Heard of The Post? Launching today, it is a concisely chic new brand with an affordable price point, and most notably it is the first boutique label founded by a local fashion influencer.
The stylish Laura Hadlow has been on our radar for a while, and for The Post she has joined forces with Niamh Gibson; the two have been friends since working in a boutique during university, and decided to become business partners, co-founding The Post with a distinct vision. Positioned around wardrobe essentials and facilitating accessible style for young women, The Post’s offering is comprised of both a ‘core’ and ‘capsule’ range – the former focuses on faithful perennial necessities, while the latter is more trend driven and limited-edition.
We had a chat to Laura and Niamh about their new label, their experience launching a business, and their advice for other young women wanting to take the plunge.
Miss FQ: Why did you decide to launch The Post?
Laura and Niamh: We were inspired by the gap in our wardrobes, as well as our genuine love of fashion and dream of running our own label! Something we couldn’t find in the local fashion market was a brand that focuses on effortlessly-cool wardrobe essentials that meet the needs of the dynamic modern woman. So, we set out to create just that.
What sets The Post apart from current brands on the market?
Where a lot of other brands are seasonal and driven largely by designers, The Post will always have a strong focus on producing what women need in their daily wardrobes, at an accessible price point. We see this as being quality staples – as well as a few party pieces and trendy items that can be reinvigorating to a daily look! To do this, we have created a ‘core and capsule’ concept. We hope that as The Post and its community grow, what we produce will be reflective of what our customers are directly telling us they want.
What was the experience of creating the range, working with manufacturers and bringing it to market like?
The experience has been so rewarding, seeing our ideas which started out as scribbles on paper come to life is very exciting. It’s all a process and learning curve for us; when working alongside manufacturers there has been a lot of trial and error throughout each stage to ensure we have refined our product offering to the very best fits. All of our creative passion and energy has gone into creating The Post. We are ready to introduce our business to the market so we can grow and learn more as a company.
Could you tell us about both of your backgrounds?
Laura: Throughout my life I have been influenced by strong intelligent women who are not afraid to take risks and push themselves. Growing up as the youngest of five sisters with a Croatian style icon for a mother, it’s safe to say my obsession for fashion sparked early on. During my first year of University studying a Business and Communications Double Degree, I interned with a leading fashion PR company that introduced me to the New Zealand fashion scene. It was from there I went on to pursue my love for fashion by establishing my online creative platform Laura Rozana and @laurahadlow on Instagram which organically grew a loyal following. Over the past four years I have worked in fashion retail, as an in-store stylist, and alongside incredible local and international brands. These experiences have helped shape the business model, culture and product designs for The Post. I have also always been inspired by overseas travel, and discovering what is happening in the fashion scene beyond the shores of New Zealand.
Niamh: I have grown up within a manufacturing background, so it’s always been second nature. I’ve always had a creative mind-set; I studied business at university and majored in Marketing/Advertising and Design. Halfway through my business degree I picked up design as I felt the business side just wasn’t fulfilling my creative needs, I then secured an internship with a fashion house in New York. I have worked in retail and completed fashion internships in New Zealand and New York, and assisted with buying and sales for the last five years so I was really able to understand both sides of the business, which gave me more of a drive to start this venture with Laura.
What is it like working together?
Laura: Niamh is honestly the most loyal, hard-working person I know and is an absolute pleasure to work alongside. I feel so lucky to have met someone like her, who also shares a similar style as mine… but with her own unique twist!
Niamh: Laura has a flare and eye for style that is second to none, we have many similarities (often showing up to meetings in the EXACT same outfit…) and our core values are the same but our differences really complement each other. I absolutely love working with Laura, and am so fortunate to have found a business partner that I get along with so well, trust and have 100% respect for. She’s the absolute best!
Laura, what has been your experience as an influencer, and how has this informed The Post?
I’m lucky enough to say my experience so far has been amazing, and very humbling. I started my Instagram while I was at school, due to a love of dressing up, and as a way of experimenting with fashion and expressing myself. It organically grew to the point I’m at now… and I am very grateful that I get to engage with [interesting brands] and my followers on a daily basis. I have been lucky enough to work with some amazing companies in my career so far, which has helped shape and inform my view on the current media matrix when starting an online e-commerce business in today’s market.
Niamh, you have a background in fashion and manufacturing – what learnings do you have from this and how did you apply them to The Post?
I have found this background and previous work experience to be very beneficial when setting up The Post. I have completed fashion internships in New Zealand and New York, assisting with boutique buying and then been raised and immersed within the manufacturing side of the industry, each of these really allowed me to understand different facets of the industry, which I was able to take with me to set up The Post with Laura and add to her skill set. I guess my main learning would be resilience; this is something that is at the forefront of running any successful business. With starting any business venture there will be knocks but something we have learnt is that you have to take and deal with them as they come, we’re still learning and that is something that I hope to gain more of along the way.
How do you think social media has changed the way we shop?
We think that social media has had a huge play in the way we shop today. It has opened up a new realm of marketing; we are no longer solely influenced by classic influencers (i.e. big brand and models that all look the same), instead we are able to see girls next door, best friends, family, people from different cultures and places. It allows us to make more of our own decisions about who we are being influenced by. On the flipside, we can also make conscious buying decisions, because social media provides a platform for customers to get to know a brand, see how they work, see how they engage with their suppliers and employees – we can buy products because we genuinely believe in the brand and want to support them.
As a local brand, did you factor in the New Zealand lifestyle and approach to fashion with the range?
The no-fuss, easy-going approach to fashion and life that most Kiwis have has definitely influenced our CORE collection, which focuses on doing simple things well. Additionally, the beauty of living in New Zealand is that one minute you are in a city – and the next you’re at the beach or in the country! We wanted to design clothes that could be worn in all these environments (jeans on a hike probably aren’t the best idea though haha).
How are you incorporating sustainability and conscious consumerism into The Post?
For us transparency is key; we want to be transparent with our customers. People are becoming more conscious in the way that they shop and The Post will embrace these new consumer trends. As we grow we will be open to making further changes to respond to consumer demand and the industry’s best practice as it evolves. All of our pieces are carefully considered, and in terms of environmental sustainability, some of our starting points include using recycled cotton, choosing recycled plastic bottles as our puffer fill, using compostable mailers and packaging, saying no to individual plastic garment wrapping, and using New Zealand made recycled tissue and stickers.
Why was it important to have an accessible price point?
We are designing for all women, of all ages and we wanted our price point to reflect this.
What have been some learning curves from creating and launching The Post?
The whole process has been a huge learning curve in itself. I think that’s been the beauty of starting The Post, there haven’t been any influences other than our own and it’s allowed us to enjoy the journey and navigate every step of the way. We are looking forward to what’s coming next, although we aren’t 100 per cent sure what it may be! We are just thrilled to keep learning and growing as we go.
What advice would you give to other young people looking to start a business?
Don’t be afraid of naivety or the unknown… because often generating ideas without fear can lead to the best outcomes.
What are you plans and hopes for the future of the brand?
We have big dreams for The Post. and are so excited for what the future holds. We both believe that quality and fit are the most important factors to a good piece of clothing, and hope to continue to create these fundamental elements for women’s wardrobes for years to come.
The Post launches on August 21 2019. You can shop the collection at the-post.co.