The ladies behind The Travelling Kimono, Janelle and Nicki, are amazing. Laid back, smart, and creative, with an absolute passion for conscious, sustainable and ethical manufacturing. This small business has big plans and it is so exciting to follow along on their journey. Read on to find out a little bit about their background and what their future holds.
Tell us a little about yourselves before starting your own business.
Nicki and I grew up together in South Australia, we are basically family!
Before starting The Travelling Kimono I was working as a Personal Trainer and also leading treks on the Kokoda Trail as a medic.
I have always been creative and Ttk grew from my need for a creative outlet so I began sketching designs and realised this was something I wanted to pursue.
Photo by Rikki Lancaster
Tell us about The Travelling Kimono – who are you and what is it about?
The Travelling Kimono is an ethical / sustainable fashion label designed in Noosa, by myself, and handmade in Vietnam by our small team of ladies.
From the start of Ttk we have always been about providing empowerment for these women through excellent working conditions and pay, so they are able to support themselves and their families.
We have a big focus on sustainability and our main drive would be that we source deadstock fabrics which are 'end of roll' fabrics that the big companies no longer use that normally ends up in landfill around the world. We also use all of our offcuts to make headscarfs, scrunchies or children's clothing so we can be as close to zero waste as possible.
We are firm believers of conscious practices for both people and the planet.
We currently have our flagship boutique based in Noosa Junction which we opened nearly 2 years ago.
Photo by Emma Nevison
Which part of your brand do you enjoy working on the most?
The designing and creative side of it.
Janelle, you have 3 children – how do you balance motherhood with running a business?
My family are and will always be my first priority over the business. Times do get busy though and I do have an amazing support network of family and friends around me that are able to help and support when needed. I just try to really structure my days and be intentional about my time, but also be realistic with sometimes days don't always go to plan (you might have a sick child or a last minute thing that comes up) and just to be flexible and gentle with myself or rearrange my day so I might be working at night while the kids are asleep. It really is all about balance.
You have really exciting plans for The Travelling Kimono and have launched a Kickstarter Campaign. What is the aim of this?
We launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to build a warehouse in Vietnam so we can increase production of our label, which will help empower more women in Vietnam providing them with a sustainable, fair living wage.
Also within this warehouse we are going to house other fashion brands who are wanting to take the next step towards ethical / sustainable production.
Ultimately through this Kickstarter we are aiming to drive change in the way that fashion is produced around the world.
Photo by Emma Nevison
Your Everyday life
What do you enjoy doing (outside of your brand!)?
Being active, outside at the beach. Spending time with family and friends
What are you reading at the moment?
Girl Wash Your Face - by Rachel Hollis
What are you watching at the moment?
The Handmaids Tale
You live in Noosa and have a day with no responsibilities to do anything you like. What do you do?
Get up early and do the national park walk, then probably head to the beach for a swim / surf then enjoy the sunshine with a coffee and acai bowl.
Which do you prefer?
Dogs/cats - Dogs
Camping/staying in a hotel - Camping
Home cooking/eating out - Home Cooking
Watching a movie/reading a book - Reading
Summer/winter - Summer
Waking up early/staying up late - Waking up early
Tea/Coffee - Coffee
Sweet/savoury - Sweet
Breakfast/no breakfast - Breakfast
Online shopping/in store shopping - Online
And finally, what is the best gift you have ever received?
Ohhh this is a tough one.
The gift of life. Deep I know, but how lucky are we to be able to live, learn and grow.
Where to find The Travelling Kimono
Bricks and Mortar Store
Shop 1, The Pavilion
Sunshine Beach Road, Noosa Heads