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“Trust your gut, be smart and have your bread and butter,” was Caitlin Bennett’s reply to something she would tell her younger self. Caitlin Bennett, owner of Sundholm Style, designs ranges of sustainable clothing for women. When discussing her brand, Caitlin describes her business as fitting under the category of ‘slow fashion’.
I recently interviewed Caitlin on both her business and her overall career journey. I found this interview insanely helpful to where I want to go and I hope you do as well.
How did you get into the fashion industry?
Caitlin studied a dual degree of biomedical science and business at uni, although always had a dream to own her own fashion business.
“I always loved fashion so I went out and got my first job in retail and within that job just worked really hard and got promoted to manager quite quickly. Basically, I went out and did lots of work experience for an online magazine called Fashion Observer Magazine and then worked a few different jobs.”
Caitlin continued her work experience with an independent fashion designer that was into sustainable fashion and ethically made clothes.
“That was one of my favourite jobs that really opened my eyes up to some of the not so great things that go on in the fashion industry, the direction I wanted to go in.”
She also did a course at the Australian Institute of Creative Design which resulted in her working as a trainer and educator before starting up her business.
What is Sundholm Style?
“Sundholm Style is my fashion label, it’s a linen label designed for women. It is very much designed to be ‘weekend capsule wardrobe’. Everything is really designed to be able to be mixed and matched. It sort of fits under that category of slow fashion. So, my idea for the designs is for people to wear them lots and for a long time and be able to style them whatever way they want. Because I think it’s really important that we start moving away from fast fashion where we just buy things wear them a couple of times then throw them out. That’s my design ethos for sustainability.”
What does your typical day look like?
“A typical day changes all the time. For example today, I’m going to be sending some fabrics off to production, my production lady is in Toowoomba, travelling out to her. A lot of time spent on the computer, stuff for the website, social media as well, planning out the content. I have a photoshoot on Sunday for a new collection. You can do a lot of work from home which can be tough sometimes and sometimes you can get lonely when you are running your own business you don’t have anyone to bounce your idea’s off.”
Do you have a 5 year
“I’d love to own a fashion store at the beach. Would like to have it as a multifunctional space, somewhere where lots of creatives can come in and use the space. For the store to sustain me and be my only source of income, but I would also love to find improvements in the way I produce as well, to make it more sustainable. Also, what I’ve often done in my career is education, so to actually incorporate into that store, workshops as well. Educating other business people and customers on how to style themselves in a sustainable way.”
Who are your style inspirations?
“I like Freja Wewer (@frejawewer), she’s Scandinavian, I really like Scandinavian style. I also quite like the Japanese design philosophy and minimalism as well. Anything that is very relaxed but elegant. I just like natural beauty, that’s my big inspiration at the moment.”
Check out Caitlin and her business @sundholmstyle and https://sundholmstyle.com