The small business was launched in Scarborough last year by designers Kelly Christos, of Scarborough, and Rachael Dziadowicz, of Morley, with the intention to sell products online.
Ms Dziadowicz said selling online was the most cost-effective with designers able to link social media advertising to direct online traffic to the business’ eBoutique.
‘Initially we were solely going to sell online,’ she said. ‘In theory it sounds great but we found with swimwear, as it is essential to try pieces on to get the perfect fit, we have had more success in sales through our stockists throughout Perth and the South-West, and through supporting local events such as the Miss Ocean One Bar Calendar Contest.
‘At this stage our website is becoming increasingly popular but definitely would not be where the majority of our sales come from.’
Growing up in Bassendean together, Ms Dziadowicz (27) said it was important to her and Ms Christos (28) to keep the business local and remain supportive of the local fashion community by promoting Cenote as a Perth-based brand.
‘Perth is becoming an increasingly blossoming fashion hub in Australia and due to its isolation has proudly produced many unique designers,’ she said. ‘As much as we want to expand our stockists to include the eastern states, Perth will always be our central hub.’
Although Cenote is a local business, materials were sourced from Italy and products made in Bali, while the inspiration for designs were drawn from a year long trip in Central and South America.
Ms Dziadowicz said they could not afford to produce in Australia.
As physiotherapists by profession and no business background, Ms Dziadowicz said they found running a small business challenging.
‘We commit full-time hours into our business as well as work on the weekends as physiotherapists in hospitals. The most important thing we have learnt is the need to delegate tasks to experts.’