“I can be really quite shy, but I don’t have a choice to be shy in a business like this,” laughs Jordie Lane, owner of ethereal clothing and jewellery line, Lunar Label.
The twenty-something entrepreneur sits comfortably at her desk, surrounded by macrame chandeliers, crystals and her latest design sketches.
“It’s hard sometimes because I’ll sit here and sketch and do things between customers, but I’m really shy about that type of thing, so I don’t tend to do it whilst I’m open,” says Jordie.
“Sometimes it’s just a little bit daunting selling yourself,” she comments.
It’s not an uncommon sentiment to hear from creatives and entrepreneurs alike, who often see their creation as an extension of themselves. However, despite the occasional discomfort, the shift in focus to a fully-fledged label has been the best decision for the designer.
“I’ve moved away from a traditional shop-front, so it’s enabled me to just sell what I design and manufacture,” explains Jordie.
The change, after four and a half years of owning a ‘traditional’ shopfront, was spurred by Jordie’s passion for design – which was difficult to manage when working full time as a store owner.
This led to the creator leasing a warehouse on the other side of Pakington St with two local small businesses, one that’s become a harmonious design and retail space.
The warehouse is a character in itself, a bohemian medley of exposed walls and natural flooding light to reflect the luminous and other-worldly artwork, fashion and jewellery that co-inhabit the space.
“It reflects my aesthetic,” says Jordie.
“I like my clothes to be a little bit looser and to feel comfortable, effortless and not rigid – to be a bit soft and bohemian. So it’s important to have a space that reflects that. It mirrors one another so that it all feels cohesive.”
And whilst the space has given Jordie more time and freedom to focus on producing her own creations, she admits that it can be difficult for customers to grasp.
“So often people walk in and just be confused why we’re here, because we’re off the ‘beaten track’,” she explains.
“I get asked three or four times a day – how do you survive? But it’s why we’re here, so that we can grow… It’s a funny kind of concept for people.”
For other small businesses who rely on foot-traffic, the move could potentially be damaging, but for Jordie it’s a calculated risk.
“If I was starting off, I wouldn’t do it this way,” Jordie explains.
“Because I had a business for four and a half years, I gained a regular following – without that I probably wouldn’t be able to survive. In saying that, a lot of my business is split evenly between retail in here and retail online and wholesale to other shops. People walking in isn’t necessarily what I survive on, it’s obviously an amazing bonus when someone comes in, but at the end of the day if no one comes in – which never happens – I’m not stressed.”
It’s a testament to Jordie’s hard-work, creativity and perseverance… And maybe a sprinkle of magic.
Written by Caitlin Haddad.
Images supplied by Lunar Label.