Tammy Hembrow has taken the social media world by storm with her fitness-focused Instagram account, boasting over 6 million followers. Tammy had a vision to become a leading athleisure player in the global marketplace and with that vision, she launched Saski Collection this year. I caught up with Tammy to discuss all things athleisure and what's in store for the brand in the future. Her willingness to create top quality products and her overall drive as a entrepreneur is why she has made it into our Fashion Spotlight!
Did you always see yourself eventually progressing into athleisure as a way to expand your brand as a fitness influencer?
I didn't know how I was going to get there at first, but yes, I have always wanted to create my own clothing line. I’ve always been passionate about fashion and fitness from the start, so marrying the two was my dream. I didn't just want to be the face of a brand, I wanted to invest myself in each step from initial research to designing and personally testing each product, to ensure that I was offering something that I would wear myself. I wanted to ensure the clothes would be able to handle any workout schedule.
Saski Collection sold out within a week of launching globally. Did you predict that sort of demand? Were you ready to take that on?
We predicted high demand, people were ready as soon as we first hinted that something was coming, but we didn’t expect demand to be as high as it was! Of course we were hoping for success, but it’s hard to know before you start. We did anticipate large volumes so we had more stock ready to arrive just after the launch and to my surprise, we ended up selling out of most of that as well.
As much as we prepared, we were not as ready as we thought. One of the most frustrating problems were the website issues we experienced because of the high amount of traffic, even though we anticipated high volumes and thought we were ready for it. Even with all the preparation in the world, when you actually go live for the first time, things come up that you haven’t thought of or didn’t think would actually happen! Despite the issues, we got through it and learned so much. It was definitely one of the hardest weeks of my life, but it's strengthened the team and reinforces my faith in the people around me.
Your collection features sports bras, crop tops, leggings and hoodies. What made you decide on those particular styles?
They’re all styles I personally love. I designed items that I wanted to wear, and I think I have a pretty good idea of what my followers also like. I trialled and tested each piece myself by wearing them to the gym before we launched so that when I brought it to the market, it would be something that I was proud of. I wanted women to look amazing in the clothes but also be able to really push themselves in the gym while wearing them, and be confident the clothes would be able to handle it.
Do you see yourself expanding on your current product range? If so, what do you think is next for Saski Collection?
I do! We already have a couple of new ranges in the works. We have a new style legging being released really soon - it’s a style that a lot of my customers have been asking for, so stay tuned!
What’s your personal favourite piece?
I really love the Dusty Pink set as a whole, I just love the colour and how gorgeous it is as a complete look.
What’s an average day like in the Saski Collection office?
A day in our office consists of team meetings where we go over marketing strategies, the ranges and sales but also have lots of fun. We're all really enthusiastic about making Saski Collection a success, and I want to create a great culture where people love to work. I want to offer growth and opportunity but also support and fun! We love to film videos and take photos in the clothing, I also like to randomly write notes for some unsuspecting customers and slip them in their orders. The office is still under construction but it’s slowly getting there. My team have been great working out of the warehouse (for now), which is just downstairs, but we hope to be in the finished office soon!
What sort of challenges have you faced with starting your own line? How have you overcome them?
There have been so many challenges! But there's no way of overcoming them other than getting in there and learning from the experience. I was up for it! I didn't know who to talk to about certain issues, including manufacturing, trademarking or web development. I definitely felt overwhelmed at times, but I overcame these challenges by researching, asking lots of questions, and surrounding myself with the right people. Anything can be learned, so if a dream seems unachievable, you just need to think that every amazing brand or project started from the same place. That’s something I have learned throughout this process.
What advice would you give to Gold Coasters wanting to start their own business?
To follow what they’re passionate about and just do it. Don’t wait for more money or a better time. Start with what you have and who you know, work hard and build from what's around you already.
If you hadn’t gained success as a fitness influencer, what do you think you’d be doing?
I would be doing something similar in fitness, maybe training people. I would have still tried the clothing brand because both of these are things I am passionate about and I believe in going after what you want.
Where is your favourite place to shop on the Gold Coast?
Where’s your go-to spot on the Gold Coast?
The beach - we're spoilt for choice!
What can we expect from Saski Collection in the next 2 years?
Everyone should get ready for lots of new and fresh styles, it's so fun being able to create them! We also want to continue to expand so hopefully that will turn into some job opportunities on the Gold Coast too.
If you could have anyone wear Saski Collection, who would it be?
Honestly, I love seeing your everyday girl in it. I love how many girls have tagged us in the photos of them loving the product and I couldn’t ask for more than that.