AS a cleaner for a fast food chain, designer Betty Tran dreamed one-day good things would come her way.
The recent mum of baby Sophia was this month recognised for her courage, leadership and creativity at the Telstra WA Business Women’s Awards as the Young Business Woman of the Year.
Tran, whose industry experience spans more than a decade and whose luxury fashion house is based in the city, specialises in creating high-quality ready-to-wear and red carpet garments.
Her couture pieces have graced the runways at New York Fashion Week and Australia Fashion Week and been worn by celebrities including Jessica Hart, Mel B and Serena and Venus Williams, but it was not always that way.
Tran said that years ago she came up with a plan and vision for herself and she was happy to see them all come to fruition.
“I was just an ordinary girl who worked as a cleaner at McDonald’s,” she said.
“I couldn’t speak a word of English when I first arrived from Vietnam to this beautiful country I now call home.
“My mother was a hard-working seamstress and my stepfather worked in a supermarket by day and would drive trucks by night to earn extra income… these are the reasons I am here today.
“When I created the Betty Tran brand, I had a plan and a vision and I am very honoured and humbled for the award as it confirms my belief.”
Reflecting on her time working with young indigenous girls from the Pilbara region, Tran said she hoped her story provided encouragement to other young girls and women looking to follow their dreams.
“It was one of my proudest moments, taking these young girls from the Pilbara region with me to New York,” she said.
“It (the experience) as well as the award enables me to provide the encouragement to assist other young girls and women to understand that wherever they come from, they are capable of realising their dreams and more importantly, feel empowered to do so.”
Tran said she would also use the award to continue to break the rules and make changes to the industry.
“Winning the award means a young woman like me who came to this amazing country with a small suitcase, broken English and a big dream can succeed with hard work and determination,” she said.
Tran will fly to Melbourne next month with other category winners for the National Awards on November 16.