Each week, SHESAID features an inspiring woman who has been kind enough to share her story with our readers. She might be a leader in her chosen field, someone still on their own path striving to make a difference or simply someone with a remarkable story to tell. These women contribute their own knowledge, expertise and life lessons in order to truly inspire others.
Name and role:
Georgia Coote, director of MAY The Label
What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
My role is the Director of MAY The Label. Fortunately I have a wonderful team at May HQ that has allowed me to narrow down my daily tasks. I tend to focus mostly on creative direction for our collections so work very closely with our head designer Alexandra. I also need to be in constant communication with our national and international sales agents and also our public relations agency. I also oversee many other aspects of the business including production and distribution of our collections, website and online store and social media. Each of these facets can be very time consuming and require a huge amount of effort and attention to detail.
How/when did you know this what you wanted to do as a career?
I was working in fashion wholesale and saw a gap in the market for fun, minimalist and affordable feminine fashion.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Fashion on the streets and the environment around you can be very inspiring. Glossy magazines are a great reference, not necessarily for the fashion but for the colour, texture and feeling.
Did you have a mentor? Who/what helped you to get your career off the ground?
I have actually come across a few excellent mentors throughout my career. Initially, I would say previous business owners I have worked for were a huge source of inspiration and then once I moved into my own business my sales agents have been a great support helping to guide me in the right direction as my business has grown. To this day I still have so many inspirational woman working in similar businesses around me. We love to share tips and information. My staff are also incredibly well versed in their roles and keep their finger on the pulse.
What were the stumbling blocks, initially getting started on your career path, and since then?
When I started this business I was so obsessed with it, so it was never difficult to get up and start work. As I worked from home in the beginning it allowed me so many working hours in the day (no travel) so for that reason I could keep on top of everything as a one woman show. It started to get tricky when orders where increasing and 20 cartons of stock would arrive at my house and I had to try to distribute from there. I had orders all through the house, on the kitchen table, beds and up the hallway, crazy!
How did you overcome these?
Eventually I couldn’t keep up anymore so I hired my first staff member and a warehouse office space. There have been many hurdles since, but nothing I haven’t been able to overcome without the support of my family and staff.
What are your goals for the future?
At the moment we are beginning to sell into some amazing international online stores such as Revolve and Nasty Gal, that has been a very exciting move for us! We are going to be popping in other great stores in the USA and other countries so stay tuned!
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same path as you?
Have a business plan, be organised, make sure you reply to all your emails, have a user friendly and pretty website and make sure you update your social media.
Stacey has 10 years experience in both print and digital media. Her many roles in the Australian media industry include being a freelance web editor for several women’s lifestyle magazines, editor and social media manager for leading fashion and beauty website, 2threads.com and deputy chief sub editor of madison magazine. She has also worked on The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sun-Herald and the Canberra Times.