Brisbane is home to many bright young entrepreneurs who go on to kick butt all around the world. These three amazing women may have left the Aussie shores behind, but they’re still proud to call Australia home.
Molly Goddard, Desmond & Dempsey
It all started with drinking games at a pub in Whistler, Canada. Molly hit it off immediately with Londoner Joel but they soon had to part ways, with Molly returning home to finish her studies at QUT and Joel moving back to London to “play grown ups and get a job”. In order to keep in touch, they resorted to Sunday Skype sessions.
“Because of the time difference, I always ended up being in my pyjamas,” Molly says.
When Molly moved to London for a job with an ad network, she moved in with Joel and his mates. Instead of her usual nighties, she started wearing Joel’s shirts.
“I loved the way they fit and would spend the entire Sunday hanging about in them.”
After one too many spilt coffees, it was agreed Molly had to get her own pyjamas, but she couldn’t find what she wanted.
“There was nothing that offered cool prints, lovely cotton and a more accessible price tag, so we decided to make our own.”
And so Desmond & Dempsey was born. The boyfriend shirt is the dominant silhouette, reimagined for the bedroom and tailored for the female figure. Business is booming, with designs from Desmond & Dempsey even being featured in Vogue.
Molly still has a strong connection to Brisbane and she and Joel are planning to get married here. “I am very lucky that I have two homes now,” she says.
Britt Laspina, Britt Laspina Designs
Britt first realised she had a knack for designing when she caught herself doodling symmetrical patterns in class. After finishing her degree in Business at QUT, Britt was approached to have her artwork printed on fabric and she started up her own design business at the tender age of 19. It was her father who encouraged her to pursue her dreams of making her hobby into a career.
“He told me if I do what I love, the money would follow,” Britt says.
Inspired by traditional Japanese and Korean patterns, all of Britt’s designs are hand-drawn and –painted. While this personal touch is a natural and essential part of Britt’s work, it has been largely phased out in other design houses due to digital advancements.
With her philosophy of staying true to her aesthetic and practicing professionalism at all times, Britt has gained clients all over the world. While she spends most of her time in New York these days, Britt says she is proud of her hometown.
“I tell everyone in New York where I’m from,” Britt says. “Even pyjama king Peter Alexander asked me if I was from Sydney or Melbourne after hearing my accent. I was happy to answer quickly that I was actually from Brisbane – shock horror!”
What does she miss the most about living in Brisbane? The breakfasts.
“It’s pretty hard to match up to our amazing breakfast culture,” she says.
Jasmine Garnsworthy, Stylecaster.com
Growing up in Papua New Guinea and moving to Brisbane when she was 11, Jasmine Garnsworthy worked in PR while undertaking a Bachelor of Mass Communication at QUT.
After relocating to Sydney, she landed her first editorial gig with Mamamia when she was just 22 years old. Jasmine then worked as the fashion editor at Popsugar in Sydney after a friend saw a tweet about the role and suggested she apply. A press trip with H&M to New York was Jasmine’s first taste of the city.
“I didn’t exactly love New York at first sight but I was totally fascinated and knew I needed to live here,” she says.
So she applied for a role, got the job and was on a plane a few weeks later.
From mapping out the day’s news content to having smoothies delivered directly to her desk (“I love that you can get anything on demand in this city!”), Jasmine’s job has many perks, including attending New York Fashion Week, jetting off on press trips to Playa del Carmen with Escada, and heading to Miami with Lacoste.
Jasmine says she loves the immediacy of working in a digital environment, “It’s fascinating to watch audience behaviour change in real time, and react immediately with editorial decisions,” she says.
Now studying an MBA externally through Griffith University, Jasmine’s advice to anyone looking to live and work overseas is to plan it out.
“Relocating is expensive and it can be difficult to find a job. Research working visa options and call in favours from any connection you have in the country you wish to move to before you go. Be shameless and persistent!”