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Kristy Lawrence - The creative and co-founder behind the FLANNEL brand ~

Kristy Lawrence - The creative and co-founder behind the FLANNEL brand ~

FLANNEL started out with one little store in Cottesloe, Western Australia, 15 years ago, and now boasts 12 stores across Australia, 3 stores in the USA and 5 FOR HIM stores.

We feel lucky to be able to say, that not only is Kristy a creative genius but also our friend.  

We have had many conversations with Kristy about business, life and design over the years that have been inspirational and uplifting.

She has an amazing energy and outlook that only ever to chooses the positive, no matter what the situation. 

She is a tireless worker, amazing mother and a great friend.

So, we thought it time to put some of these words onto virtual paper and share it with you.

Anna and Cath x

 

Flannel Australia Interview

Kristy Lawrence

What was Flannel’s beginning and what were your plans back then?
FLANNEL was still just a dream of mine when I decided to sell my previous fashion brand. I felt the market was beginning to move toward loungewear over high-fashion. We’re talking 2006, 15 years ago. There was a hole in the market - I was at home with three small babies all under the age of four. I felt like women were beginning to feel empowered enough to challenge the style norms and confident enough to rock “loungewear” to school pick-up, or even on a night out! I wanted to develop something I could wear around the house then pop on a sneaker or sandal to head outside; effortless but still chic, and no-fuss!
My sister Brooke had been managing all the stores in my previous business, and had just gone through a divorce. She had 2 young children as well. We had always said one day we would go into business together. So, we started Flannel with the dream of earning enough money to take our children on holidays together. I was the creative, and Brooke was the people person, so it worked brilliantly! As it continued to evolve and grow, my husband John took on the business role within the brand, and his sister Anna, took on our logistical operations and ran our wholesale accounts.  To this day, it is the four of us who run our family business.
You are a prolific designer, season after season you come up with amazing designs? What inspires you, and do you ever just have Designer Block?
My biggest source of inspiration is travelling! I’m invigorated by new experiences, unfamiliar and exciting places. Often I see one person throughout my whole trip away who becomes my muse for a whole collection. She oozes a street-style cool with a bit of French chic and bohemian, vintage touches. Nothing’s too refined, everything about her just looks effortless. The way she stands or walks by; I’m inspired by the whole picture and mood, not just by what she’s wearing. 
In your opinion, what makes good design?
A good design, for me, is something that is easy to wear, requires minimal fuss, but makes you feel empowered and confident. These pieces are timeless, artisanal and aspiration. I also think a good design has to be well-made and keep up with the busy woman who wears it.

You must have to make hundreds of decisions a day, do you ever get stuck questioning yourself and your decisions?

The decisions I make are all part of the creative role that I love, so it’s exciting for me to make those decisions.
I’m also very lucky to have such an incredible and supportive team around me who back every decision I make. Working with family means unconditional support, trust and love. Over the years, the times I’ve listened to my instincts is when we’ve been most successful, so I remind myself of that if I am ever having doubts.

What would you say has been the hardest part of starting and running your own business?

The hardest part of starting FLANNEL was educating people on my interpretation of future trends. For example, when we first started, it was about educating people to wear a slip dress outside! Then it became more about our frill shorts and wearing sneakers with a sequin skirt!


What do you love most about Flannel? I love being creative and I love the team that surrounds me and enables this.

I love being creative and I love the team that surrounds me and enables this.

What is and upside and downside of working with your family?

The upside is that we work so well together! We are all terrible at each other’s jobs, so we bounce off each other and succeed in our areas. The support and trust in each other makes is truly a blessing. Plus, we get to share our love for it and celebrate any milestones with family!
If you ask my kids, the downside is we talk about FLANNEL way too much!

If you had your time again, would you do anything differently?

No, I wouldn’t. I’m a big believer in everything happening for a reason. We’ve faced so many obstacles which, at the time, I wished I could have changed, but in hindsight I can see why those challenges arose and how we grow from them.

What is the best advice you were given along the along the way?  And what is the most important piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to start their own business?

The best advice I’ve received was to not be afraid to surround yourself with people who can do particular jobs the same, if not better than you.

What is your favourite Australian holiday destination?

I recently stayed at The Calile Hotel in Brisbane and loved it! The area surrounding has such great shops, great food. Overall, it has a really great vibe. It was super cool to see how far Brisbane has come in the past few years.

Do you have a favourite hotel when travelling for business? 

We love the hotels by the Firmdale Group in New York, London, and opening soon in Los Angeles. It is owned by a husband and wife, so embodies the ‘family’ vibe we know and love. They have the perfect mix of chic and eclectic styling with incredible customer service and the coolest staff who have become lifelong friends! It is our home away from home.

Now enough about you, what do you love about murph&murph hahaha?

Murph&Murph have created my perfect bag that fits my lifestyle! Practical and chic with a bit of street-style edge mixed in. The bags are a favourite in my household for the beach and weekend getaway, and don’t get me started about the picnic rugs at Daisies!
 

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