup Magazine here
Thank you for your ongoing support. #supportethicallymade #supportaustralianmade