Leina Broughton and Fleur Richardson Co-Founded Leina & Fleur, a size inclusive online fashion label for professional women, designed and manufactured locally in Australia. The creative, business savvy pair self funded to grow their business into a hugely popular label with a devoted customer base of working women.
How have you blended traditional fashion expertise and digital innovation?
We both started working in traditional fashion companies of bricks and mortar and wholesale models. Very early on in our business we decided to step out of this and become pure play online and then a year later decided to only be available through our own website. Ecommerce was still in a very infant stage and we had to imagine and create how we thought it would work.
We knew who our target market was – she was us! Everything that we built was based on what we wanted and were missing as consumers. This approach has become the backbone of our company DNA.
How has being privately owned affected your growth?
Starting on a shoestring meant that every time we wanted to grow, we’ve had to generate the money needed for cashflow. We haven’t borrowed for our growth, we’ve worked hard for every single stage. Without intention, it also meant that every stage has had to be an organic growth… letting the audience, our product offering, our team, our premises grow as we did. We move fast, so this has been an exciting and exponential growth path.
What are the benefits of being a local, in house manufacturer?
Right from the beginning we both held the same passion for local manufacturing. The industry here is much more alive than is thought and we wanted to be part of ensuring it continued to grow and blossom. The absolute advantage of doing production locally is the speed to market, and also how connected we can be to the process. It’s exciting, challenging and ever rewarding.
ENGAGED CUSTOMER BASE
How has designing for working women aged 40+ led to a devoted following?
The 40+ female market has quite simply been excluded from the media and from marketing, despite the fact that we are considered the decision makers in purchases and also the highest earning category. This was not something intentional in the beginning. We created what we wanted to see, and that was us.
We wanted to see success and inspiration redefined. It’s not about being 20 and size 8, it’s about being your best version of yourself regardless of age, size or height.
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