Jonte Morgan started her label Jonte in 2012 and tells the Western Suburbs Weekly how she couldn’t have done it without her fellow Perth designers.
1. What was the fashion scene like in Perth when you launched your label in 2012?
It was definitely very shopfront-based and about having your boutique and store. I was still working in retail when I launched my label and had worked in retail for seven years and definitely saw a shift from what retail used to be. It was when retail started to struggle and for me it was a time when I aligned myself with other designers and we were focused on pop-up shops.
2. How has it changed?
It’s great to have my own hub where people can see me direct. In 2012 there was just Facebook but now there’s many facets to the industry and online is crazy. We have more clients purchase through the shop than online but it works hand in hand. When I first started out people would go shopping for clothes but now people will do their viewing online and then go to the shopfront. We have to be on top of social media with video, celebrity dressing, etc. We have to have a daily presence. I’ve learned to value my customers. I’ve built a relationship with my customers, I love styling them.
3. How have you got through the challenging economic times?
I’ve learned to keep an open mind and be willing to adapt my business model and be open to change. I’ve followed the needs of my customer base. I’ve found a niche. I’m launching a bridal collection soon because customers have asked for designs for wedding dresses. That’s an area where I have adapted.
4. How do designers work together to support one another?
We have a designer warehouse sale two or three times a year. We get 10-14 designers who come into the Jonte studio. We all promote it and work out a marketing strategy together, we help each other out. To survive, we need to have a community of fellow creatives. So many of them are my close friends now.
5. What is your local coffee shop?
I try different places. I don’t drink coffee, I go for a juice or chai latte. I really enjoy going along the coast. I’ve recently been to Lot One Kitchen in Hillarys, I love Voyage Kitchen… I like to be able to smell the ocean.