Ru­ral women keep it real for fash­ion la­bel

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - News - CASSANDRA GLOVER Cassandra.glover@ru­ral­weekly.com.au

ADRIFT cloth­ing has taken to the Lock­yer Val­ley to do a fash­ion shoot fo­cus­ing on ev­ery­day ru­ral and re­gional women.

Bec Pullar started the brand – which is de­signed to suit women of all ages, shapes and sizes – in 2012.

When the busi­ness was first con­ceived, Ms Pullar’s plan was to fo­cus on women who were a bit dis­con­nected, but she soon found her brand steer­ing in the di­rec­tion of women in ru­ral and re­gional Aus­tralia.

“I re­ally no­ticed the dis­con­nec­tion when I went from be­ing a part­ner in a big law firm to be­ing a stay-ath­ome mum,” she said.

“I didn’t want to go back to be­ing a lawyer and I had al­ways loved fash­ion, so I de­cided to make a few tops and start a busi­ness.

“Then I de­cided I wanted to in­ves­ti­gate the on­line stuff. And I thought ‘who would want to buy on­line?’

“Well, coun­try women would want to buy on­line be­cause they don’t have as many op­tions to go into ac­tual shops.”

Ms Pullar then de­cided to take her shop to the Ekka in 2013 and 2014.

In the first year she had

600 sign-ups for her on­line store, and in the sec­ond year

1500.

Adrift is now stocked in 250 stores across Aus­tralia, in­clud­ing stores in ru­ral and re­gional towns such as Roma, Charleville, Toowoomba, Lon­greach and Gympie.

In 2017 Adrift had its first Ev­ery Woman cam­paign.

“We ran an Ev­ery Woman cam­paign last year and we col­lected and brought in women from all dif­fer­ent walks of life,” Ms Pullar said.

“We had this beau­ti­ful woman who was 81 and al­ways wanted to be a model. We shot her with her daugh­ter.

“I wanted to take it ru­ral this year be­cause the very heart of our cus­tomer base is ru­ral.

“It’s for women in the coun­try who very rarely have a day off and rarely get to cel­e­brate their fem­i­nin­ity.”

This year’s Adrift spring/ sum­mer Ev­ery Woman cam­paign was shot on Fords­dale Farm in the Lock­yer Val­ley, with a va­ri­ety of women in a va­ri­ety of roles in re­gional com­mu­ni­ties.

“I said to the girls that I wanted to get real ev­ery­day women,” Ms Pullar said.

“I didn’t want just a mar­ket­ing thing, I wanted it to be real.

“I wanted ev­ery­day, ru­ral women.”

Cot­ton farmer, and founder of the Ru­ral Busi­ness Col­lec­tive, Fleur An­der­son, was one of the women who par­tic­i­pated in the pho­to­shoot for the Adrift cam­paign.

Ms An­der­son grew up on a cot­ton farm on the Dar­ling Downs near Dalby, be­fore

mov­ing to Theodore to marry a cot­ton farmer and be part of their cot­ton op­er­a­tion.

She is also a di­rec­tor on the board for Cot­ton Aus­tralia.

As well as her work in the cot­ton in­dus­try and run­ning a small busi­ness, she is also a mother to a nine-year-old daugh­ter and six-year-old son.

Ms An­der­son said a pho­to­shoot wasn’t some­thing she would nor­mally have on her cal­en­der.

“It was very dif­fer­ent. I’ve never done any­thing like that be­fore and it was a lot of fun,” she said.

“All the women were great. We very quickly bonded over that ru­ral el­e­ment and they were very wel­com­ing.

“It was all very in­dul­gent. It’s not very of­ten women on small farms, who have busi­nesses and small chil­dren, get the op­por­tu­nity to do some­thing like that.

“It was a day where there was hair and make-up and it was catered and there were lovely clothes to try on, and I got to meet all th­ese other women.”

Ms An­der­son said all the women she met dur­ing the shoot were do­ing some­thing to ser­vice peo­ple in ru­ral and re­gional com­mu­ni­ties.

“Ru­ral women are the sup­port­ers and the driv­ers of so many things. I loved that Adrift was call­ing that out and cel­e­brat­ing it.”

Adrift is fundrais­ing for Yel­low Bridge, a not-for-profit dis­abil­ity sup­port ser­vice in Toowoomba, with a per­cent­age of all on­line pur­chases go­ing to the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

As part of the Ev­ery Woman cam­paign, the la­bel will also be trav­el­ling to Roma and Orange to host a fash­ion pa­rade fundraiser.

“We wanted to pick two ar­eas that would re­flect our brand. Roma was one be­cause they’re suf­fer­ing so much in the drought and there are in­cred­i­bly strong women out there,” Ms Pullar said.

“We’re also go­ing to Orange to put on a fash­ion show out there. We’re go­ing to fundraise on the night for a char­ity of the com­mu­nity’s choice.

“It’s a cel­e­bra­tion of ru­ral women and the la­bel that loves them.”

PHO­TOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

RU­RAL FASH­ION: Cot­ton farmer Fleur An­der­son was part of the Adrift 2018 spring/sum­mer Ev­ery Woman cam­paign.

Ni­cole Sch­nei­der (nurse), Jenni Eyles (am­bas­sador), Aram­inta Pearce (dis­abil­ity sup­port worker), Fleur An­der­son (cot­ton farmer), Judy Lind­say (youth sup­port worker) and Sue Ren­free (farmer and farm­stay owner).

PHO­TOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

EV­ERY­DAY WOMEN: Judy Lind­say (youth sup­port worker), Sue Ren­free (farmer and farm­stay owner), Jenni Eyles (am­bas­sador), Aram­inta Pearce (dis­abil­ity sup­port worker), Fleur An­der­son (cot­ton farmer) and Ni­cole Sch­nei­der (nurse).

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