I am most comfortable in front of a sewing machine or standing at my cutting table with a tape measure draped around my neck but I’m going to add blogging to my vast list of things I do. Hello there, my name is Christine and I am the creative soul, the rugby top lady and the mum of three that has turned her love of sewing into a thriving clothing label. I am happy to share with you some tips, behind the scenes info and interesting bits and pieces to do with my business and why I do what I do.
I live in a small country town in South Australia called Keith. The population is approx 1200. We have an area school, post office, newsagent, IGA and all the other important stuff that keeps little towns alive. I have lived at Keith my entire life. I completed all of my schooling at Keith and found the love of my life at Keith and married him when I was only 19.
I can’t say that I actually aspired to become an entrepreneur. I was fortunate enough to fall into it. In 2001 I finished work and was readying myself for the impending birth of my first child; never being a person to sit still for long and under the impression that this baby raising thing was easy, I began making a few items of clothing to sell in the local ‘craft’ shop; The Purple Paddock. Wow, people actually wanted to buy the items that I was making! What a buzz! Within 6 months and at the age of 21, I had registered the Out & About business name, sourced some wholesale fabric suppliers and had a baby.
Out & About Clothing was a home based business for 15 years. It was the perfect job; flexible to fit around my family life, something creative to keep my mind and hands busy and a source of income.
I launched a website for Out & About Clothing in 2009 which really took the business to the next level. 2 years later in 2011 we took on our first employee, and in 2015 took on another part time. Also during this time the youngest of my 3 children started school, so what had been a spare time hobby turned into a 5 day a week and some nights and some weekends job!
These days Out & About Clothing has ‘moved out of home’ and into a great space within the township of Keith. I am super excited about this next step for our little business. One thing that I have found interesting was how you seem to slip through the cracks when you are working from home; You very much fly under the radar within your local community. Nobody really knows exactly what you do every day and how much effort you are putting into growing your empire. I’m actually doing exactly the same as what I have been doing for the past 15 years but now when you come into my shop, besides the walls lined with colourful rugby tops you can also see the work room, the sewing machines, cutting tables, rolls and rolls of fabrics, spools and spools of thread and the many baskets of colourful trims.
I was given a wall plaque not so long ago by my mother in law (whom I get along really well with) and it says that to do something well, you must love what you do! Well….I love what I do! And I pride myself on doing it well. A great philosophy for life!