Get To Know A Girlboss // Begitta Stolk
The first time I met Fashion designer Begitta was when I modelled for her in a Bridal shoot in the Gold Coast Hinterlands. It was what I imagine meeting a fairy for the first time is like; she was bubbly, and smiling constantly. Her energy was just beautiful and you become drawn to her warmth.
I have been lucky enough to wear her pieces twice, and somehow when I have put them on, it's like they were designed for me. Fitting like a glove, flattering me in all the right places and making you feel like Cinderella off to the ball.
Named Couture Designer of The Year for Queensland by Weddings and Events of Australia in 2014, one of 5 finalists in the Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards, and official dress sponsor for the Australian Miss Universe competition, among plenty of other achievements, Begitta is helping to lead the charge for Australian Fashion worldwide. This is why she is our latest #GirlBoss!
What is your background?
I have worked in the fashion industry for over 15 years now. I graduated from college in Australia and then, after a working for a year as a freelance stylist, headed to Paris to study Haute Couture from it's source. I have worked with some incredible designers over my years and was so excited to begin my own journey into my label and business. This year marks 5 Official years and it is quite insane to see how far we have come.
How did you go about starting your own brand and what was the most challenging aspect of doing so?
Werk, werk, werk, werk, WERK, WERK! Having a plan and a dream is just the beginning. It takes an incredible amount of will and determination to make it work in this industry. The most challenging aspect is work/life balance. I am incredible hands on in all aspects of the business so I have to wear a lot of hats and I work long hours. I love what I do so much I live and breath it which means I making sacrifices here and there which can be hard. I feel like the Work/Life Balance is actually a myth, I don't think you ever get to a point where it is "Just right", It's a constant battle of wills and if you get to the point of "Just right" Or comfortable... You're not pushing yourself enough!
What has been your biggest "pinch me" moment in your journey so far?
It's a funny thing those moments It's rare for me to look back and pat myself on the back. I'm always thinking about the next BIG thing I need to be doing, keeping my eye on the next big prize. I am quite critical of myself as I'm a bit of a perfectionist and regardless of the outcome/performance, whether good or bad, I always want to learn a lesson and make it bigger and better next time.
But the BIGGEST pinch me moment thus far was opening the show for the insanely amazing JSPRING Fashion Show. It was atop an incredible large cruise ship that was anchored in the middle of Sydney Harbour. The show took place on the top deck and the vibe and energy was just insane! It was an invite only event full of celebs, media and the Sydney "It" Crowd and having Begitta open the show was incredible flattering and a pivotal point in my career as it led to so many other amazing opportunities.
Tell us about your biggest failure in your journey and what you learned from that?
Oooh! No one ever talks about failure, but I love to! I think you learn more from what you do wrong than what you do right and it reminds us that we're human and that we all make mistakes. In business you meet a little failure every day/week/month. Whether it is not getting back to an email in time for an amazing opportunity or posting out the wrong size gown to a client. I have done both! You just have to pick up the pieces and make the best of a bad situation. Always follow up and thank people for their time and be gracious in your apologies when needed. And a bouquet of flowers always makes things better!
What advice would you give to others who are wanting to start up their own label?
When they say it's hard work, they aren't saying it to deter you, they are saying it to prepare you! There is a lot of work and a lot of love required. You will have to make sacrifices in life, love, relationships, socially and monetarily in order to pursue any business and the fashion industry is no different. It takes plenty of will, determination, true dedication and passion to make your dreams a reality but if you can dream it you can do it. Just never stop moving forward.
Who is a Girl Boss that you admire?
So many, I adore Marie Forleo, her personality and authenticity really resonates with me and her weekly videos are a must for any BossLady! I love Sophia Amoruso (GirlBoss Herself!), Ashy Bines is a beautiful friend of mine and so inspiring in her connection with her audience and has such a beautiful heart and of course my business coach Daria Zest is an absolute Qween!
Where do you see Begitta the Label in the next 5 years?
With a Sydney, New York and Paris Fashion Week under it's (sparkling) belt! We've been asked to partake in all three, but building a solid foundation and a legacy is what I truly want to create so timing is EVERYTHING! I am most certainly excited for the future of the brand! From Bridal Gowns to Ready-To-Wear I want to add a dash of "Begitta" into every girls wardrobe!
Check out more of Begitta's amazing designs online here.