Hi team – Emily here! I generally go by the title ‘Director / Designer’ at Derby & Power, but in actual fact I wear all the hats (pardon the pun), from Marketing Manager through to (somewhat worryingly) Accountant. It’s so nice to meet you!
I have a background working in Stock Management and Buying for both retail and wholesale companies, but I have entrepreneurship in my blood ;)
The idea for Derby & Power Headpieces first came about when I couldn’t find anything (affordable) to wear to Melbourne Cup Day. Everything in my price range was mass produced and covered in feathers, which wasn’t really my thing. I really felt like I had some great options available to me when it came to Aussie clothing labels, but it was that ‘finishing touch’ to my outfit that I was struggling with.
One piece in particular caught my eye in a shop window – partly because I loved the design, but also because I thought, ‘I could make that!’. After briefly checking the price tag (you don’t even want to know) and making a quick mental note of the structure, I detoured past Spotlight on my way home, and by evening’s end my outfit dramas were sorted.
The following year I decided to offer my new-found ‘talent’ to the wider community, and listed a range of headpieces (which looked like a cross between animal ears and pom-poms) on Etsy. As I’m sure is common with lots of creatives, my thoughts looking back on this first season are ‘what on EARTH was I thinking!?’. Not only was the design fairly horrendous, but I listed the products far too late in the season, didn’t promote in any way (not even an Insta account!), and my logo was put together on a Word document. Allow me to summarise with an Emoji...
Unsurprisingly, I didn’t sell a single piece. What was surprising though, was that I didn’t lose any motivation at all – I had loved every moment of the process. I started planning for the following year, and I began studying different millinery trends and techniques. By April 2016 I was ready to launch (take 2!). I listed my brand new range of products on Etsy, and created my Instagram and Facebook accounts that same day. The following week I had my first order, which was followed by my second a day later. I hadn’t actually expected to sell anything until peak Spring Racing season hit, so this was beyond exciting for me! (Side note: the Etsy app makes a brilliant ‘cha ching’ noise every time you sell something – also beyond exciting)
Since that initial (re)launch there have been PLENTY more learnings, but I’m still loving every second. I took the business full-time in August 2017, and since then have released several collections that I’m proud to say have come a long way since the pom-pom ears disaster!
Thanks so much for letting me share my story with you! Stay tuned for some big things to come!