June 16, 2024

Thrive Insider

Exclusive stories of successful entrepreneurs

Julia Browne, Founder at Melbourne Fashion Hub

What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

As a lover of unique fashion for over 35 years, initially it was a selfish need to be able to get my hands on original emerging designers works, but the more I interacted with student designers, the more I realised, our local Melbourne talent were finding it very hard to find entries into work/ support in starting their own businesses.

Describe the process of launching the business.

Because I decided to do it during lockdown and launch it while I was still learning and delivering the business program, it was quite challenging. However it forced me to go out of my comfort zone and do something I don’t ordinarily do, which was ask for help! The local fashion community were very supportive and they helped me to get where I am today.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Staying in contact with my network/community and actively engaging with and supporting them,

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

I’m still in the early stages of making it sustainable so that I don’t have to source income outside of the business.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Yes, if you don’t put yourself in the arena in the first place, you don’t know if you will fail or succeed. The mere act of putting yourself out there is a triumph in itself.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

As I do it all myself I use alot of admin and marketing platforms such as Medianet, Grammerly, Zoom, Canva etc.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Wardrobe Crisis Podcast, and free/affordable courses on platforms such as Coursera, Domestika. Newsletters from Fashion Revolution, WWD, BOF and IFAB and always look out for talks and webinars.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Work out what your “WHY” and who your audience is first. Don’t look for perfection, just start and finally don’t be afraid to ask for help. If people can see how passionate you are about what you’re looking to achieve, you’ll get the support you need.

Where can we go to learn more?