On the day of our shoot, the Tuesday after the October long weekend, the Beginning Boutique office is packed almost floor to ceiling with orders to go out to eager young fashionistas.
A flurry of girls run up and down the stairs of the Anthony Street warehouse with packages falling out of their arms, all with smiles on their faces. “Is this normal?” I ask Sarah, who laughs, “No! This is mayhem; we got so many orders in over the long weekend; we’ve been running around like crazy today.” At just 27, Sarah is the owner of a successful online fashion store which came from humble beginnings … the spare room at the back of her house to be precise. “When I was 21, I was lucky enough to travel to Paris and it inspired me so much and I knew I wanted to have my own store,” she says.
Sarah’s brave dream to create an online store was not well received at first. “When I first told people I wanted to establish an online fashion store, they laughed at me; no-one else was really doing it at that stage. The whole process to begin was really expensive and really hard work and I got burnt the first time around which caused a lot of heartache but we came out of it for the better,” Sarah says.
The business’s first office was in Archerfield. “To be honest, it looked like a bit of a drug den and only 30 or 40 square metres, but we had to start somewhere!” Sarah laughs. The Boutique quickly outgrew the space and found its new and current home on Anthony Street two and a half years ago. Now, Sarah and her BB team of 24 staff are flourishing, having just turned six in October. “It’s been such a fun and rewarding journey; to look back on it is really cool. Last year I was nominated for the Telstra Business Awards which was awesome,” Sarah says.
Sarah begins her week days at Black Star Coffee on Thomas Street, where she checks her emails and conducts the social media for the Beginning Boutique accounts, uploading and sharing the latest offerings ‘in-store’ and images from their latest photo shoots. “It’s such a nice way to start the day; the guys there are lovely and they have the best coffee,” Sarah says.
Sarah then arrives at the Anthony Street office where her day really begins. “My day to day can involve anything from styling a shoot, having meetings, doing interviews, ordering clothes or packaging,” Sarah says. She also takes the team to boot camp twice a week (not compulsory!) and likes to work out during the week at Brisbane Boxing.
To get away from the hustle and bustle, O’Reilly’s Guesthouse in the Gold Coast hinterland is her favourite way to escape. “Their massages are to die for!” she says. Sarah and her husband are West End locals and live by the river.
Words by Allie Gilfedder
Images by Rosemary Van De Linde