When Ed and I started TradeMutt, it was hardly a goal of ours to make our mark in the fashion industry. In fact, we never once used the word “fashion” the entire time we were planning our business. Given this, you could imagine our reaction when we were asked to speak at the prestigious business workshop for Brisbane Fashion Month, sponsored by Australia Post and talk about our social enterprise company, TradeMutt.
On arrival, we were snapped candidly by the paparazzi and fashion press before being ushered along the red carpet and into the magnificent Bromley Room in West Village. Everything certainly felt foreign and elegant, from the art that decorated the walls, to the lavish spread presented along the beautifully decorated long tables. Ed and I glanced at each other more than once, wondering how exactly we had ended up in such a setting. None the less, we immersed ourselves in our surrounds and embraced it all, just as we have done with everything that has come our way since undertaking this journey that is TradeMutt.
The day was kicked off by Rebecca Borrows from Australia Post, who provided the room with a wealth of knowledge about gaining the competitive advantage and taking your fashion business to the world. Other guest speakers imparted knowledge on topics including public relations, legal issues faced in the fashion industry, market opportunities for fashion intersecting health and design, and start-up success fundamentals.
And then it was our turn, the TradeMutt lads. We were tasked with the job of talking about building a social enterprise, including the motivation, gaining support, the triumphs and the pitfalls. Obviously, everything about us and our brand was pretty different to those presenting before us, however it was clear, we had a real story to tell and we told it in our style. We spoke a lot about the fact that while we are a two-man band, we certainly would not be where we are today without the help of some key people along the way. The likes of Impact Academy helping us launch, to The New Garde fashion agency who have helped us with everything fashion and design related.
We had an extremely positive response from everyone in the room and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The feedback from people we spoke to afterwards was just how fantastic, different and refreshing it was to see two ordinary blokes have a crack at something they are both so passionate about. We certainly felt the love from everyone in the room and took a great deal away from all the other speakers on the day.
Our key takeaway was that you just never know what opportunities and experiences will present themselves to you if you just put yourself out there and commit to something you truly believe in. There are many people along the way who are more than happy to help and support in whatever capacity they can. Director, Laura Churchill and the rest of the team behind the Brisbane Fashion Month put together an extraordinary event that we are looking forward to attending again next year.