Faces of High Street - Stephanie Browne

Stephanie Browne

Established in 1988 Stephanie Browne has grown into an internationally renowned designer known for her luxury fashion accessories and designs. As a successful business owner, we speak to Stephanie about her early inspirations and her tips for budding entrepreneurs and business owners.

When and why did you establish Stephanie Browne?
Stephanie Browne was established in 1988 as ‘Stephanie’s Bridal Millinery’, my father ‘Robert Biddle’ who had a store on Little Collins street for many years, encouraged me to find my creative passion and it started in Millinery. I created designs that were not available to brides at the time. more luxurious and prominently made in Australia, using Swarovski crystal, handmade porcelain flowers and many amazing components we sourced from around the world. The feedback from his customers and his early partnership in my business helped shape my early success.

All your pieces are so unique and beautiful, where do you draw your creativity from?
I draw my creativity from Art, Nature, and architecture, and many times it may be a client who suggests something a different way. Of course, we end up creating stories of popular styles but I try and create each design to be unique and different from our other work.

What are your top three tips for other businesses who wish to start their own business venture?
If you want to start your own business…these are my top tips.
1. Find your passion and be true to what is uniquely you, be brave and be original. You will always stand out from the crowd if you are original and offer something unique.
2. Create a business plan, do your research and speak to people in the industry, you can read all you want but nothing beats talking to others in the industry you wish to venture in.
3. Save your money. This is important, the first year in business can be tough and you need to have back up funds so you can focus on the business.
4. A mentor is vital for success. I couldn’t have made it without my dad or my best friend Tim O’Brien, they were both worth their weight in Gold and I will be forever grateful. Remember you’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with. That goes for mentors and staff.
5. Take baby steps. Be careful to plan each step of growth. When tempted to concur the world in your second year, remember your business plan and tweak it. It’s wise to be the turtle - slow and steady.
6. Build your brand, there is little value in business these days without creating a story in your brand.

Visit Stephanie Browne at 1210 High St, Armadale VIC

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