A little bird from the bush delivering quirky, fun, bright fashion!

Published on 16 July 2020

Petrea George from Birdie and Lace

Petrea George owns a contract harvesting business with her husband that sees them travel from the Dysart area in north central QLD to Mungindi in north west NSW harvesting crops but Birdie and Lace is her baby, her pride and joy!!

HOW LONG HAS BIRDIE AND LACE BEEN OPERATING?

I started Birdie and Lace 2 1/2 years ago. I had a Facebook page called Peewee Designs that I used to sell handmade kids clothing but after a style change and complete re-brand, Birdie and Lace was born.

WHAT WAS THE MOTIVATOR TO START YOUR BUSINESS?

I really wanted something for myself. People were telling me that I should sell my creations so I thought why not. Plus I wanted to stay at home with my kids and still work. I love that my kids get to see how both of our businesses work and that hard work eventually pays off!!

I needed to be still available to help my husband and this gives me time to do that as well.

HOW HAS YOUR STYLE DEVELOPED OVER TIME?

When I started out I was only making kids clothing. The pretty dresses, shorts, shirts etc because I couldn’t resist all the gorgeous little kids fabrics. I then started making kids country style shirts and rompers. They took off and I had a huge demand for them. At this stage I was doing markets in Rockhampton and I felt there were so many kids stalls but not many that had handmade ladies wear. So I found an awesome fabric wholesaler and put together some dress patterns and started making ladies wear. I really niched down and started releasing limited release fabric collections on my social media pages. I still sell the kids country shirts as the demand is still high. 

WHAT HAVE BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU HAVE FACED?

Definitely this year with COVID!! My online business has taken off. But sourcing fabric has become somewhat of a challenge. Changes to the shipping side of things has seen us ordering Christmas fabric last month. Just so we know we will have it in time. There’s about another 3-4 week wait time on the already 4-6 weeks. I’ve started getting fabrics printed in Australia which is something I’ve been wanting to do.

WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO OTHER CREATIVES WANTING TO TURN THEIR HOBBY INTO A BUSINESS?

Just go for it!!! You don’t have to go all out. Start small and do your homework on it. Definitely find a niche that there’s not much of. But you will never know if you don’t start!! It can go one of two ways. If you fail then think of it as a learning tool and rewrite what your doing. 

You really need to push your marketing. Social media is such a fantastic tool to get your name out there. And learn!! I’m constantly learning and growing. I love to learn and I love to look at my analytics every month to see where to change what’s not working.

Mindset matters. If you need that mental health day then take it!! 

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN THE NEXT 5 YEARS?

I will still be here making Australian made slow fashion. I’m also working towards going into remote indigenous communities up north and teaching mothers how to sew for their babies and themselves. This is a dream of mine that will happen once I work out the logistics of it all. 

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

Creative people and Australian made!! I’m trying desperately hard to keep my brand as Australian as possible. From using Australian fabric designers to getting it printed in Australia. Plus there are sooo many fabulously creative people out there why not use them. How boring would it be without the creatives!

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT THE ROCKY REGION?

Opportunity!! There are so many markets and little co-operatives popping up that it’s a creatives dream!!

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO MOVE TO THE REGION?

We moved into the area for family and work. We have been in the region for 24 years and wouldn’t move anywhere else.