As business students with shopping addictions, Thessy and Yiota decided to start their own fashion blog, Sabo Skirt, documenting their purchases and daily outfits.
Showcasing something unique to the market – looks that were both fashionable and affordable - the blog quickly amassed a large following. And, along with the followers came the emails: all requesting where they could buy the clothes.
“We saw a demand for the clothing we were wearing, so we created Sabo Skirt: the shop so that we could meet that demand and cater to our followers,” Thessy says.
In just three years, Sabo Skirt's online store and virtual presence has gone from strength to strength. They have grown from a team of two working 24/7, to a team of 15, including a graphic designer and fashion designer creating prints and designs in-house. With a following of more than 900,000 on Instagram alone, fans from all over the globe are now clicking on, ‘adding to bag’, and hash-tagging their Sabo Skirt purchases by the second.
Thessy says when it came to establishing their online retail store, building on their already strong online presence was key.
“A lot of our buyers have come from our blog,” says Thessy. “We had quite a large following on from the U.S. so I think that’s just transferred on to the shop - it was a natural progression.” And while the business has grown internationally, the girls still remain in their hometown of Brisbane.
“It’s one of the beauties of having an online store. Location doesn’t really play a factor, and we’ve been able to stay where our families are and where we love to live”
Sabo Skirt have recently been involved with the Project SPF Campaign promoting sun safety, and have just launched their most exciting addition to the brand yet; Sabo Sport.
“Working with the SPF Campaign has been great, as we’re strong believers that in protecting your skin and being fashionable at the same time,” Thessy says.
“And I am loving our sportwswear – I’m obsessed; it’s so comfortable and different to anything else you’ll see as we have all Sabo Skirt prints on them.” As for what’s next, the girls are tight lipped.
“We’ve always got other things planned – we have some very exciting stuff in the pipeline. And, they love being able to grow the business exactly how they want it.
“We’re in total control of where the business goes: the ethical part of it, the public part of it, the insides of it. It’s really good being able to control all that. I guess you get a sense of fulfillment from doing well and knowing that it’s all because of Thessy and I,” Yiota says.
Both are grateful to have supportive families, and a business partner they can call close friends.
“I definitely couldn’t have done it without Yiota,” Thessy says. “When I’m telling people about my success and how I’ve done it, it’s definitely thanks to having someone that I can rely on and go to for support and ideas,” Says Thessy.
And, as for advice for other young women looking to start their own business?
“Planning is really important. We spent about a year planning which is something a lot of people don’t really think about,” Yiota says.
Thessy says it’s about building your business someone you trust – and never giving up.
“Work with someone you’re comfortable with. Stay humble, stay grounded - and just push and keep pushing.”