We add brands and pieces to our collection that we completely fall in love with, and Mahli The Label's dreamy boho dresses were an absolute must for us! We chat with Bec, the beauty and brains behind the label, as she gives us a behind the scenes look at what it took to get her business up and running.
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us! Please introduce yourself! Who is in your family and where in Australia you live?
Thanks for having us! My name is Bec, I am 30 years old and a mama of one little girl called Mahli (3 years old) and a gorgeous hubby, Terry.
I was born & grew up in Melbourne and my husband is from New Zealand, we currently live in the north side of Melbourne but will be relocating to Bali at the end of the year.
Run us through those early days, what made you think of starting your own label and how did started?
I have always been creative and the drive to start a business, but it all really began when I was pregnant with my daughter and I was searching for nappy bag. I searched and searched and couldn’t find one that I liked that wasn’t over the $400 mark, so I started looking into creating my own affordable yet high quality nappy bag. Once my daughter was born it sparked a fire in me to create an affordable range that I had always been hunting for.
Could you share with us some of the main challenges you faced in those early days?
The hardest part for me was definitely sourcing suppliers. It was really important for us to find a supplier that uses high quality fabrics, and that we generally got along with and felt like we could have a great ongoing working relationship with ~ also to make sure that they aligned with our vision and commitment to ethical trade and sustainability.
And how long was it before you launched Mahli The Label?
We have been working behind the scenes for about three years and we went live in late March 2018, so we have officially been open one year now!
Tell us a bit about your current collection.
We have reached a point in our business now where we are focusing on three main collection streams:
- A neutral luxe linen, muslin & cotton range where we focus mostly on neutral tones ~ this range is handmade by a small family run business in Bali
- A Boho dress collection made from cotton gauze & rayon, featuring vintage cuts & floral prints ~ these are handmade from in Jaipur, India
- A luxe leather goods collection, high quality handcrafted shoes & bags (yes, that nappy bag is actually coming!) ~ handmade in Bali
What is your design process like with the three main collections?
For our neutral linen & cotton collection, the design process is a hard one, we usually go through quite a number of samples and try and test them before we are actually happy to release the collection, we sketch up drawings and send measurements to our tailors who then come up with a few ideas as well (they’re super creative!) then once the final samples are finished we start the production process (much the same for the shoe design process).
Our boho collection are not uniquely design by us, the boho dress is a traditional vintage indian style, however, we choose the fabrics, colours & patterns & change parts around to make them unique to our label.
As a mama, how do you juggle family life alongside running a successful business?
That’s definitely the hardest part, I also work 4 days a week at my day job. There has definitely been times where I find it extremely difficult but I think it’s just the passion I have for the label and the fire in me to succeed that has keeps me going. We also always make sure we go on regular road trips and camp in the middle of nowhere with no phone reception just to re-connect as a family in nature.
What do you enjoy the most about running your own business?
I really enjoy the design process, brainstorming ideas and creating the pieces. I also love the little community that comes with a business and connecting with other like-minded people and small businesses along the way.
And what do you find the most challenging?
Keeping up with the orders and emails, it’s very time consuming but we are forever grateful to be busy!
Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone who might be thinking about starting their own brand?
Sample, sample, sample! I made a few mistakes at the start and ordered large quantities without properly sampling, which as a result left me with a lot of product that I wasn’t happy with which resulted in money loss. Also to take your time finding the right supplier, it is critical for a successful, seamless business.