When I was younger all I cared about was being able to buy the things I wanted at a bargain price. I would search high and low for a good deal for four reasons
- I was young and my dad told me I should save for property
- I wanted to travel
- It became a really fun game for me to find bargains and I became really good at it
- I saw a lot of my friends spend hundreds of $$ on items they assumed were good quality because they were expensive.
Frugal? Maybe... I prefer financially savvy. Because of this savviness I managed to travel the world and live in other countries never having to worry about my savings account. The property will have to wait though, thank you Sydney property market and sorry Dad.
This lead me to thinking about starting an online e-commerce store where I could sell the items I found, cheaper than what they were at most shops. I spent hundreds of hours watching youtubers give their dropshipping advice and 'how to’s' etc.
Something stopped me though. I don't know why, it didn't seem right. Im quite a proactive person so as soon as I think of something I will make it happen, but I wasn't rushed by what I was hearing.
One of the tips I got out of that was to start my own line ‘bring your own product to the market’. I had planned to backpack South East Asia and thought that would be a good time to speak with some factories and see what we could do.
The older I became, the more interested I was in actual quality. My mum is a wedding dress maker and would constantly tell me to look at the type of fabric used and quality of the seams, to determine whether the price matches the quality. I learnt from mum what good quality was supposed to look like.
Mum also ran a boutique when she was younger and explained to me how 'Brands' increase their prices because people pay for 'Brands' not always quality, and the best quality will always be Bespoke or Couture.
I wanted good quality material, so I started looking more into fabrics and came across Bamboo and Hemp materials, which are a lot better for our skin, sit better on the body and last longer.
I started talking to factories and visiting them, but I found I would get all sorts of wrong information or they were misleading, like I was supposed to believe that Bamboo was actually made from Cotton ? 🤦♀️
As I travelled around I became deeply saddened by the amount of plastic I saw washed up on the beaches. It wasn’t something I was previously aware of, as I hadn’t seen it in real life and I thought the photos online were fake. Far from it.
After a few months of seeing all this rubbish and getting no where with any factories, I looked into the amount of pollution the fashion industry causes.
Did you know; Fast fashion causes 45% of pollution in the world, every year. So I decided to let this idea go. I didn’t want to be part of the reason more toxic waste went out into the world. Cue the violin and the hashtags #millenial #hippie.
While travelling I learn't that the Chinese preferred to buy products from Australia because the quality of the products are better than what they were finding in China. That seemed weird, surely they could replicate those products in their own factories. Apparently, there were special buyers who would buy these products and send them to China. Huh?! I thought. Yep, Google: Daigou
I come from a very creative and entrepreneurial family, and I had spent most of my time travelling meeting Artisans and convincing them to sell their products online.
So its no surprise, I had a light bulb moment .... and realised that there might be a market for Artisan products.
It all came together in my mind and I decided I would create a platform with hand selected Eco-friendly Artisan Made/Designed products from Australia.
My intention: To provide high quality handmade products that support Australian Artisans and our planet.
As I was inspired in Asia by Artisans who work their asses off, I wanted this to come full circle so I also decided that 10% of profits will go to Artisans in third world countries.
When you buy from Parker Boutique, you are buying from a local Artisan who pours their heart and soul into their work and we’re helping our planet by reusing materials or using materials that don’t harm the environment.
Buy locally and spread the word. I would love to hear your thoughts below :)