Frankie Peach, an accessory brand established last year in Sydney by friends Charlotta Backlund and Sali Sasi. This duo already boast impressive experience in the fashion industry. Sali, the cofounder of Stylerunner and Charlotta with 10 years + experience working in fashion and styling, most recently as the fashion director of Cosmopolitan. It’s therefore no surprise that these two creative women were ready to take a leap forward to a new venture. Charlotta speaks to Postcoder about all things Frankie Peach.
Why did you start Frankie Peach?
My business partner, Sali Sasi and I were both on maternity leave together when we decided that it was now or never if we were ever going to do something. Sali is a breast cancer survivor and told me how she had struggled to find nice affordable silk scarves when she was losing her hair. As I come from over a decade of working as a fashion stylist, I knew there was a gap to be filled.
Something that was important from the get-go was for Frankie Peach to give back in some way. We partnered with Pink Hope, an organisation that aims to help women reduce their risk of breast and ovarian cancer. We now donate $1 from every sale to this cause, to help save lives and empower women to assess, understand and reduce their risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
What have been your greatest challenges to date?
As I have a 7-month-old and Sali a 6-month-old, when we first started it was a constant juggle to meet up. Our sons, Hunter and Harvey were with us 99% of the time, so we would have to be creative with how and when we would meet. Think design meetings at child play center Nubo, strategy meetings at kid-friendly cafe Shuk in Bondi, and hatching our marketing and PR strategy whilst walking around Centennial Park.
As guilty as I feel about the fact my son has to fit around my schedule, I just kept reminding myself that it is all for the bigger picture – I can work towards creating a better work/life balance which will ultimately allow me to be more present with his life as he grows up.
Our boys are now 16 and 17-months -old. Harvey had a brother arrive in April, and Hunter has a little sister arriving in May. So this is even more of a driving force to work hard and keep juggling it all during these early stages of our business.
What does a typical day with Frankie Peach look like?
Both Sali and I start our day by checking emails, social media and any orders that came through overnight. We then normally have a conference call to go over anything that needs our attention.
As we look at different parts of the business, our days are never the same. I focus more on the design, PR, photo shoots and EDM’s, whilst Sali is more on the social media, finance, production and wholesale person. In saying all this, since we are still such a young business we both chip in whenever and wherever we need to and crossover each others areas to give assistance. We do have casuals and contractors working for us, but we still do a lot of it on our own.
How do you differentiate yourself from competitors?
I honestly don’t think we have any direct competitors in Australia at our price point. To start with we use 100% silk twill, where most brands use a silk satin blend. We also hand roll our hem rather than have a standard machine finish which gives it a more luxe finish. Finally, to really differentiate ourselves we spent a lot of time researching our packaging. We know that when our customers receive their Frankie Peach box in the mail, they will feel special.
What would you say has been your magic moment to date with Frankie Peach?
We have had too many magic moments to only name one. We’ve had celebrities like Jesinta Franklin, Anna Heinrich, Carissa Walford, Rachael Finch and Elyse Knowles wearing our products, as well as some amazing editorials in ELLE, Cosmopolitan and OK Magazine.
Another incredible moment was the opportunity we had to work with renowned fashion photographer Georges Antoni on our original concept for the look of the site. Ultimately though, at the end of the day, it’s all about our customers and we do feel very grateful for every single order we get and we will never take that for granted! For example, we have this one customer from WA who we call our VIP Peach. She’s pretty much bought every single scarf we have designed and she takes the time out to email us to find out about when we’re dropping new designs so she can be the first to get her hands on it. How amazing is that! We pinch ourselves every day with how far we have come in such a short amount of time!
What is the best piece of business advice you have ever received?
Work on your business, not in it. No one will ever be as passionate and driven as yourself so it’s important to hire people who can do the day-to-day tasks whilst you allow yourself the time to continue to be creative and focus on the growth of the business.
And finally, what is the best piece of advice you can give to others looking to start a business based on everything you have learnt?
Nothing will ever be perfect and it will never be the best time to launch. Just do it and keep working on evolving your business. In this day in age, with everything being digital and online, everything is so quick to change. It’s so important that you don’t become complacent and you pivot quickly. Keep innovating and exciting your customers.
Also outsource things you don’t have the skill set to do. We hired a website developer and an accountant from early days as that’s something we have no knowledge nor interest in.
And some quick questions to finish –
What do you love most about what you do?
The fact that I get to hang out with my son (and soon-to-be daughter) every single day whilst working on a business that I love alongside my friend. It’s such a cliché, but Frankie Peach doesn’t feel like work.
What’s one thing that makes you happy?
My morning walks in the sunshine, pushing the pram in one hand, with a coffee in the other.
Best piece of entrepreneurial advice you can give someone:
Don’t wait, just do it and go with your gut. Worst thing that could happen is that it goes belly up, but at least you gave it a shot!
What do you think is the most common mistake people make when starting a business?
Not outsourcing early on and thinking you can do it all yourself. If you’re unskilled or don’t have the knowledge, you can make some really costly mistakes.
Another business / start-up like this…
Hunter x Hunter the label – besides the fact it has my sons name, I love a good accessories brand. People who can launch a brand in an already somewhat crowded industry and still make an impact to get noticed is really inspiring. They are carving the way for their own success.
Biggest pet hate?
Motorists that don’t wave or say thank you when you let them in. It drives me crazy!
Who inspires you?
My grandma is still the hardest working lady I have ever come across.
Dog or Cat Person? Dog!
Coffee or Tea? Coffee.
Savoury or Sweet? Savoury.
What’s your favourite holiday hotspot?
Oh wow, I have too many to just pick one! But they are all in Southern Europe.
Best guilty pleasure?
At 38 weeks pregnant, it’s definitely a nanna nap!
MAYFIELD | 322B Pakington St, Newtown VIC 3220
SIGNIFICANT OTHER | 98 Ormond Road, Elwood, VIC 3184
OR head to www.frankiepeach.com