Bev Dyer is a hardworking mother of three young boys, who has somehow found the time to launch her own lifestyle label. FOCUS spoke with Bev, to find out where the inspiration came from and what the experience has been like so far …
Hi Bev. Can you tell us a bit about your connection to the Coffs Coast?
I have lived on the Coffs Coast since I was eight years old. My family moved to the area when my dad got a job doing the Raleigh bypass.
What do you love most about living here?
What is there not to love? We live in such a friendly, creative community. If you ask me, we have the best climate in Australia, we are spoilt with the picturesque countryside and rivers, and our coast boasts some of the cleanest, unpopulated beaches our country has to offer. Coffs Coast is small enough but still big enough, with opportunities and resources everywhere. I couldn’t imagine living and raising my kids anywhere else.
You recently launched your own label; can you tell us about that?
It’s a lifestyle brand that brings products together to represent and support our Australian laid back lifestyle, called Chasing Sundays.
Through my products I aim to connect family and friends, so we can bring a slice of that Sunday vibe into every day. It’s all about practical, affordable and stylish basics that absolutely anyone can enjoy.
Where did the inspiration for the label come from?
With three young boys, I was struggling with the beach juggle and was often put off going. I love the Kids’ Poncho Towel, but I could never seem to find any that were stylish and suitable for a broad age range, especially catering for the pre teens/teens. I have an eight year old, and I find there is a gap in the market for children aged seven and up.
I have always been a visual person and love pulling things together.
All of a sudden, I had a sourcing, researching, sampling obsession, and from that I found a love for Turkish Cotton – and Chasing Sundays was born.
What have been some of the hiccups you have had along the way?
Sourcing trustworthy manufacturers was challenging. Investing time and money into having samples made, to receive a product that was not up to scratch and having to start the sampling process all over again.
I also underestimated how much work was involved in creating the website, especially having no experience. I am at a point now where my website needs updating, as the functions are too basic for what I want and need now.
Your website features images of your friends and family; can you tell us a bit about how they all supported you?
They have been my models, they’ve allowed me to bounce ideas off them, given me honest feedback, and attended markets with me in the sweltering heat and purchased from me!
I have friends helping me with IT, photography and just generally cheering me on, supporting and motivating me. Their support has helped me immensely, and I am so grateful.
Your young family and husband must keep you busy. How do you organise yourself to have time to work on your label?
We have always enjoyed routine in our family; we try to keep a happy balance. My husband works during the day, so late afternoons and weekends he entertains the kids so I can work. Our parents help out with the kids too when they can. It takes lots of late nights and dedication.
How was the response to your products after you launched?
I had products sell out on my website within days. The feedback I received on the overall quality and branding was fantastic.
Were you pleasantly surprised by this reaction?
Absolutely. I knew the quality was there, but I did not expect a sellout or the demand that has followed.
What advice would you offer to others who might be thinking about starting something similar?
Invest in learning. I attended a start up conference in Sydney when I was in idea phase and a creative seminar in Sydney while I was planning my range. The knowledge, ideas, contacts and confidence I gained from those is invaluable.
Network, hustle, and barter.
Don’t be scared to ask for help, tips or feedback from established brands.
Be prepared for a big workload and most of all, believe in yourself and your ideas.
What are your plans for the future?
To add more products. I am in the process of pulling together the winter range.
I hope to branch into clothing and work towards picking up more stockists.
Where can people find out more?
They can head to my website: www.chasingsundays.com.au and they can be kept up to date by following my Instagram and Facebook accounts – @chasing.sundays
Thanks to the support of some local Coffs Coast stores, you can find my products at Mini Mojo in Coffs Harbour, First Avenue Boutique in Satwell and Ocean Street Diner in Scotts Head.