I wanted a life out of the ordinary. I don’t take orders well, I never have. So owing my own business and one I could run from anywhere in the world seemed like the only option. I opened an online Etsy store with only a few images of leather bags I had designed and sampled while backpacking in SEA. No set manufacture. Only one sample of each bag and nothing else. It was more an idea than a business but the passion to succeed has never left. I remember uploading my page (my business) one night and waking up in the morning to find I had received about 4 views! I was so happy that people were looking at my stuff and liking it! That feeling of creating something out of nothing still stays with me every day and is the driving force behind what I do. It’s grown from a few images to a named collection and the second collection in the pipework. We have customers all over the globe and our following continues to grow daily.
2. What do you love most about what you do now?
The freedom and the little things. The ability to set my own tasks and accomplish them. For me it’s pure magic to see a design come from a simple sketch into something malleable that can be played with, worked on and incorporated into an entire mood and setting creating a feeling for the wearer. That whole process, That’s the part I lust over!
3. Describe the biggest setback you faced when establishing your business? How did it affect you and how did you push through?
For me it’s manufacturing communication errors. I’ve been told they are a given in this industry and to ride with it. Being out of the country it’s hard to oversee the final production of a collection. If one small thing doesn’t go to plan it can set you back months. These little things can be very disappointing and frustrating but when they happen you have to knuckle down, find a solution and fast and then in the long run laugh at the mishaps, otherwise I think I’d drive myself crazy! It’s a tough gig, people don’t see the hard work and behind the scenes tasks that fill your day and your mind.
4. Everyone has days where they feel flat or uninspired – do you have any tricks or tactics for overcoming these feelings?
For those days, as much as you wish they didn’t, they can creep up on you and before you know it, you’re second guessing everything you’ve done and will do. I recently had a discussion about this with a friend of mine, also running her own fashion label, she asked me “Would you be happier with or without Sabaii in my life?” My immediate response was, of course happier with Sabaii!! It was a light bulb moment. No matter how hard/scary/slow you feel you are going, remember why you started and hold onto that feeling. That’s what gets me through those moments
Laura is an Adelaide girl but loves to travel, especially through the tropical magic that is South East Asia. She is creative at heart, but a bit of a rule breaker. To her, Sabaii is freedom: both to design play and appreciate the beauty of the natural world.
Essential to Laura is the ability to amalgamate elements of the natural world with her designs. She is luxurious at heart and while she can let her hair down, believes quality and consistency is key.