Happy Memorial Day everyone! How lovely is it to have a long weekend, best spent with family, food and beautiful weather! I’ve loved every minute of it and to top it off, I get to present you with a Maker that I have been excited about for, like, ever.
Popbasic is a company I have supported since their first ‘Micro Collection’. I found them through a friend and was hooked on the concept immediately, not to mention the fact that their CEO is an Australian transplant, just like me! Popbasic’s mission is to fill your closet with high quality staples – the things that you don’t necessarily buy at the mall (because we all get distracted by trend pieces, lets face it) – but the items that you WISH you had as you stare blankly into your closet, trying to make an outfit out of all these now-dorky trends. I feel you, sister, we really DON’T have anything to wear. Popbasic provides a ‘Micro Collection’ per month, usually 3 items of on point, timeless fashion that you will find yourself wearing again and again and again (like the Gray Rubi Dress, pictured above. A personal favorite of mine, it gets worn OFTEN). Here’s the best part – you wont find yourself spending your entire paycheck on a collection. The Popbasic team deliver high quality at a fantastically reasonable cost. So, now that I have your attention, let’s get on with our Monday:
Hi, my name is Maddy and I’m the co-founder of Popbasic. Popbasic is an online women’s fashion label. We focus on creating beautiful basics and each month we create three pieces of clothing and accessories, that are available to purchase as a set with free worldwide shipping.
What made you want to start a fashion based company?
I worked in retail for over four years while I was studying at university, so I have always had an avid interest in fashion. While I was there I started to develop close relationships with customers and noticed certain patterns in items they’d look for season to season. Surprise surprise, most women wanted good quality staples. At the same time there were a lot of fun ecommerce services like Birchbox cropping up overseas. I didn’t understand why there wasn’t a fun service for fashion available internationally so that’s how the idea for Popbasic sparked. Personally, I had just finished a selling spree of my wardrobe on Ebay and started to plan the ‘perfect wardrobe’. So for me Popbasic was my way of building my ideal wardrobe gradually. I shared the idea with a few people online and they loved it.
Was it difficult starting a business abroad? What advice would you have for anyone else wanting to take their work to an international scale?
Research your market! Try to understand how your customers think, where they shop, what hobbies they have. I like to think of our customers as citizens of the Internet, so I already had a really good understanding of what services and products they would like. But once I moved to the US, I realized just how different we are culturally. Understanding the nuances of your demographic is so important.
Can you recall your favorite piece of clothing as a child?
My rubi slippers! The very first movie I saw was ‘The Wizard of Oz’. Instantly I was hooked on Dorothy’s shoes and was obsessed with finding a pair of my own. Once I found a pair, they were the only shoes I would wear.
Name a movie that inspires you (in whatever way)
Lost in Translation. I absolutely adore Sofia Coppola! This was the first movie of hers that I saw. The timing of it was really important and resonated with me. I had just graduated from school and was about to start university. I felt a little bit ‘lost’ you could say and it made me feel like not having it all together was ok and the fun part is actually the journey.
What’s your go-to basic outfit?
This is easy peasy. My Le Breton (I own ten of these!), dark denim jeans, patent nude ballet flats, a stack of bangles and my black leather Zara bag. Everyone in San Francisco dresses very effortlessly. You have to be practical in how you dress with the amount of hills you’ll encounter everyday!
What are your future goals for PopBasic?
To make sure that every customer we reach falls in love with our company, and is part of our community. I don’t like to think of our ‘customers’ as individuals, but rather as part of a community of lovely, funny, inspiring and intelligent women we’re creating. On a bigger note, I’d like to scale out our products in our permanent line by the end of this year.
What has been your favorite PopBasic item thus far?
My Le Breton! I still wear the sample from May 2013 and there are no holes in it yet. I can honestly say it is the most hardworking item in my wardrobe. I’m so proud of the quality of every piece, but this withstands even my careless washing.
What has been the most difficult thing for you to adjust to since moving from Australia to the States?
The biggest adjustment I have had is setting a normal routine for myself. Even though I’ve lived here for over a year now, it still felt like I was in a weird holiday/living limbo. Once I started to make a conscience effort to set a routine, I’ve started to feel much happier and settled. Culturally, it’s been a little hard to tone down my sarcasm, Americans don’t use it like Australians do, so I’ve had my fair share of awkward conversations.
What would we be most likely to hear playing in your workspace?
I love listening to Australian music while I work- Triple J’s ‘Like a Version’, Busby Marou, Gotye. I also really like The Lumineers, Lykke Li and watching YouTube vlogs.
If you could choose any alternate profession, what would it be?
I’d love to work for a fashion magazine. But honestly, this is my dream job!
A big thank you to Maddy from Popbasic for this wonderful interview with HEAPS of helpful advice for you aspiring business makers out there. Maddy has been a pleasure to work with and it’s been fun forming a friendship with her, sharing our Australian turned American experiences and to witness her wonderful brain-child of a business evolve! I honestly cannot wait for the permanent lines to come out (the Le Breton is a MUST, ladies).
Popbasic will be launching their new Paloma Collection THIS WEDNESDAY, so as a gift to all my readers, I would like to give you $15 to spend in the Popbasic store!
You heard right – just follow THIS LINK to the store or click on the POPBASIC banner below, do a little shopping and receive $15 off your purchase. Exciting, no? I just know you’ll love the Paloma Collection (and everything else this gorgeous label comes up with) and who doesn’t love a freebie, right?!
I look forward to working further with Maddy, she is such a gem. Now get stocking those closets!