Oh sew sweet success for ‘determined’ entrepreneur
IT’S BEEN a rocky road for Noosa’s Hannah Parkes but hard work and determination has paid off yet again with the launch of her own online fashion range.
The 25-year-old, who has an intellectual disability, is the creative force behind Hannah Goes Retro, a fashion start-up inspired by a love of fashion and all things colourful.
Hannah’s mum, Jo, said the fashion dream began not long after Hannah finished school but admitted the journey to now has not been without it’s challenges.
“We’d always shared a love of vintage stuff and we knew of a small clothing business that made that sort of clothing – and we ended up buying it,” Jo said.
“We came up with the name Hannah Goes Retro and kept the same clothing lines, with Hannah doing all the modelling.”
“It was very hard to get the business up and running but it gave Hannah a great purpose to get dressed up, go out and have fun.”
“We did lots of photo shoots and sold at all the markets around Noosa, which was quite tiring for myself and my husband because we were both working full time.”
Having not received State-based disability funding after school, building her career had to be put on the backburner but is now alive again thanks to the NDIS.
Using Hannah’s NDIS funding, Jo employed local seamstress Paula Reed and since then Hannah Goes Retro has been back on an upward trend.
“Hannah has great vision and design skills,” Paula said.
“I support her with selecting fabrics, working out a plan for what she wants to create, then help with the cutting and sewing.
“Mainly we make the things that Hannah likes – headbands, fluffy clutch bags, micro skirts, beach dresses, cushion covers, whatever she wants really.”
“Hannah loves wearing her own creations and we’ve actually made quite a few sales just by Hannah showing them off in the street.”
Jo said she was proud of her daughter’s “brave and courageous” nature.
“She’s had a lot of medical issues over the years, including epilepsy, but she made it through Year 12, got her P’s and has worked at McDonalds since she was in high school,” Jo said. “We’re very proud of her.”
Later this year Hannah’s younger brother Cahill, a carpenter by trade, has promised to build
Hannah her own sewing studio.
With this new home for her huge collection of fabrics, Hannah already has design plans for the future.
“We’ve got a plan to move in on the men,” Paula said.
“Look out for our Versari suits – safari suits with a dash of Versace!”
Hannah Goes Retro can be found at www.hannahgoesretro.com.au.