I was born and raised in Echuca, a picturesque small town (and by small town the population is approx. 15,000) on the Murray River in country Victoria. If you do know it, it’s likely you’ve spent some time on the river there as a kid, Echuca is famous for its Port and Paddle steamers.
WHAT DID YOU STUDY?
I studied a double degree at Monash University, Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) and Bachelor of Community Welfare and Counselling. I studied online which was challenging and I didn’t get to indulge in the fun on campus students do but it taught me a lot about maintaining motivation and working autonomously.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE SOMMER SWIM?
Before Sommer Swim I was working in completely unrelated industries, State Government in Perth and prior, Property Development in Melbourne. I was very much thrown from being in super male dominated industries into the swimwear industry which was a big change but I think I’ve adapted well. I’m enjoying working along side some really talented women and it’s great to see so many of us being empowered through fashion.
TYPICAL DAY AT WORK?
As a team we are often remote from each other, so an environment where we get to collaboratively work together is rare and really capitalised on. If the team is together in Bali we’re generally cafe-hopping looking for the good wifi (island struggles!) as sadly the bikinis and beach club vision with laptop in tow isn’t the norm! Every day is different but at the moment we’re sampling new collection so that’s a more enjoyed part of the job, getting to see designs and ideas take creation!
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?
Without a doubt what I love most are the opportunities to travel and see the world that have been opened up to me. Sometimes I’ll be teased a little for always chasing the sun, but in reality this job allows me to do that. I spend my time between Bali, Europe, South Africa and at home in Australia dependent on the seasons, so I consider myself really lucky to be bouncing between so many special places.
BIGGEST PINCH YOURSELF MOMENT?
Sommer Swim related – I can’t go past the day Emily Ratajkowski was papped in our swim. To see one of the biggest celebrities and one of our most coveted target girls looking incredible in Sommer creations - not paid but because she wanted to wear it – that was a really cool moment for the team!
BIGGEST MENTOR AND INSPIRATION?
Mentor wise I can’t go past Anna, the founder and owner of Sommer who has been a long time friend and more recently employer. Anna is an incredible businesswoman and a self-made success story whom I’ve learned immeasurably from since commencing with Sommer in 2016.
My Nan is my biggest inspiration. I come from a long line of Aboriginal artists, and my Nan was the most incredible storyteller and also had a true gypsy spirit. I’m really proud that I took after her in that way and she’s my motivation to strive always to excel.
BEST ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WANTING A JOB IN PR?
Be on the front foot and put yourself out there! On-the-job learnt skills and the ability to communicate well and network will impress over qualifications every time.
Sommer Swim – we’re currently exploring some exciting ideas to expand and add complimentary additions for our customer base. We’re really conscious to not conform to trends and keep pushing boundaries when it comes to designs so we hope that’s reflecting in our collections.Personally, I’ve just launched my own accessories label @azar.thestory – handcrafted in Bali so I’m really enjoying the challenge that’s presenting.
And sun chasing that’s definitely a given!