Difficulty finding fun and attractive sun-safe clothing options led Dahé Wie and partner David Roggero to open Design Works Apparel in 2017, providing beautiful retail and custom-designed prints suitable for enjoying the great outdoors in the harsh North Queensland sun.
Tell us about yourself and your business.
Dahé has always been interested in graphic design, starting with an after-school website building course when she was just nine. She taught herself Photoshop and went on to major in Industrial Design Engineering after school. David has an extensive knowledge of nature, which plays a big role in his ability to transform what he sees into beautiful wearable designs.
We both love working with customers and listening to their ideas so that we can design their dream shirts. We started Design Works Apparel around five years ago with a mission to offer fun and aesthetic sun safe clothing, to spread awareness of sun safety and encourage healthy outdoor lifestyles. Before we opened, the only option for UV protective clothing were dull prints or fishing designs, so we decided to invent our own clothing for all types of outdoor activities, not just fishing.
What has been the most challenging aspect of being a business owner?
Performing all the different roles that our business requires. There are retail aspects, as well as needing to design and produce our custom-made items, plus many other operating functions of running a business.
It can be difficult to cover all bases and maintain a healthy work-life balance without burning out.
What is a fun fact about yourself?
We have three dogs that we love dressing up with sunnies! They have been great at it earning lots of attention wherever they go.
What is the best piece of career or business advice you ever received?
1. Create a business plan
2. Don’t listen to haters but listen to your customers.
Going forward, what is next on the cards for your business?
Our goal is to expand the business geographically to attract a broader customer base with our retail and custom-designed sun safe clothing, and to offer new services such as logo design when clients want to complement their custom uniforms.
We also have an online design tool on our website, that anyone can use to design their own sun safe clothing. Not just fishing shirts, we can produce work wear and uniforms, business shirts, tropical Friday shirts, family travel shirts, team sports, merchandise and more.
Everybody is welcome in our store – you can find us at Shop 6A, 238 Woolcock Street!
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