GOLDEN the Label is an Australian designed clothing brand that celebrates diversity and body positivity whilst promoting confidence, self love and feel good fashion.
Creative Director and Founder, Bec Crombie started GOLDEN the label just over 3 years ago now, out of pure frustration. As a 30 year old mother of two, who still wanted to dress fashionably and comfortably, she would walk from store to store, practically praying that I could find something to fit her. At the time being a size 18/20, each trip, would end in disappointment, empty handed with her confidence at an all time low. On the odd occasion, she’d come home with some cute new shoes or a bag – because, anyone who’s been plus size knows – at least they will fit! GOLDEN was born in the spare room of her home – sewing machine, a roll of linen fabric and a creative mindset to simply make a few garments that she wanted to wear, but was unable to purchase anywhere.
The rest is history.. GOLDEN now have the absolute honour of providing collections for women all over the world – with a customer base reaching as far as Canada and Norway. To meet the demand in the market, GOLDEN have expanded their sizing to include 26-28, and are making moves to supply to boutiques across Australia – with the main goal to be for their customers and community to have access to GOLDEN in person, with the opportunity to readily be able to try them on before purchasing! Every woman should have the opportunity to shop in store, with clothing that makes their heart happy & their confidence sky rocket.
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Table of Contents
Thank you for joining us, please introduce yourself to our readers.
Bec Crombie: Hey Jerome, thanks for having me! I’m Bec, Creative Director and Founder of GOLDEN the label.
Can you tell our readers in what ways you are disrupting your industry?
Bec Crombie: We are going against the grain when it comes to women’s fashion, particularly sizing and inclusivity. We believe that mainstream fashion is extremely un-inclusive, lacks diversity, does not celebrate bodies of all shapes and sizes, nor does it create a community that puts an emphasis on body positivity. We are here to change all of that. Our garments are created with women of varying body types in mind. We create collections that are high quality, and cater to sizes 6-28. We basically allow women to focus less on the size of their clothing and more on being the gorgeous, confident, self loving queens that they are!
Did you become a disruptor by choice or by necessity? Tell us more about the journey.
Bec Crombie: By choice AND necessity. Ultimately, GOLDEN was born out of necessity for myself. To design and bring to life clothing that I wanted to wear, but was unable to find in mainstream stores. However it has 100% been a choice to bring these collections to life for a wider audience then just filling my wardrobe. Originally we started by stocking up to a size 24, however due to demand, we have now increased our sizing to cater up to a 28.
Now for the main focus of this interview: Many readers may wonder what are the biggest challenges women entrepreneurs must overcome to be successful?
Bec Crombie: I don’t think I can speak for ALL women, as each and every one of us has our own challenges and obstacles. However I think I can deliver an insight into my own life and the struggles I have faced as an entrepreneur, which I’m sure many other women will resonate and agree with.
Being a mother and entrepreneur – and juggling these roles – both independently of each other, and as a collective, has definitely not been an easy feat. I often feel like I’m on a see-saw. With my family / personal life at one end, and business life at the other. When I’m kicking goals in business, I’m most likely falling short as a Mother, Wife and Friend. If I step back from running my business, to focus on personal life – the business falls behind. I would hazard a guess that this would be the most challenging aspect many women / mothers face when being at the head of their own company.
On a personal level – we have a child with special needs, and up until 3 months ago, they were only attending school for 1 hour per day. So essentially I was their full time carer (filled with attempting to home school, specialist appointments etc), whilst also working full time in the business. This was by far my most challenging period of my life, where I have been stretched so thin, to the point of burn out. However I also think through these challenges and struggles, I have built a lot of resilience and determination. I gave up my teaching career to looking after our child, however now as life as CEO and an entrepreneur, I am focused on looking forward and not back.
On a surface level, from an outsiders perspective, I think it is fairly easy to fall into the trap of assuming that owning a business is all fun, freedom and photoshoots. This most certainly is not the case. Whilst there are many aspects of my role that I love, with this, comes a great deal of responsibility. As the CEO of my company, the buck stops with me. If we overspend on a collection, there is no one beyond me that is going to come along with a bag of gold to rescue us. I am the one responsible if a design doesn’t ‘hit’ the target. The successes and failures rest on my shoulders.
How did you overcome these obstacles? Who helped you during these difficult times and how did they?
Bec Crombie: Honestly? I think us women are pretty strong, independent and resilient little creatures. Business is not for everyone, and if you dabble in it, and decide it is not for you, that is totally okay. We all have our assets, strengths and things we excel at – I think the most important thing in life is to find what you love, what you are good at, and if you can leverage that into an income – then that’s awesome. If you love what you do, you will be more passionate about it, and you will find a way to push through barriers to make it work.
For me, my business gave me a purpose beyond motherhood. Anyone who is raising a child with special needs will tell you – there are some dark days. There are those days where you ask ‘why me?’. You lose yourself amongst the chaos, amongst giving your all for someone other than yourself, and as I mentioned earlier, I gave up my teaching career for my child, without hesitation. I have no regrets. I know this is the path that was meant for me.
Our personal support network is very small. I have a few special people in my life that I am blessed with, that if I needed a hand – I know I could call on. We don’t have help with the children or before/after school care etc, but somehow Hubby and I manage to juggle it between us. However I do have friends help pack orders when our volumes are extremely high, or they will be a listening ear to bounce creative ideas off, help model at shoots if I need them etc.. which is awesome and so appreciated.
How did these lessons shaped the way you conduct business today?
Bec Crombie: I think these challenges have taught me that I can get through any tough moments – take a deep breath, put one foot in front of the other and keep going. There will be moments where things won’t go as planned. I have had styles arrive, and they be different to what we sampled, but sometimes you just need to roll with the punches and make it work!
Initially I struggled a lot with perfectionism, and as time has gone on, and I am further into my business journey, I’ve had to slowly learn to let go of perfect. Perfect doesn’t exist. Try your best, and your best will have to be good enough. Often we are our own worst critic, and how you view something vs how everyone else does, is completely different. Most of the time, people won’t even notice the small details / imperfections that you obsess over for hours, days and weeks.. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If it won’t matter a year from now, then it is not worth more than an hour of your time today!
What advice you wished you had received when you started, that you’d like to share now with aspiring women entrepreneurs?
Bec Crombie: I wish I had of known more about the financial side of setting up a good foundational base for the business. I’m not the best when it comes to accounting, knowing my numbers etc. I now know it is really important to know your numbers, make sure that
Out of all of your proudest moments as an entrepreneur, is there a particular one that stands out the most?
Bec Crombie: Seeing my designs on our customers and receiving feedback from them of how amazing they feel in our garments. These are pinch me moments that keep me going on a weekly basis.
I am also incredibly stoked and proud that we were mentioned on a recent Mamamia podcast.
What do you plan on tackling during the 2022 year? Share your goals and battles you expect to face.
Bec Crombie: This year I am trying to operate my business with Balance and Boundaries as the core theme. I’m terrible at both setting boundaries and balancing work/life – I would work all night if I didn’t force myself to have a break. But I think by implementing small steps that focus on both of these aspects, I will be both a better business owner and wife/mother/friend.
I’m sure our readers will be very thankful for the insights you have shared. What is the best book you’ve gone through lately and please share some take away lessons from it.
Bec Crombie: These days I’m more of an Audible listener – I’m able to listen while I am working. My two absolute stand out favourites I’ve listened to in the last year (I can’t choose between them) would be Glennon Doyle – Untamed. Highly recommend it for anyone who has ever doubted who they are as a person and what they stand for. I revisit this frequently when I’m needing a little reminder 😉
I also recently listened to Samantha Wills – Of Gold and Dust, which I found incredibly inspiring. I love that she followed her heart and her soul in knowing when it was time to walk away from her jewellery business. I admire that she had the strength to close it, rather then sell it, as that is what felt right for her. Incredibly difficult decision I do not envy at all.
Thank you so much for your time but before we finish things off, I do have one more question for you. When was the last time you did something for the first time and what was it?
Bec Crombie: Last year I went on a retreat on my own, without any loved ones – family or friends. Stayed with complete strangers for 3 nights. It was very soul fulfilling to take time to nurture myself, free from the distractions of everyday life. Highly recommend it. I’m definitely due for another!
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Bec Crombie for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Bec Crombie or her company, you can do it through her – Instagram
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