Sure! My name is Yvette, I am thirty two and in 2014 I launched my dream business. I run a style advisory service for enterprising women, called ‘The Bespoke Dresser’. I believe that dressing well can be wildly influential. I come from New Zealand, with a background working for luxury fashion brands. I was lucky enough to travel and explore Europe some time ago and this helped inspire the concept for my bespoke business.
What do you consider you distinctive achievement?
I think it would be to have dressed over 7,000 women so far in my career journey. It is a real thrill to be able to create an innovative brand concept that helps women in business present themselves with confidence. Part of that brand concept was to create a website that reflected my love of art and fashion. I wrote to Judith van den Hoek to collaborate as her portfolio of work with iconic fashion brands was so impressive. It was a great achievement to be the first company in New Zealand to commission her work. Judith is pure illustrative genius. She created my ‘lady in red’ and ‘bespoke occasion’ piece that I absolutely love. Like so much of Judith’s work, those illustrations help make my brand distinctive in the marketplace.
What are you looking forward to?
I am looking forward to my next overseas trip, which will almost certainly include a visit to my favourite city Maastricht. Travel and exploring Europe for fashion inspiration are always on my agenda! Longer term, I would love to achieve my goal of being the style advisory for the next generation of NZ businesswomen, helping them to a position of influence on the global stage.
Which advice would you give to other professionals?
I guess it depends on what enterprise you have, but my two big learnings so far have been.. Bold people: get yourself a group of friends who are equally bold people doing cool stuff. I am lucky enough to have my own ‘girl gang’ who are talented creatives from different industries. We meet for wine, chat about the hustle, the challenges and how to make our goals happen. You have to have these people. They carry you through and genuinely contribute to your journey and celebrate your successes.
Re-evaluate: review your business on a monthly basis with business mentors. I am constantly re-evaluating existing services to find ways to make our offering in the marketplace more distinctive. Don’t focus on competitors, just keep innovating and defining your product or service to the highest standard possible.
What are the challenges we need to overcome to cultural entrepreneurship?
Creative industry is rising in New Zealand and we are encouraged to be bold and innovative from a young age. I would say that the challenges we need to overcome are to also provide the practical workshops so that start-up ideas can become commercially viable.
I believe quality mentorship also plays a big role, providing practical support and knowledge base to a new generation of innovators.