BY VANESSA ROBERTS
Recently I interviewed Thessy and Yiota, the founders of fast fashion brand ‘Sabo Skirt’. Hailing from Brisbane, these two best friends have turned what began as a shopping addiction into a burgeoning fashion label with 1.5 million followers on instagram alone.
Known originally for their flirty and fun ultra-babe aesthetic, Sabo Skirt has since added two new strings to their bow, with the launch of their luxe and formal collections recently.
I chatted with the duo at the launch of their second Sabo Formal collection in Sydney.
BWA – What inspired you to start Sabo Skirt?
Sabo Skirt began as a fashion blog in 2010 which we launched as a creative outlet for us while we were studying at university. We both shared a great love for clothes and wanted to share our style with others. We used to take photos of each other and then post to the blog. We had no idea that it would take off like it did. Everyone wanted to buy what we were wearing and so the site was born.
BWA – Can you share with us some exciting things that are happening with your brand?
2016 is going to be a big year for us. As you know, we recently launched our second Sabo Formal collection after the success of the first line released last year. We will also be launching a new Sabo Sport range called Sport Luxe, followed closely by a loungewear range as a new take on our Sabo Sleep collection.
We are constantly thinking of new ideas to keep Sabo Skirt fresh and in demand and these capsule collections allowed us to generate hype and excitement with our customers!
We’ll also be taking Sabo Luxe to the next level this year with a fresh collection due to drop in the coming months which will also be our first wholesale collection. We are really excited to see where this can take us both domestically and internationally this year.
And a little secret… we have plans to build something very big and travel it around the country. That’s all we’ll say for now!
BWA – Who is the Sabo Skirt/Luxe/Formal girl or woman?
SABO SKIRT: She’s a beach babe who’s young, fun and confident.
SABO FORMAL: She’s timeless and doesn’t let a dress wear her. She’s all about finding a dress that compliments and celebrates her individual beauty.
SABO LUXE: She emanates style. She’s a minimalist and loves anything a little bit luxe!
BWA – Could you describe the key differences in the aesthetic between the labels?
Sabo Skirt is a collection of bright colours and bold prints. The styles are young and carefree, with a cut out here or there. The original Sabo Sleep and Sabo Sport collections channeled this aesthetic also.
Sabo Luxe is a collection of wardrobe essentials that exude a simplistic and minimalistic style, with structured designs immersed in a palette of neutral colours. This collection features luxe fabrics and has a slightly higher price point than the Sabo Skirt lines.
The new Sabo Formal collection features elegant flowing gowns also in a neutral palette.
BWA – What is the inspiration behind the most recent collection for Sabo Formal?
We took a lot of inspiration from what everyone is wearing on the red carpet. Cut outs, dusty hues and matching top and skirt sets have become popular looks for celebrities and we wanted to recreate this aesthetic in our new Sabo Formal collection.
BWA – What do you see as being the most important ingredient/s in Sabo Skirt’s amazing success?
Creating our unique capsule collections like Sabo Formal and our new line Sabo Luxe has allowed us to differentiate our brand from our competitors. Pair that with our 2 million passionate followers across our social media platforms. We think this has been our recipe to success.
BWA – What are some of your highlights so far?
We’ve had some great highlights so far. One of the first would have to have been when Ariana Grande started following us on Instagram.
Another incredible moment was spotting Gigi Hadid in our Eclair Shorts from the Sabo Luxe line. We couldn’t have been more excited!
We were also lucky enough to preview Sabo Luxe at New York Fashion Week this past September as part of the inaugural Fashion Palette show. It was an amazing experience – a real pinch yourself moment!
BWA – What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced since starting Sabo Skirt?
In the first few years of business, we found it difficult to juggle work and life! There was no balance and we struggled to find time to do anything else. It became a strain both mentally and physically for us. Since then, we’ve upgraded our work processes and we have an amazing team of staff. Now we are able to have that work / life balance which we think is very important for all professionals.
BWA – What was the most effective way of raising awareness for your brand in the beginning?
Social media has been a very important part of our brand from the beginning and a true driver in the success of the brand. We now have a collective social media following of over 1.6 million and we see direct sales from every single post we upload to social media.
We’ve been able to use Instagram in particular to reach not only customers nationwide but it’s what has turned Sabo Skirt into a globally recognised brand. Selling your products online allows all of those valuable social media followers to be able to purchase your products from anywhere in the world.
Social media has also been the link that has allowed us to be connected to our customers. We have been able to learn exactly who our customer is and what she does or doesn’t like.
BWA – What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
To stay humble at all times, to truly appreciate the good times and to stay true to our beliefs.
BWA – The one piece of advice you would tell your (even) younger selves:
Always trust your instincts about people and decisions.
BWA – Do you have any tips for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Yiota: We would definitely recommend that you take the time to research the market that you are wanting to get into and also create a business plan that will help you determine how much money you need to save, what goals you need to reach and create structure when your business begins to grow. You can easily find a business plan template online.
Thessy: We also advise young entrepreneurs that while creating your own company will be the most amazing, exhilarating and fulfilling experience, there is also a lot of hard work and long hours that go into it, especially for the first few years. With hard work and determination, you can achieve all of your goals.