BRAVA X By Samantha Melbourne  Collaboration

BRAVA X By Samantha Melbourne Collaboration

At By Samantha Melbourne, we believe in the transformative power of a good dress - and what goes underneath it. Proper-fitted underwear in the correct size and shape transforms how your dress sits and drapes. Underwear is the very first thing we put on every day, and most of the time, we pay so little attention to it. And we need to revise it because a good bra changes everything - not only the shape of your dress but also your posture, level of your confidence, your mood. And Experts in BRAVA Lingerie know it. 

We are happy to announce our first collaboration with the fantastic brand Brava Lingerie, who reached out and invited us to have a bra-fitting experience in their shop in Melbourne and share their knowledge about all shapes, wires and lines! 

The Brava shop we visited is very welcoming, nice-looking and girly. The changing rooms are big, warm and equipped with big mirrors and good light to have the best experience possible. The bra-fitting experience was very nice and stress-free: we had enough time to change our clothes, try different models and colours of bras, ask questions and take photos/notes. 

Thirty minutes is what it takes to find out your size, best styles, and most suitable colours. After you try the proper bra for your shape and size, your old one will feel wrong immediately. Brava Lingerie @bravalingerie are experts in D cup and up and they are here to help you to find your best bra to feel your best. They have several locations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and they are open for you.

Wrap Dress is the core of your wardrobe. The bra is the foundation of your look.

Visit their store https://www.bravalingerie.com.au/
May 10, 2022 — Samantha Bradbury
Meet the maker behind our growing brand!

Meet the maker behind our growing brand!

Most of the time fashion labels focus on the glitz and glamour of making gorgeous clothes whilst forgetting about the talented people that make the brand what it is. As you know we manufacture and design here in Melbourne and we'd love to introduce you to our superstar local maker, Thai! 

Thai's story is one that is both inspiring and harrowing. He came to Australia from Vietnam by boat in the early 1980's to escape humanitarian and economic troubles in Vietnam. He and many of his family members risked their lives sailing in unsafe vessels on rough open ocean seas in search for a better life. Thai and his family made many attempts of escaping Vietnam and were finally successful in being given refugee status in the mid-1980's. After spending 2 years in refugee camps in Malaysia, a young Thai was resettled in Melbourne in the 1985.

He worked many jobs to make ends meet and found a job working alongside one of Melbournes long standing manufacturing companies. Through this position as a machinist he gained the skills he needed to start his own manufacturing business in 1995. Thai has worked with Melbourne made labels like Mesop, Soon and many more.

 We've had the pleasure of working with Thai and his family for the last 6 years and have loved growing our business with him and his family. Thai was so gracious to take us on as a manufacturing partner all those years ago ( we started by producing 20mtrs of fabric on one style and now we produce more than 500mtrs a month across 5+ styles!). 

Thai is a kind, gentle and humble man. The fashion industry can be so cruel and at times, however working with Thai and his family has been an absolute joy. I hope you're able to feel this love and warmth every time you wear your By Samantha Melbourne clothing .

March 14, 2022 — Samantha Bradbury
Week two of Liptember : our range

Week two of Liptember : our range

Welcome to Spring!

We have 4 gorgeous Aussie-made shades of lipstick that you can purchase in time for Liptember:

Sunday ( nude coffee-with-cream-ish shade)

Jess ( light purple shimmer shade)

Lizzy ( bright magenta shade)  

Samantha ( our signature Red)

Emma ( our pink shimmer shade) 


All our lipsticks are mineral lipsticks that deliver shine and a perfect soft colour in an irresistibly lightweight formula. They are Australian made on the sunny Gold Coast and are all cruelty-free. And when you order lipstick from us it comes with a cute zip-up pouch.


Did you know our models wears our lipsticks for all photoshoots and even after an intense 8-hour-long session her lips were perfect?


Now, how you can participate in Liptember and help us to support mental health services for Australian women:

  1. Buy our gorgeous lipsticks with our special code (down below)
  2. Put your bright lipstick on to support the movement (for one day, one week or an entire month - you do what the most comfortable for you)
  3. Post your selfies wearing bright lips with the hashtag #liptemberBSM and #lipsbysamantha so we can see your support!
  4. Follow us on socials for special liptember content on Instagram and FB 
  5. At the end of the month, we will donate $5 from each sold lipstick to liptember charity
September 08, 2021 — Samantha Bradbury
Liptember 2021

Liptember 2021

We’ve got amazing news. This September we are participating in a charity event for all women in Australia -  Liptember 2021!
What is Liptember?
Liptember is a campaign dedicated to raising funds and awareness for women's mental health, harnessing the true potential of the collective, encouraging and inspiring people to listen, share, and learn.

Funds raised during the month are donated to a range of Impact Partners who deliver carefully selected women's mental health programs, initiatives, support services and research.
The motto of the event is: 
Helping start the conversation off, by popping a little colour on.
How cool is that? Definitely our vibes!

Why did we decide to participate?
How can we not? Our brand is made and designed by women for women and we strongly believe that women should support each other.
I think we can all agree that mental health is extremely important. We carry a lot of responsibilities as mothers, sisters, daughters, partners, wives, leaders, businesswomen. We care about ourselves and our families. We build careers, raise children, grow love and make our world a better place for future generations.

We work, we love, we train, we care, we soothe, we smile, we kiss, we cuddle, we support, we teach, we protect, we fight, we achieve. Also, we cry, struggle and lose hope. Sometimes, we can’t do it anymore. Sometimes it is our dearest and nearest who struggle.
How can we look after those we love if we are not ok?
We want you to be more than ok - we want you to be happy, bright, healthy, free, loved and cared for, satisfied, and feel beautiful! 
So, this September we are going to use all our platforms as an opportunity to help other women.
What are we going to do?
- We'll be posting images of beautiful women we love and inspire us
- Offer a special discount code ' LIPTEMBER21 ' for all our gorgeous shades of lipsticks 
- At the end of the month, $5 from each lipstick sold during the event will be donated to a liptember charity 
Are you with us, gorgeous ladies?
 
August 30, 2021 — Samantha Bradbury
What is body positivity and body diversity- is there such a thing as ‘body neutrality’?

What is body positivity and body diversity- is there such a thing as ‘body neutrality’?

HI there, my name is Lana & I'm so happy to be able to share my little option piece about my thoughts and journey with body positivity during these crazy covid times. I hope my thoughts and writing help you in some way :)
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There is so much pressure today to embrace the body positivity movement, but how does that look, feel, and translate into reality?
Does body positivity mean that I relax and let my body just be as it is because all bodies are made beautiful? Should I work on my body because apparently nothing is sexier than a perfectly rounded and toned bootie? Should I start sipping almond latte’s, join a yoga studio and subscribe to the modern cult-mindsets of ‘wellbeing is king’? Should I start doing exercises because “we are in a lockdown ladies and it does not mean we can relax, There are no excuses”?
What does body positivity say about my practical, financial and anatomical limitations?  
Also , what does the doctrine of body positivity say about depression, stress, anxiety and other mental health issues that arrive from the lockdowns we’ve found ourselves in these last few years?
Is it ok to admit that body positivity does not feel very positive anymore when there are so many conditions placed on my appearance?
I don’t think I’m the only one that would admit that the last 12 months have been very challenging. Personally, I’ve experienced my marriage breakdown, major back surgery, chronic pain, and weight gain from all these things combined. I’ve gone from what I thought was the dream relationship/ reality to being alone during the Melbourne lockdowns after a major back surgery.
I’ve followed the body positivity movement with trepidation and after the year I’ve had, I feel like I don’t want body positivity; I moreso want body neutrality.
What does this mean you ask? For me, it means that I don’t want all this attention or spotlight on the shape or size of my body. Social media sells/markets a glossy glamours life style, but we all know the reality of life is that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows 24/7. The everchanging ‘standard of beauty’ that are constantly being marketed to us leave me feeling stressed and I feeling like it’s all unattainable.   
It’s only after my recent back surgery that I realised this body has been carrying me for the last 32 years and I need to care more about the health of my body instead of always  focusing on the aesthetics. I want to provide food, rest, joy, physical activity and love to my body; not shame, guilt and stress. I want to be loved, be healthy, wear good clothes that make me feel comfortable and confident. Like everyone, I don’t want to be judged or identified only via my body, I am much more than that.
In this way I want both neutrality and positivity for my mind and body. To be in a place of balance where my mind, soul and body are fed by standards of love, kindness and peace. Understandably, this journey of the mind and body are not quick ventures and will take my life to perfect, there are no quick fixes. I think the most important part of this journey of self-discovery is to simply begin and be open to change.
* This photo is an image Lana has made of the glamorous Grace of Monico if she wore our Pink Waratah print ;)
 
August 11, 2021 — Samantha Bradbury
Life in lockdown Part 1: Our tips and tricks to surviving lockdown / working from home!

Life in lockdown Part 1: Our tips and tricks to surviving lockdown / working from home!

 
Lets face it though, working from home is both a blessing and a curse. What do I mean by this? While working with our furry friends all day is an obvious bonus, the switch to a home-office working environment comes with it’s own challenges. As we work from a home, here are the pitfalls we’ve fallen into and what we’ve learnt about ourselves/ how we’ve overcome them.
August 29, 2020 — Samantha Bradbury

2018 Women of Strength qtr1 : Selina McGarrigle


The Women of Strength Campaign is our way of giving back to a community of women who’ve either endured a challenging life experience or event to have come out the other side with her head held high. We’ve asked our audience to nominate a women in their life that needs her experience and story honoured. We’re a fashion business with a big heart and we gift each of our contributors with a dress of their choice as a way of showing solidarity and appreciation. As we share their stories with you, we sincerely hope that you are encouraged by the strength of these women that have endured life’s challenges with guts and grace.
So here we go, may we introduce Selina McGarrigle from sunny Brisbane, Queensland!

(Selina modeling for a Curve photo shoot)
1. Tell us a little about yourself Selina
What can I say? I wasn’t sure what to write so I asked a few of my closest friends!
They describe me as passionate, driven, loving, soul-nourishing, inspirational, and a savvy woman with a heart of gold! I have to say I’m blown away because for so long I’ve felt that I had to be something or someone else . I felt pressure to be a certain size, manner, shape - I really felt that to be ‘myself’ wasn't enough and I had to be 'perfect'.
I grew up in Sydney and was told that I was ‘dumb’ by my teachers and would never progress academically past the age of 8. I felt useless, no matter how hard I tried, it was never good enough. I carried this for years, despite turning around my grades, I struggled with depression and low self esteem. I was also violently assaulted at the ago of 16 years old. I tried so hard not to let things affect me – I was more active in the community, started a peer support group for girls in my high school and got into university. Unfortunately all of these things did not help my mental and emotional wellbeing - I became an emotional comfort eater and a silent self hater.
At the age of 25 - I left my career in child protection (truth be told, I burnt myself out trying to do it all and was working over 60hrs a week!) and had a emotional breakdown. I needed to take time for myself, so I decided to travel the world and focus on me. Little did I know that this choice would lead to some of the happiest times of my life!
I ended up spending five years travelling and living in many different places including London, New York, Somerset and Paris. I got to work with some very special young people and was able to encourage and assist them in their growth. I fell in love for the first time and finally felt like I had found myself and could be myself.
Unfortunately, at the age of 30 I was required to return to Australia as my visa was expiring and my relationship ended.
I hit rock bottom about 4yrs ago which lead me to successfully turned my life around through learning through coaching, NLP and Hypnosis. I hadn’t considered the mind to be such a powerful tool, but when I did the work on my limiting beliefs about myself - everything changed and I recognised the negative self talk that had troubled me from childhood. Looking back now, I realise the impact my childhood made on my self belief and confidence. I know now that my mind is my most powerful tool. From that moment of realisation everything changed for me.

( Selina in her ‘Selina’ wrap dress , yes we named it after her ❤️)
2. Would you mind sharing with us the biggest challenge you’ve experienced in life
At the age of 36, I was feeling more and more fatigued in my everyday life, I felt exhausted. I was single, extremely healthy and very active. I undertook rigorous testing to get to the source of my loss of energy. It took nine months of blood tests, iron infusions and new thyroid medications to feel a little better. However one day when I was just doing a routine check, found a lump in my breast.
Within a week of finding the lump, I was diagnosed with stage 2 - Invasive Carcinoma of the left breast (Ie; Breast Cancer). Invasive means that the cancer has “invaded” or spread to the surrounding breast tissues - hence my lump was about 3.2cm. Carcinoma refers to any cancer that begins in the skin or other tissues that cover internal organs — such as breast tissue & lymph nodes.
I was shocked! There is no family history and I was so healthy. How does this happen?
I underwent genetic testing as I thought perhaps it was the BRAC 1 or 2 gene - then I would have a Mastectomy and have both breasts removed - I have even picked out a tattoo to have in replacement of my breasts. But when the results came in, of the 33 genes tested - I was negative to all cancer genes. I didn't have the BRAC 1 or 2 either. This breast cancer was just bad 'fucking' luck. Within 48hrs of seeing my GP - it was a whirlwind of ultrasounds, scans, MRIs, biopsies, endless doctors appointments, sleepless nights, conversations with other women who have gone through it, and so much research!
The week before my surgery I started IVF to try and freeze some eggs because I was warned that Chemotherapy would trigger menopause (which it did!) and could destroy my ovaries completely despite being on Zoladex injections. After much consideration, I decided to have a Lumpectomy, a surgery in which only the tumour(which ended up being only 2.4cm) and some surrounding tissue is removed - I have a 5cm margin removed and thank goodness only three lymph nodes. This loss was only lightened by my talented surgeon who managed to save my nipple and give me a semi-breast lift at the same time ( God bless her! LOL!).
The day I was released from hospital - I had my ultrasound and was told that I had over 28 eggs from treatment (even though my surgeon was very concerned about me doing IVF due to the high levels of estrogen that goes into your body - I was so blessed to have choice now) - My amazing IVF specialist and his team retrieved 22 viable eggs a week later, which are now in frozen in storage.
Against my better judgement I did chemo. This was hell on earth! The pain aside, my surgery was such a success - and the lump was smaller than originally thought - my chemo went from 8 cycles/6 drugs to 4 cycles/ 2 drugs.
Before making the decision to do radiation I wanted my body to have the best chance to recover and be in the best condition to fight - so I took a 8 week break. I did holistic medicine as well as western medicine and mindset work everyday so that my mental condition didn’t deteriorate as my physical strength did.
To be absolutely honest, treatment was hell. I felt as though I was in the underworld of illness. I was frustrated and confused, how could the treatment be worse than the disease? I endured everything from bone pain, brain fog, nausea, skin irritations , weight gain of 10kgs in 3 weeks, metal tastes in my mouth, shaking, constipation, fatigue, to only name a few - it felt like every part of me was dying. This pain is one I can't begin to describe - It felt like I was on fire and my body was burning from the inside out.
I don’t wish to go into the darkest moments, however I know if had not spent time working at building my mental strength and fortitude prior to Chemo, I do not think I would have beaten cancer.
Although the Chemotherapy was brutal, I did get the opportunity to be the first patient at the hospital to trial a new British technology ‘The Cold Cap’ . The Cold Cap freezes your hair so that you don't lose it all during the Chemo process. It also means you may not require a wig. This aside, I still cut my off my long hair and donated it. During the trial I only went slightly bald with a few patches of hair that didn't fall out. It may seem like a minor detail, but this small grace was a great distraction for me and I felt empowered to be able to give to other women that were in need .
                       
(Selina during the first roll out of the hair saving technology ‘Cold Cap’)
(Selina Experienced minimal hair loss during treatment due to the Cold Cap technology) 
3. What was your motivation while you were in thick of it?
My motivation.. there really wasn't any - the only thing I could focus on was to LIVE beyond the statistics! So the drive came from within. I focused on little things to get me through it all. I concentrated on one thing a day that made me smile, one thing a day that helped me move my body and one thing a day that helped restore my mind.
I began to do Facebook(FB) live videos telling people I had cancer, I would say “this is such a 'glitch' in the system” but I was determined that breast cancer was not going to knock me off the planet. I knew I had a bigger purpose in this world and breast cancer had picked the wrong woman to fuck with!
I did live FB videos and shared the ups and downs of breast cancer because I wanted to inspire others to push through the underworld of illness. I also wanted to encourage the friends and families of other patients to feel involved and like they couldn't contribute to the healing process of their loved ones.
I was personally encouraged and empowered by watching positive youtube clips/ reading posts from amazing people like Brendan Burchard, Danielle LaPorte, Taryn Brumfitt and Oprah. I surrounded myself with people who had my back and knew that I was passionately determined to LIVE. Nothing was going to stop me.
In August 2017, I got my 1yr all clear without Tamoxifen! As I read the email from my surgeon to say that I was all clear and there were no signs of recurrence in either breasts, I celebrated by going to the gym and deadlifted 65kgs that morning! Then I booked a trip to Bali to celebrate!
( Selina doing a celebratory 65kg deadlift)
My plan is to continue to stay clear & well! My 2nd year scan is due in August of this year and there will be more celebrating then too, I can guarantee that!
4. What have you learned about yourself during the whole process?
I have learnt that FEAR drives so many things in the world and that LOVE for myself is more powerful than fear.
I learnt that I can control my thoughts, my reactions, my mind and that while it is important to acknowledge the facts - I can defy the verdict and live!
I learnt to focus on my business and my message that “ wellness in the mind, creates wellness in the body!”
I had to rebuild myself and my life from the hell of this adventurous ride of breast cancer. I learnt that at rock bottom, the only way is up!
Breast cancer took everything from me - my energy, my femininity, my body, my choice to have children and my money (financially I am starting from scratch again).
Although it took everything, what it did gave me was A WHOLE NEW LIFE!
I might not feel like a woman anymore or somedays the pain is so intense that I can hardly breathe or sleep, but I AM ALIVE.
I remind myself that I am alive everyday! I make LIVING LISTS now - not bucket lists - life is to be lived, not settled for.
I am so lucky & grateful that I have a 2nd chance now! At present, I am pouring all of my energy into creating a new me and all my learnings into a program that will help other women go through their own endings with focus, clarity, power and determination. Its my focus to help women unlock the issues that are really holding them back in life and to stop feeding themselves the bullshit stories –to shed the fears! I want to help women pursue their passion and soar into the incredible life they deserve – because we are all worth it!
5. What would you say to encourage other women experiencing hardship or challenge?
● Focus on you - go within and fill up your cup first!
● You get one life - take a breath and focus on what you can do!
● Be in the moment - be present.
● Only you can change the way you react to the world.
● Don't waste your beautiful, precious life trying to please everyone else or look like someone else or stay to make others happy.
● There is no such thing as failure, only feedback - work with it - flow with it.
● Your vulnerability is your power to be YOU and that is what the world needs
● You've got this ☺
February 12, 2018 — After pay Integration team

Waikiki dreaming, join us on our adventure to Hawaii

Our latest capsule Waikiki Dreaming seen us jet setting to the beautiful shores of Hawaii for a little adventure.
We’ve searched Melbourne for some beautiful tropical and floral prints to refresh your wardrobe.
February 02, 2018 — After pay Integration team

Seven Sisters Pop Up Store Northcote

Welcome to our Northcote Pop Up Store! 

 

 The Seven Sisters Pop Up Store is located at 277 High Street , Northcote Victoria for three weeks from August 21st to September 10th. We will be trading 7 days a week from 10am - 5pm so if you're a Northcote local then please pop in and say hello and support some of Melbourne's most talented designers and creatives!

Meet our Seven sisters: 

La Sierra Alpaca

The aims

La Sierra provides an affordable luxury product, representing Ecuador and its indigenous people in a way that is attractive and viable for a wider market.

La Sierra supports the revitalizing of cultural traditions around the incredibly fine alpaca textiles. In making people more conscious of where their clothes come from, we can assist the development of indigenous communities in Ecuador. We support and follow fair trade principles.

La Sierra values the wellbeing of our planet and aims to have as little impact as possible on the Earth. Eco-friendly alpaca animals, sustainable farming and traditional textile production methods all contribute to minimizing our footprint, and we are investigating options for carbon offset of transportation.

Website:  http://www.lasierra.com.au/

 

Heather Grafton - Illustrator

Heather Grafton is a talented English born lass ( we've adopted her as our own 😂) Offering unique and edgy digital and hand - finished illustrations created here in Melbourne. 

Her work is beautiful, thought provoking and quirky - a winner for all ages and demographics. 

Some of her work is available in store and custom works are available and welcome.

Website: http://www.heathergrafton.com 

Ara Lyra Jewelrey

Ara Lyra is a stunningly beautiful jewelrey label dresigned in Melbourne and made in fair trade studios in India.

All of Ara Lyra's pieces are hand made with semi precious jewels and glass settings that will steal your heart! 

Website: https://www.aralyra.com/

Merry People
Merry People is a Melbourne-based boutique small business, whose story began just over 3 years ago on a farm in South Gippsland, Victoria.

We make fun and practical rainwear, with design elements that are tasteful, functional and affordable.

We want our products to empower our customers to live fearlessly and embrace the unknown adventures – to always feel ones most confident and happy self, even if it is wild and stormy outside.

No animal products are used to make our products nor do we perform any testing on animals.

Website: https://merrypeople.com

Travis and Joy 

We’re a Melbourne based fashion label creating contemporary leather essentials that are a staple in any woman’s wardrobe. Our pieces are made from the highest quality lambskin leather and treated with the utmost care to ensure the natural beauty of every hide is retained. We focus on creating timeless leather pieces that are versatile, effortless and transeasonal.

Website: https://travisandjoy.com

 

Kiss Ready lips / skin

Just like you, we care about what we put on our skin and use everyday.

We understand the frustrations of looking for natural, quality, affordable and Australian made products - so we decided, why don't we make it ourselves!

Our journey has taken us from the farms, apiaries, beauty schools and retailers in Australia, NZ, USA and we even visited a monastery in Italy (yes, all for the love of research!), to see for ourselves how the traditional methods of making natural beauty products are even more so relevant in today's modern, busy, and often times, without us being aware... a toxic world!

We love to learn more about "how our mums and nanas used to make them", we think it's cool! Why put nasty chemicals on our products when nature is abundant with amazing ingredients which actually work wonders on your lips and skin?

We're all about spreading the love, so be assured - our products have been crafted to minimise the use of unnecessary ingredients that can harm the environment or stress out our little animal friends.

We hope you enjoy our products. We love making them, so drop us a line and let us know what you think.

Website: https://www.kissreadylips.com

By Samantha Melbourne


Welcome to BY SAMANTHA, a melbourne made premium lifestyle brand that empowers women to be all woman and effortlessly fierce with flatteringly comfortable wrap dresses.

The spirit of By Samantha is fun and flirty, she's curvey and confident in her own skin. A lover of colour and unique patterns, her style is effortlessly comfortable and sexy. We hope you feel all of these same feelings when you wear a BY SAMANTHA wrap dress.

We are passionate about three things: easy to wear fashion, empowerment through design / colour and making our dresses in Australia.
We make our dresses in Melbourne using local machinists supporting Australian fabric wholesalers and printers. We will continue to work with illustrators and local graphic designers to create unique floral prints.

Website: you're here already 😎

August 23, 2017 — Samantha Bradbury

J' adore Entrecôte

OH la la! This month we've had the pleasure to take some photos and romp around the secret rooms of one of Melbourne's most popular restaurants, Entrecôte. Much loved for their mouth-watering Steaks and happy hour tipples, Entrecôte is a foodies heaven and a hipster's hard-on! We loved their eye for modern decor and clean Parisian finishes. 

For more information on Entrecôte and their menus at www.entrecote.com.au

 

 

May 25, 2017 — Samantha Bradbury

May Collaboration : Kiss Ready Lips

May 05, 2017 — Samantha Bradbury

Our Journey: The tale of an over-achieving girl that followed her dreams and got burnt

Yes, you've read from the title of this blog post correctly...By Samantha Melbourne was conceived in at the lowest part of my life- at a time where I had exhausted my energy and drive chasing corporate bliss and fulfillment. 

This sounds a little dramatic doesn't it? Let me take you back and lead you through the journey that caused an over-zealous and strong-willed country girl who aspired to be an international ambassador to pursue a career in a fashion start-up with no formal training or know-how.

I grew up in a church home with big aspirations of becoming a roughy-tough missionary that changed the world, feed hungry people and righted life's wrongs. After a few missionary trips to India and Greece plus a few life lessons, I gave up on the idea of being a missionary. I have the upmost respect for those who've undertaken this path in life. For me however, I did a complete 180 and undertook a course of study to become an international ambassador with the grand ideas of 'changing the world'. Thinking that this would be the most fulfilling career I could hope for, I studied at Bond University in the Gold Coast for three years, then flew to Dubai to intern at the Australian Trade Commission. I had high hopes for this experience and thought that all of my apsirations and desires would be fulfilled in an instant... Its a sober moment realizing that what I hoped for was a construct of my own imagination and not that of an international government agency.This experience was one that changed the course of my life as I realised that the path to diplomacy wasn't the path for me. 


Returning to Australia feeling burnt-out, discouraged and like I'd spent a tonne of time and money on a path that took me in a direction that wasn't personally fulfilling, I feel into a slump. So, like any other self respecting girl that had just gotten the wind knocked out of her, I spent a few months watching Foxtel and complained about how I had wasted time and money chasing hot air and random ideas of changing the world.
Now I know what you may be thinking, that this is an unproductive way to chart out a new future. However, it was while watching Foxtel that I became inspired by the spirit and tenacity of the brilliant Dianne Von Furstenburg. From a program she was starring in on a lifestyle channel, I learned of her gutsy nature, flair for fashion and philosophy of effortless style. I'd never seen such a capably fierce and bold woman that knew what she wanted and how to get it. I fell in love with this bossy and confident woman. Also, her eye for prints and timeless style were so refreshing.

Dianne's flagship style was the Wrap Dress- effortless fashion that was made for all body shapes - especially curves girls like me who felt like she looked like a sack of potatoes in whatever I wore! If she could make this tomboy of a girl ( yes, I'm inherently a tomboy) feel like a confident woman, I was sold. Unfortunately, I just didn't have $600 AUD to spend on one of her dresses. After much commiserating on the couch at the sorrow of not having the cash to splash, I decided to use my sewing skills to make myself a Wrap Dress inspired by the great DVF. In two hours it was made and I was amazed at how confident I felt and looked. 

March 2015- The first Floral Wrap Dress made by moi! 

After making my first Wrap Dress, I was hooked on making them for myself to suit my natural assets of booty and bust ( these assesses were more of a negative assets pre-Wrap Dresses). My friends started to notice my confidence and began to request that I make them dresses ( this is the modern struggle of many seamstresses that offer to make dresses for their girlfriends) , so I did as a hobby.

To my surprise, I started to receive a steady stream of orders from Australia and the world- orders from far flung places like Poland, to the croissant-endowed France, USA, Singapore, and New Zealand. I was in shock and couldn't keep up with the amount of orders for dresses I was receiving. I was working a full time job and considering a sea-change from the sea ( rural South East Queensland). So, in an effort to challenge myself and expand my horizons, I made the decision to move to Melbourne from Hervey Bay ,QLD and then quit my full time job to commit myself to turning The Giver & Co into the brand it could be. Without me realising it, this little hobby turned into a full time affair. Then after a few months and amazing women connecting me to the right people, I had manufacturers, interns, wholesalers and celeb interactions that have boosted my personal and business confidence to dream of international opportunities and heights.

 

February 2017 - Julia Morris in our Elizabeth Wrap Dress on Studio Ten  

Two years on and we've done a fair bit with no formal fashion training- just operating out of gut feel, luck and intuition. This has seen us get to a happy place that is both exciting and unknown with room to grow and explore.

From here we will build on what we started as The Giver & Co, we'll rebrand into the premium lifestyle brand that empowers women to effortlessly fierce in all areas of their lives through our Melbourne-made Wrap Dress and Australian made products. 'By Samantha' will be releasing in mid April, so stay tuned for more news. 

Thank you to all of those who've been apart of this journey- I'm very thankful for all of the input, support, introductions, cheer-ups, likes, follows and orders. 

I'm so excited to continue on this journey to create some more beautiful dresses and promote Australian made products .

xx

Sammie 

March 30, 2017 — Samantha Bradbury