Today I’m pleased to be interviewing another fabulous entrepreneur in my Women at Work series. Nadia Turton is a fashion designer who has her own clothing range and boutique shop under the name of LABEL Collections.
Nadia began working in the retail industry where she learned the basics and gained an idea of what she liked before graduating from Cape Tech with a degree in fashion design in 2001. She then spent two years in London and upon returning to Cape Town she gained experience designing for retailers Truworths, Foschini and Edgars before finally launching LABEL Collections.
Read on below to find out more about Nadia and her career journey thus far…
Tell me more about yourself and what you currently do?
I am a designer and retailer. I own a boutique in The Point Mall called LABEL Collections.
When did you know this is what you wanted to do?
There was no defining moment, I think creativity has always been in the family and I just naturally channeled it into fashion. I wanted to become a buyer, but then became a designer and now I have the best of both worlds owning a boutique and sourcing amazing pieces for our customers.
What did you study – was it in this field or something different?
I studied Fashion Design but it was not what I always wanted to do. I actually wanted to study advertising but was advised to do fashion. Moms, they always know better!
What was your first job in the industry? and what path has your career taken since?
My first job was a casual sales assistant at Stuttafords where I worked for a couple of years while studying. I then spent some time travelling abroad and upon my return I designed for big retailers Truworths, Foschini and Edgars. I decided to take the plunge and launch my own womanswear line LABEL FEMME eight years ago. Since then we have added LABEL Lamere (materinity) and accessories which consists of genuine leahter belts and bags.
What have been the highlights?
I can still remember the excitement of receiving my first wholesale orders and then opening my own factory a year later. Opening my boutique in Sea Point has been a huge highlight.
What’s the best part of your job?
Dealing with clients – I love assisting with styling and wardrobe solutions. I also really enjoy creating ranges for our wholesale clients. All LABEL garments are produced in SA and it’s awesome to see how proud my staff get when they see a LABEL piece in a magazine!
What is the most challenging part?
Switching off – leaving work at work. I enjoy it so much that I am constantly thinking about the business – plans for growth, sourcing new fabrics and creative concepts.
What is your typical day, or maybe week if days are very different?
Every day is different but I try go for a run or visit the gym in the early mornings. By 07h30 I’m at the office where I schedule meetings for as early in the day as possible. Then at about 10h00 I go to the boutique where I spend about four hours each day – I love spending time at the boutique! My shop assist, Damoin, and I strategise and fine tune the store display. We also love meeting new clients and welcoming back our regulars. Some afternoons I have private styling sessions booked and at the end of the day I head back to my studio where I follow up with fabric suppliers, trim suppliers and general admin. At 18h00 I head home but often do more admin from there too
What are the “secrets” to your success?
Dedication, passion, appreciation, gratitude, hunger to succeed, and LOVE for what you do!
What do you do for fun in your down time?
Anything in nature – I love being outside with a view, and a glass of bubbly or wine. At the moment I’m really enjoying trail running. I try to do it as often as possible, regularly switching up my routes.
What do you still want to achieve?
This is just the beginning, we have so much more we want to do. Next step is opening a boutique in Joburg.
Images: Nadia Turton