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6 Australian boutique businesses that grew to global success

Until recently, supporting specialty shops or buying from artisan brands was out of reach for most of us.

Although we all love the beauty of handcrafted or specialty pieces, unique retailers often exist in remote locations or only operate from a single store.

But online shopping has changed all this. We now have access to art galleries in Alice Springs or boutiques in Launceston, all from the comfort of our devices. Online shopping has fostered unique Australian craftsmanship and given Australians the ability to support the artisan brands and wares that make the country vibrant and culturally rich.

So, in honour of Australia Day we’re looking back at 6 unique Australian boutiques that came from humble beginnings before shooting to global success. It’s stories like these that remind us why supporting Australian craftsmanship is so important for the cultural wealth of Australia.

If you want to learn more about supporting Australian businesses and talent, check out the True Blue Australia Day Sale. Take advantage of the discounts and support our local talent.

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Spell Byron Bay

Online shopping has allowed Byron Bay to claim its rightful place as one of Australia’s fashion capitals, and Spell Designs is at the forefront of this movement. The brand was started and run by sisters Isabella and Elizabeth, who sold hand made jewellery at the artisan markets in Byron Bay. Spell Designs has now shot to global success with loads of celebrity fans including Vanessa Hudgens, Miley Cyrus and Shanina Shaik.

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Sabo Skirt

Started by students and besties Thessy and Yiota, Sabo Skirt began as a humble fashion blog and way for the girls to show off their style. Soon after the girls moved into selling and designing their own pieces, using their bathroom as a stockroom. After an overwhelming response to the brand’s stunning Instagram imagery, the brand has grown to international success and recently showed its Sabo Skirt Luxe collection at New York Fashion Week in September 2016.

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Mon Purse

In case you hadn’t heard, Mon Purse is a brand that allows you use to customise and monogram leather goods. Founder Lana Hopkins got the idea for Mon Purse when she saw a store that allowed kids to customise their own teddy bears. The brand opened its first small boutique in Paddington in 2014. After exponential growth, today the brand is stocked worldwide in places like Myer and Selfridges.

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Samantha Wills

Samantha Wills was once just a girl living in Port Macquarie, working retail by day and making jewellery at night to sell at artisan markets on the weekends. Her break came when she was offered a showroom spot at Australian Fashion Week and wrote up $18,000 of order in four days. Today, Samantha Wills jewellery is one of Australia’s most popular fashion exports, stocked at stores all over the world like New York and Dubai.

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Shelley Barrett (now Sullivan) created ModelCo after noticing a gap in the market for affordable, quick-fix and multi-purpose beauty products. One of the brand’s first products was the innovative Tan In A Can, the world’s first aerosol self tanner, which sold like crazy and skyrocketed ModelCo to international success. The brand recently partnered with model and socialite Hailey Baldwin for a limited edition colour cosmetics collection.

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Sunday Somewhere

Founder of Sunday Somewhere Dave Allison had a vision to create eyewear that was simple, original and of high quality. He began working as a designer for other eyewear brands but found too many limitations in the design process and decided to start his own venture, a brand that focused on the details and lifestyle aspirations. Today, Sunday Somewhere is a worldwide favourite with celebrity fans like Ariana Grande, Bella Hadid and Beyonce.

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Mia Steiber

Mia Steiber is the Editor of the Shopping section at finder. She has a serious shopping habit and an addiction to gold jewellery. Her talents include tracking down one-off or almost sold out pieces and knowing the sizing charts for just about every brand.

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