Brett is a Durban fashion and beauty blogger who launched her very own clothing label and online store last year. I thought of catching up with her and talk more about her take on the blogging industry in South Africa and her journey in entrepreneurship.
In one word, describe the South African blogging industry last year; Developing
Are there things that the blogging industry in South Africa needs to improve this year? I definitely think there is room for improvement in the blogging industry in South Africa. My main concern would be the remuneration for blogger services. Some bloggers are getting it right, & are earning an income from blogging. But on the other hand, some bloggers (even the established ones) are happy to work for a freebie.
Has launching your own clothing label always been your dream? It’s been a tough journey, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Growing my Brett Robson brand, expanding into ecommerce myself with the Shop Brett Robson online platform, & having the support of Zando who is an official stockist of my brand has really given me opportunity to build soething much bigger than I ever thought. This has always been a dream for me, I am jusr so glad my blogging career has helped me grow & expand what the name Brett Robson means to people. I’m also grateful to the blogging community. I have had so much support from not only the bloggers I consider friends, but also from bloggers who I don’t even know. It’s truly been amazing.
I am sure there are thousands of bloggers out there hoping to achieve the same as you, give me 5 tips to turning a blog into a business;
It’s been months since Shop Brett Robson was launched, tell me about the growth you’ve seen in the business so far; It has been amazing, & honestly, not at all what I expected. As the business owner, I wanted this to work more than anything, & I always maintained a positive attitude when faced with any challenges, but at same time – I’m a realist & I know that sometimes things take time to take off. Brett Robson merchandise has done really well on Zando. I get excited when I see that a new style has been uploaded & already selling out. That is an amazing feeling. Our Shop Brett Robson online shop is also doing well, with a record number of orders going out over the festive perioid. I had merchandise in my home because our warehouse was closed for the holidays & I didn’t want to miss out on any sales or keep customers waiting for their orders. My living room was the warehouse & I packed each order that went out. It kept me busy. Also, I have to mention the Shop Brett Robson POP UP which we held over Dec/Jan period at the 8 Morrison retail space. It has been the most awesome opportunity to see my merchandise in a retail environment, & witness customers interacting with the merahndise; hearing the feedback. The experience has been invaluable, & I definitely see more pop ups all over the country.
If you were to collaborate with a South African designer in a collection, which designer would you want to work with? Name one and explain why; I don’t have a specific designer I would like to collaborate with. But I would absolutely love to collaborate with a footwear or handbag brand. That for me would be amazing, because I am really a shoe & bag girl more than anything.
Are there any international designers or bloggers you dream of collaborating with? There are so many brands, designers, bloggers I would like to work with at some point. My list is endless, but I will limit it to my Top 3.
When coming up with designs for new collection, where do you get inspiration from? I look at what’s happening in terms of trends in fashion, colour & textile. The thing about clothing/fashion is that there will always be key silhouettes & styles that are a must for the season, but it’s just how you interpret it that makes it different. When I look at these elements collectively, I eventually decide on what it is that I see myself wearing. What I would like to be photographed in for my blog. If I can see something working then I go for it.
Running a successful blog, a business and also having to manage a 9-5 must be really tough – what’s your secret to staying at the top of your game? I don’t sleep much! Hahaha no seriously I sleep 4-5 hours a day max. It’s tough, & I am constantly working on more than one project at a time, but everything I do is so heavily involved with the next thing, I don’t see myself quitting any of the above aspects of my life. Aiside from the security of a 9-5 salary; my job as a merchndiser in the clothing industry affords me international travel, exposing me to the latest trends in fashion & textiles; I get to interact with fabric mills directly, & import my own fabrics for the Brett Robson brand; and my work environment also has an amazing support system of so many people who are more knowledgable than I am in many areas of clothing so that is pretty awesome for me. I love what I do, & that is really what drives me to work harder.
What is your message of inspiration to aspiring bloggers and young entrepreneurs? Nobody will put as much effort into your ideas as you will. So, your success is determined by how much you put into everything you do.