A magical morning in the beautiful botanical gardens being filled with electric creative vibes.
There is something so very special about a room filled with like minded women who are all dreaming the same dreams, we all want to make our life the very best it can be. We all want to make a living from what we love, we don’t want to be working for someone else creating their legacy. Their was a beautiful vibe at the Morning Soiree, you could feel the collective passion brewing, the sparkle in everyones eyes with the thought of what their future can hold and how they can take parts of today and turn it into real life for their business, or maybe it’s the little final push they needed to finally turn their dream into a reality. For whatever reason that inspired everyone to join together, it was moving and powerful and something I truly loved.
THP’s mantra is to get deep, down and direct with you, to stir up that drive and passion in you that is always there, though it sometimes gets neglected amidst the demands of a busy life. And boy did they do that for me, working for myself and trying to run all parts of my business, I realised that I am getting bogged down in the day to day workload - the Morning Soiree has helped to light a little creative fire inside me once again that had got a little distracted by everyday life, it has helped me be more direct with how I want to spend my time and what I want to spend my creative time on. Thank you not only to the beautiful ladies behind THP Helena and Kristal but also to the gorgeous Zoe Paul, the Morning Soiree left me buzzing with ideas.
Our tranquil breakfast in the charming cottage set in Brisbane Botanic Gardens was my idea of a perfect morning, we ate delicious muesli, fruit and muffins, live soulful music played in the background and most importantly we heard from the exceptionally talented Zoe Paul, founder of Mister Zimi - an online clothing wonderland filled with distinct prints and easy to wear shapes that make you feel like you are on a tropical island holiday everyday.
Zoe was so captivating, for a million reasons. What touched everyone instantly was her raw honestly, there was no sugar coating the struggles it took to get to where she is today, Zoe showed her true emotions and had me in tears a few times as she talked about a dear friend she lost in Bali and how much her children and family mean to her. I think everyone could so easily relate to Zoe's story, just like all of us, Zoe had a wild dream to be able to live in Bali and create clothing that she would love to wear, with no fashion training - Zoe dived head first into the wild work of Bali business. Bali is a magical place but it has it’s strength and weaknesses, manufacturing in Bali means you are governed by “Bali Time”, all things I personally have been looking into over the past 18 months, really hit a chord with me - yes you live the Bali dream whilst on the Island but day to day life is not all cocktails at Potato Head, Zoe and her husband Jimmy have overcome many hurdles along their journey in Bali to get to where they are today. But Bali surely has Zoe and Jimmy hooked and they cannot imagine creating their label anywhere else, I share their pure love for all things Bali and could relate to so much that Zoe shared about the magical island.
What I enjoyed most is hearing that Zoe is not your traditional “fashion designer”, Zoe started out simply making a few leather jackets on her holidays to Bali and once her friends started asking about them, they also wanted the same - little by little the jackets took off and on each holiday Zoe was creating more and more and the orders were getting bigger and bigger. Zoe mentioned she still finds it uncomfortable to call herself a “fashion designer”, as she had never set out to be one. In a joint decision with her husband Jimmy, they decided to move to Bali and to give their dream a solid crack - to think that their brand would be where it’s at today is mind boggling! From such humble beginnings as a few leather jackets to now being an internationally recognised brand with stockists all over the world and majority of the clothing being sold out within hours of launching. It really is a fairy tale story!
I also loved hearing how much work and love goes into every single item of clothing, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of metres of fabric hand screen printed with the iconic Mister Zimi bold prints - all by local Bali artisans. The fact that the Mister Zimi brand could move to China and mass produce their product but this would mean loosing the unique Bali vibe, something which is beyond important to Zoe - it made me appreciate the beautiful pieces even more than I did before. The Mister Zimi brand has stuck with the same suppliers throughout their journey and have nurtured those relationships over the years so there is complete trust and respect amongst everyone they are dealing with.
Zoe has her hand in many parts of the business, even running the Instagram page so that she can interact with customers and keep the aesthetic she has worked so hard to create. Zoe still gets affected by negative feedback online, and struggles with trying to not take it personally, something so many of us who work in the digital space can relate to.
+ If you put your mind to it, it can happen - with hard work. Push through those days when there are a million no’s until you get your yes.
+ Be original, you don’t have to travel a traditional path to get to where you want to be, Zoe didn’t study fashion but is now a globally recognised fashion designer.
+ There will be difficult times, where you are pushed to your limits - and thats ok, it’s how you cope with those hard times that will make you and your brand successful.
+ Balancing family and running your own business is possible but there will be hard days, you need to ask for help when you need it and you need to set clear working boundaries. Don’t beat yourself up about trying to be everything to everyone.
I have to say if you have thought about attending an event like this or you come across a future THP event that seems to sit well with you, please I urge you to attend. For me personally it was so lovely to be surrounded by so many positive and inspiring women, who really all share the same goals and hopes for their future as you. We all rely so heavily on social media for networking and promoting our brands but to actually meet in person and put a real face to the Instagram handles I have been following and interacting with for so long was such a great experience.
Again thank you Zoe for your complete honesty and captivating talk, you had every single person in the room hanging onto every word you spoke. Hearts and minds were full of inspiration and ideas, you could just feel it. And thank you to Helena and Kristal Co-Founders of The Holistic Project for yet another killer event, cannot wait to attend the next one.
Chase down those dreams, no matter how crazy or big they may seem - anything is possible.
IMAGES BY EYES OF LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY
GRAPHICS BY PEPPA HART