Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A new chapter!

Hi folks!

Yep… it’s been a long time, I know, but I have a pretty good reason.

Unfortunately the reason may actually mean that a number of you may no longer follow my blog as it, like my life, is about to take a major change in direction.

I know that many of you have come to my blog from Sew Retro and are therefore interested in seeing sewing adventures, but – well, to be honest that hasn’t happened a lot in my life lately anyway – there isn’t going to be a lot of that here in the future.

Due to a series of events that the universe has put in my life over the last 12 months, I have decided to bite the bullet and go for it… I’ve started my own business!!

Really, you only get one go around in this life and wishing for something doesn’t make it happen. Nothing ventured, nothing gained… how many more clich├ęs can I come up with here? Smile

Late last year I had an epiphany and realised that I am entirely capable of running a business and it was time to stop making excuses as to why I couldn’t. Yes, money is going to be an issue for quite some time but it is amazing what you can get used to.

Curbing my casual shoe collection and buying things on a whim – even small things like a takeaway latte – isn’t a massive problem but saying no to outings with friends because I really cannot afford it has been harder… and as for weekends away and holidays… wow, they are so far off my radar that it isn’t funny.

So what am I doing, you ask?

I heard of an amazing Australian government programme called NEIS – New Enterprise Incentive Scheme – around Christmas last year and knew it was for me.

Basically, you apply with a new business idea – you can’t already be running the business, you can’t buy an established business and you can’t buy a franchise – and if accepted, you go through a 7 week Small Business Management course (which is normally done as a 9 month course!), then, (presuming you pass the course), you are officially employed by the government to run your business for 12 months, which includes financial support (not huge, but enough to cover your rent and food and take that little bit of pressure off the new business), a business mentor and quarterly check-ins to make sure the ship is sailing smoothly.

How amazing is that?! The best start any small business could ask for. Being a government plan that has been running since the 1980s, you can bet it is a successful venture or it would have been canned long ago.

So, I finished the course and learned a tonne of things, made some great new friends, came out with a fantastic business plan… but it wasn’t the same idea that I went in with.

I mean, the basic outline is the same – I am selling vintage-style women’s clothing and accessories – but instead of the bricks and mortar shopfront that I envisaged (and, by the way, still definitely want!) I am in the online realm!

Crimson Gardenia

Yep! I have the biggest grin on my face as I type this post. I have finally done it!

It is not exactly what I planned, but I have made a start and that is the main thing. All things going well, I hope to open a bricks and mortar store sooner rather than later, but in the meantime I’m exploring the digital world and getting Crimson Gardenia out there.

I am only shipping to Australian addresses to start with, but I hope that the pictures and conversations on this blog will still have some relevance to your interests.

I am, of course, always interested in hearing your feedback and suggestions. I am starting out with a small range but any suggestions for other suppliers or products are very, very welcome. I would definitely love to have more Australian content on my website, so if you know of any manufacturers… please send them my way Smile

Henrietta front

I’m sure that more than one of you will recognise this lovely lady! Bernie Dexter designs and manufactures her own clothing range and I’m very pleased to be one of her stockists.

She truly cares about her customers and as excellent customer service and quality products are my priorities, I think we make a good fit. It also doesn’t hurt that she is a strong, independent woman who is doing her own thing – and is as nice as pie!

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. I’m pretty excited about it – and why wouldn’t I be? I’m finally following my dream!

Denise xx


  1. I had wondered where you'd disappeared to! Congratulations on the new business venture, it sounds very exciting.

  2. Just read your post on wesewretro, was inspired by the photos as I sell vintage too & sometimes struggle with display. Good luck with your business venture, I started almost 2 years ago & so glad that I did. Will check out all your sites, & wishing you all the best with your ventures, Karen

  3. Thanks ladies!
    Sorry for the delay in reply... I've been a little busy. Thank goodness :-)
    I love that Hawaiian shirt rescue you did, Karen. It looks fantastic!
    Thank you both for commenting... I now have another two blogs added to Google Reader! :-)