It’s no secret that Australia is home to some of the best Bridal Bosses in the world – international brides absolutely love our designers and can’t get enough of our labels overseas! I’ve sat down with Becca and Kara, the bridal bosses behind luxury lingerie label Mae’s Sunday to find out what makes their business tick and how this Melbourne label has taken New York by storm.
What inspired you to create Mae’s Sunday?
I found myself being drawn to having something that I could be proud of, something that I’d achieved myself. I had seen my parents build a successful business and I knew I wanted to feel that same level of achievement for myself. I was looking for something that allowed me to use my creative and feminine sides. I also was desperate to achieve my life goal of going to New York City for work. Kara was already in the Bridal Industry with her job, and over a few chats we discovered that by coming together to create a brand we were each bringing to the table something of value. Luckily we had the same ideas and the same feelings about what we wanted for and from Mae’s, which made it very easy right from the beginning. Everything flowed really naturally and before we knew it we had our very first collection of robe.
What is the best thing about working with family?
I love working with family. My other job is also a family business, and I grew up with my parents running that very business, so it’s just life as I know it. I don’t think I’d want it any other way. I think there’s a level of calmness and understanding that comes with working with family members. Everyone has each others backs every step of the way, there’s no rivalry, there’s no agendas. Everyone genuinely wants the absolute best for each other, because at the end of the day, you want them to be as successful in life and work as you are. When you win, they win and vice versa. It’s also amazing that when we’re working we get to spend time together. Our office has a very relaxed and casual atmosphere because we’re so familiar (yes I meant that pun) with each other.
Take us through a day in the life of your business:
My day starts before I’m even out of bed. I know that sound terrible and goes against every self help and life balancing book out there. But unfortunately when you’re on the other side of the world to your production team you have to make the most of every minute where the time zones work for you both being ‘in the office’. So it’s emails right away, putting out any fires and answering any questions before the New York offices shut down for the day. Kara and I will always cross check with each other in the mornings in relation to anything urgent. Mornings are also spent collecting and wrapping up our orders. Throughout the day there’s often media requests, sending out pieces for shoots, or dealing with wholesalers, customer questions and of course the ever important Instagram.
How do you both juggle Mae’s Sunday with your other work?
We never try and expect too much of ourselves or each other. Working two jobs is hard, so we always make sure we cut ourselves some slack, and don’t get worked up when things feel a little crazy busy. I also feel that because Mae’s is a passion project it makes it easier, in that when we’re working on it, it doesn’t feel like work. We’re so lucky that we love what we do with Mae’s and it’s completely satisfying for us, so even the hard days become worth it. I also learnt early to always be present. And that goes for your personal life too. When I’m home and switched off, I’m switched off. I’m no longer Becca from Mae’s, I’m just Becca.
Has anything surprised you about the journey so far?
Unfortunately in the early days we discovered that there are some companies that don’t have their hearts in the right place. It really hurt us in the early days. but now that we’ve grown we don’t let it affect us too much. On a positive note we’ve definitely surprised ourselves with just how far we can stretch ourselves in terms of work load. We’ve found that being passionate about something lets you operate on a whole other level. Mae’s is our baby, and we’d move heaven and earth for her. I don’t think we realised how she’d shape us and teach us either. Both the positives and the negatives along the way, they’ve all helped us be who we are as a brand today.
What’s your Sunday morning routine?
Sundays are so amazing. They call for a really long breakfast, and more than one coffee. And all of this in my Mae’s Sunday Robe of course. I’m a big fan of our Robe No 2 in Black. I wear mine every morning and evening. I love that I don’t have to worry about getting it dirty, and because I’m on the short side I find the sleeve length perfect for me. I also love spending Sunday mornings making a list of all the things I’d like to accomplish during the day. Sundays really feel like a day where you can clear your head so you’re walking into Monday refreshed.
What has been your ‘pinch me’ moment?
There have been a couple actually. My top 5 are just the greatest and make me so happy to think about…
The first one was actually the first time I ever got to tell someone that I was in NYC for work. It was a dream come true for me. I was physically ticking it off a life goal.
The next one was both Kara and I together, when we were backstage at New York Fashion Week and stood there waiting to walk out at the end of our show to take a bow. The whole how far should we walk out, how slow should we walk, should we try and wave at our Mums (who were proudly filing in the front row of course) was so surreal.
Soon after that I was standing at the counter at a supplier in NYC and a girl in line behind me over heard me say that the order was for Mae’s Sunday, and she tapped me on the shoulder and told me how cool it was that I worked for Maes Sunday.
The next was when I was sitting at home one night googling Mae’s (yes I do that a bit), and stumbled on an article that had been written about us in Vogue Paris. We had no idea the article existed, so it was quite the surprise. In the article they referred to us as “The Lingerie label on everyone’s lips.” Lastly was shortly after that when Vogue reached out and requested us to drop off some of our collection to their New York office for them to include in an upcoming shoot. I was walking on heaven as I walked into those offices with my garment bags over my shoulder.
What inspired the decision to set up in NYC?
We would have loved to keep our production local (Melbourne), but we just couldn’t find a production team that could cater to what we needed. We’d also set up our lace production in NYC, and given that the lace is so thick and heavy, it made sense to have production nearby so the lace wasn’t being carted all over the world. Then we discovered that NYC has the most amazing Garment District that’s like a little city within itself. There’s building after building, filled with everything you could possibly need for garment production. It was a no brainer for us at that point. It also helped matters that right on top of my tick box for life goals was to travel to New York for work.
What advice would you give to brides on the morning of their wedding?
Make a list. Or maybe that’s just me, because I’m a lists person. There will be so much going on, and you’ll spend the morning feeling like you’re going to forget to do something or take something. So prepare a little list of what needs to happen that morning, of what you need to take with you when you leave, and of anything you want to do BEFORE you put the dress on. Because once the dress is on you’re so limited.
Describe your dream bride:
An organised bride. The robes and lingerie ordering is often left to the last minute and it’s so stressful tracking the parcel, hoping like nothing else that it makes it to her in time for her big day. We also love a Bride who loves to share her pictures of herself in our pieces. It makes us so happy to see our customers looking amazing.
What is your most popular piece?
Our best selling piece would definitely be our Robe No 1 in Natural. This was the very first piece we designed, and to this day it’s still our biggest seller. We’ve re-cut the style so many times over the years, I think I’ve even lost count. We simply can’t keep it on the shelf. But when it comes to our social media, our Lauri Beaded Bodysuit gets the biggest response whenever we post it. It’s hard not to love the Lauri, who doesn’t love beading?!