HER Biz: Bridie George, Bella Descanso

Luxurious, elegant and expertly crafted are all ways to describe Australian label Bella Descanso, which offers up sleek and sophisticated sleepwear (or for those bold enough, streetwear). Made from premium silk satin, each piece in the brand’s collections are completed with their signature buttery soft finish, as well as adorned with prints exclusively crafted by hand-selected global artists. As part of HER BLACK BOOK’s Festival of Her, a shopping event to support female-founded businesses, Bella Descanso founder Bridie George shares some insight into her business journey so far. 

 

“I have always had an interest in art and when we ran out of wall space to add any more paintings to our family home, I realised that I wanted to create wearable art that brings colour, happiness and a feeling of luxury to the everyday routine and encourages women to be confident in their fashion choices, starting at home. I felt there was an opportunity in the market to create pieces that were adaptable from sleepwear to streetwear, featured bold, unique prints and had a designer feel while being available at an attainable price point.” 

"My previous career was in agriculture and I worked with agribusiness multinational Cargill in grain procurement and supply chain. One of the managers used to say 'fail, but fail quickly' which has become such a resonant point in my journey creating Bella Descanso. If something isn’t working how you’d like it to be, don’t wallow and let too much time pass, quickly identify the core issue and the path forward required to take a different direction in achieving the outcome."

“I’ve basically focused all my spare time, savings and capital from the sale of my farm on developing the label since I committed to the idea in January 2021. This has meant a lot of late nights, more than a few meltdown moments and I also exited from competitive show jumping to be able to focus time and finances on the project. Living regionally, in Tamworth NSW, can feel quite isolated and I often pine for like-minded company.”

“I have a steely determination, and am very practical. Purchasing a farm by myself at 23 was a massive learning curve and I had to be both of those things to get by. Being there by myself in the drought, I lost count of how many times I’d run the bore dry mid-shower and would be out in the paddock, dripping wet in a towel, trying to prime the pump. It really puts things into perspective and makes you realise that sometimes the things that you come up against in business which you think are hard to overcome, actually aren’t too hard in the scheme of things. These traits have also been born from facing terrible bullying in the towns I’ve lived, as I don’t fit the rural mould, but that’s what nudged me towards seeking happiness in the connection of art, fashion and creating things and one of the key motivators to bring Bella Descanso to life."