Here we go, ladies… it’s time for another chapter of women beyond the wardrobe.
New to this story?
Well, basically, I’m inspired by other women – their work and their wardrobe.
I love to know how they ended up where they are, doing the work that they do. How they discovered their passion, their calling. I also love knowing where they like to shop and how they put their outfits together. What inspires them. What drives them. What lights them up. And what makes them click ‘add to cart’.
So here we go!
Chapter four of the women whose stories I want to share…
Meet: Melissa of Adorn Collection.
Adorn Collection is a luxury handbag and millinery hire company created by Adelaide milliner, Melissa Barnes.
She’s also a wife, soon to be mum of 4 (Melissa has just announced she’s having twins!) and shares the same challenges we all do – wanting to look stylish without it costing the world.
Inspired by her passion for racewear, Melissa first stepped into the fashion industry by designing and handmaking millinery pieces for racing carnivals. With the rise in popularity of clothing hire companies, Melissa decided it was the right time to provide the accessories to match.
And so, Adorn Collection handbag and millinery hire was born.
Here’s Melissa’s story of her work and her wardrobe.
About your wardrobe…
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is always evolving. It really depends on what I am dressing for and what stage of life I’m at. I love to experiment but in the end I always go for comfort. My everyday style is casual/sporty because I am always running around. When I’m going to the races I love to throw a mix of classic and contemporary styles together.
Where do you like to shop?
The internet is the best shopping destination when I am time poor. I love Australian sites like The Iconic because their shipping is so quick. Asos is great, especially for maternity wear. I also like to pop down to local boutiques in Glenelg and Brighton when I have time (which I like to share on my Instagram @JettyRdShopper).
What are your wardrobe staple pieces that you can’t live without?
My jeans! I wear them so much and they can be styled with so many different shoes and tops. I love variety in my wardrobe even though my go-to outfit is a blazer and my skate shoes.
What’s your ultimate ‘showpony’ item in your wardrobe? That one piece that is just SO you!
I can’t really narrow it down to one item because I think for me it would be the outfit I put together for Adelaide Cup in 2017 – which I won and went on to represent SA at the Melbourne Cup (image below, centre). The Roksanda skirt was my most favourite item of clothing I have ever purchased, and even better it was on sale!
Who are your fashion icons/inspirations?
My favourite blogger is Blaire Eadie. Every outfit she puts together gets me dreaming about how I would love to dress (if I had the time and money!). I am always skimming through Pinterest and I LOVE looking at street style photos from various events and fashion shows. I love to see how women put together things that you would never think of combining. To me, that is true style and it’s what inspires me to try new things and mix up my own wardrobe.
Which items will you always splurge on?
Well that’s easy – bags!
And which items will you always save on?
Everyday essentials – I love shopping at K-mart or Valley Girl for basics. I also love eBay and buy/swap/sell groups because you can always find a bargain.
What’s your dream purchase?
A Chanel bag that I can use every day – not to hire out, just something special for me!
About your work…
What does a typical day look like for you?
It begins with sorting out the boys for school/care – then it depends on whether I am booked to teach or if I have a day at Style Hutt. On days I am not ‘working’ I am busy running around posting orders, doing bookwork/ordering and keeping up with running a household. Some days are better than others and often my mental health can inhibit my productivity but at the moment I am feeling well and excited about the new direction my small business is taking.
What’s your go-to remedy when you’re stuck in a creative rut?
I’ve learned that you can’t force creativity. Having a chance to play, be free and experiment will often bring on new ideas. When my depression has been at it’s worst I found it just killed all my creative inspiration. It’s hard to see through the ‘fog’ so keeping yourself healthy, both mentally and physically is really important.
How do you like to start your week?
I like to be organised but baby brain often throws me out of whack so keeping a list and checking in with my calendar is a must at the start of the week.
How do you like to end your week?
I am so boring, I end it usually with takeaway, a cup of tea and TV.
Who are your business heroes?
I admire anyone who takes their passion and has enough drive and ambition to turn it into a business, it’s hard work and so many people fail. There are many successful milliners who I admire but then I also love being inspired by other female business owners I know because I respect how hard the juggling act of kids and business can be.
What’s your next big adventure?
Expanding Adorn Collection – hopefully there are some exciting new opportunities on the horizon. Tackling twins! These two little unplanned surprises will be front and centre next year so I will spend the rest of this year preparing for their arrival.
What’s one lesson your business has taught you about life?
The reality of my business is that you can’t always make money from doing what you love, this applies in particular to my millinery. I love it but sadly it’s not viable for me and my family at this point in my life. You need to find a balance in life and that is one of the hardest things to get right.
Melissa is kindly offering 15% off handbag and millinery hire.
Simply use the code SONIASTYLING at checkout.