Drawing inspiration from the notion that fashion evokes nostalgia, serving as a perpetual reminder of joyous memories, Deer You is an Australian label that aspires to create playful and fearless designs. Each item is carefully designed within Australia, with feminine silhouettes and vibrant prints and colours at the forefront, spanning from polka dot dresses to denim suits and elegant outlines.
Founder Kate Jordan also ensures the brand honours its dedication to ethical and sustainable practices, committed to preserving valuable resources and the planet. Below, she shares a few insights into following your passions, as well as the pinch-me moment that made it all worth it.
“Once upon a time I worked for a boss that would say ‘Kate, you have three choices, accept it, change it or move on.’ Whilst, I initially thought this seemed harsh advice it has held fast, as I often wrestled with the first two and ultimately ended up moving on when I was not able to achieve the changes I felt were needed. I found myself in a place where I longed to not have to fight so hard to find a business that aligned with my ethics and drive, a space where I could be creative, successful and respected. So, when I reached the crossroads to move jobs again or to build a business from the ground up with the people, the vision and the integrity that I wanted I was more than ready to back myself and take the leap.”
“The very first location shoot was at the delightful Merribee Gardens on the south coast of NSW and there was a moment in the afternoon when the sun peaked out from behind the clouds and it was glorious. It was a magical moment, this campaign shoot had been rescheduled so many times it really did feel like it was never going to happen. Mother nature in all her glory had most of the country washed out for months. Trying to a find date where there was no storms, the gardens were not underwater, the photographer, models and venue were still available on the same date was a challenge. So when the afternoon sun rays created that dappled glow through the tree branches and I took a breath and looked around me I was in awe. In awe because I knew all the little and big challenges had led me to this moment. This exact moment where my brand came to life, my launch collection captured, now finally ready to be seen.”
“1. It is always going to be a rollercoaster of ups and downs, I probably thought it would get easier once I launched but the reality is each stage is a whole new journey full of its own challenges and triumphs.
"2. Be prepared to pivot a lot and challenge your strategy often. A key strength of a new business is our ability to be agile and there is nothing wrong with taking lessons learned and applying them to your strategy as you build.
"3. You cannot plan for everything. Sometimes you just have to start and be prepared to learn and grow as you go.”
“Female founders can often feel like they are a lighthouse keeper, on the last operational lighthouse, on a tiny island, in the middle of nowhere during a cataclysmic one in a hundred year storm! Supporting each other is vital, it helps build a thriving community of strong, successful and resilient women. It is this empowered community of supportive females that becomes the very loud cheer squad that keeps your momentum up, keeps your brand awareness building and keeps shouting loudly and proudly all your successes because you do the same in return.”
“Find a friend or an online community group that understands what starting up a business is all about. I was lucky enough to have both and it is invaluable. It is wonderful to have support from friends and family but connections with women who have or are going through what you are is vital. I remember times where a post and comments about business challenges made me feel less alone and can really help pick you up and refocus on the tough days. I still say to people who ask how the business is going the truth, it is a challenge but I love it, it’s my challenge, my successes, my learnings, my business that I am growing."