Alope is a new surfwear brand hailing from the Gold Coast. Manufactured locally in Australia, these suits incorporate feminine cuts and prints, and are designed to actually flatter our figures – hallelujah! Nevermind the fact they pass the boyfriend hotness test: these neoprene suits allow us salt gypsies some individuality and frivolity in the lineup. Creator, Sarah Brown, gives us some insight into her new business…
Hi Sarah, what`s the story behind Alope – did you have an “a-ha” moment of inspiration? It was a pretty slow process from the first idea of Alope to actually getting it up and running. I am a pretty impatient person so this was definitely the hardest part for me. Knowing exactly what you want but having to take the steps to get to it. I am a big picture person so I see things as an end result, hot to get there is my challenge. The world needs big picture people as well as detailed people, we compliment each other. That is why I am currently looking for a detailed person for a business partner!
Where do your design inspirations come from? The whole idea of Alope was to create fun and flattering wetsuits for women, not the usual black flat chested ones. I love colour, patterns and prints and knew one day I would do something where I could work with them. Great colour combinations get me really excited or if I find a new print that I love.
Starting your own business isn`t always bubbles and fairycakes. What challenges have you had and how have you overcome them? Ha, don`t get me started on that! No, I have learnt to just think about all the great things that are happening with Alope and focus on these. Positive thinking always brings good things to you and everything flows better. If I had focused on all the challenging things then I definitely would not have got this far. I have really learnt my strengths and weaknesses since starting Alope. Also, if it were easy then everyone would be doing it!
How do you see the current state of women`s surfwear? It has really started improving lately I think. It went through a very uncool period in my opinion. Too much large branding all over everything. There was a time when I liked something a lot but would not buy it because its logo or name was plastered all over it. Surfwear is incorporating more high fashion trends. There are some very cool new labels around now too. A lot of these are local brands based on the Gold Coast and in the Byron area so I think we are doing a great job!!
Who or what inspires you? Textiles from around the world. Blogs and magazine editorials, nature photography, great art. There are just so many creative people and now we have access to view all of their work just at our fingertips.
Advice you`ve been given that resonated with you? That it is really important to visualise yourself in the future and where you want to be in life and what you want from it. It is a very powerful tool and helps you to stay focused on your main goal. It is also very important not to worry or think that you are competing with anyone. We are all contributing something different and all inspired by each other and everything around us.
Where can we spend our doneros on Alope? www.alope.com.au