Tell us about your business and how it started?
Farm Gypsy started three years ago but really it’s been in the making my whole life. I’ve always had a passion for design and an obsession with beautiful fabrics. So one starry night, when I couldn’t sleep, I decided to do it - to design my own clothes and make these available to other women too.
Sustainability and ethical production was important to me so I was very pleased to find a pattern maker, cutter and seamstress right here in the Northern Rivers region. Farm Gypsy truly is a local and rural business which I'm very happy about.
What is your biggest achievement in business?
To start a business in an industry that I had no idea of. I knew nothing about fabric, fashion, pattern making or sewing. All I had was a vision and ideas. And I realised that that was enough.
No one can do everything and there's no need to. While my other business has always been a one-(wo)man show, Farm Gypsy is a collaboration - bringing together many different people and skills.
It's very satisfying to have created this business driven only by a vision and passion.
What challenges have your faced in business?
My biggest challenges were my own high expectations. Sometimes they weren't met and I had to be careful not to feel defeated or frustrated and just stop.
What is the best piece of business advice you were given?
The best piece of business advice I was given was "progress over perfection". Just start, make mistakes and learn along the way. Practice makes perfect.
Who is your biggest cheerleaders?
My number one cheerleader is my mum. She orders all the different styles and compliments me constantly on the excellent choices I've made when it comes to design, colours, photography - everything. It's important to have this unconditional support. And my friends, who were amongst the first ones to buy my clothes. I feel very supported.
What do you love most about where you live?
I love how much space we have. We live on a 100 acre property surrounded by the most beautiful nature. Out here I feel the most creative I've ever been, just because there's no noise and no distraction. I like the slow pace of country life and the people who live here. And I love that my office is a converted caravan, sitting in a paddock. It perfectly combines the gypsy and the farm element.
How can women support other women?
By encouraging each other and believing in each other. Self-doubts can come up especially at the beginning of a new business. That's when you need a good friend who tells you "I believe in you". Another great way of supporting other women is by inspiring them through your own actions.
Flavia Abma is the founder of Farm Gypsy based in Larnook, NSW. She designs country boho style clothing that makes you look and feel beautiful. Designed with love and ethically made in Australia.
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