It sounds incredible for a mother of five without a fashion qualification to make her own name in such a highly competitive arena in just two years, yet this is exactly what Karen Gee, a Sydney based fashion entrepreneur, has achieved.
Acclaimed as the designer to stars, the former Mrs Australia has graciously seen her label reach immeasurable heights since its online launch in 2013, with the latest one being the opening of her first flagship store in the premier Chifley Plaza in Sydney.
“Beauty isn’t based on size or shape or any of the societal concepts we are presented with, and I believe all women are beautiful and this comes from within. I am keen to incorporate this in my designs by embracing the figure in every form, ensuring my customers both look and feel beautiful in their skin, thus bringing positive changes to their lives,” Karen said in a recent interview with New Land Magazine.
Elegance and Class
With an eye for elegance, Karen is a strong believer in simplicity, a value which allows plenty of ways to style and add customised details to make each piece both unique and timeless.
In explaining her design philosophy, Karen said, “We keep the designs very simple by nature because such simplicity in itself already presents a certain elegance and class.”
The strategy of allowing consumers the option to customise proved to be a great success. The best sellers arethe Prestige and the Purpose dresses, from which thousands of individualised pieces designed by clients have been made. The concern of turning up to an event in a dress that someone else is wearing is no longer an issue.
The high quality fabric most dresses are made with is another factor unique to the label. “It feels thick yet breathable. It doesn’t stretch back but contours the body and stays in place. It also makes dresses very easy to look after. They can be rolled without the hassle of ironing afterwards.”
When asked what motivated her to venture on such an incredible journey, the proud mum said she started when she entered the Mrs Australia competition in 2011 and eventually won the title in 2012 after almost one year’s hard work.”I wasn’t very confident back then as I had been at home looking after my kids and supporting my husband for almost twenty years. But becoming part of this competition changed everything,” recalled Karen.
The experience also awakened her passion and unlocked her talent, prompting her to respond to the call by creating a brand with a solid vision and purpose – to help women feel beautiful, confident and discover their self worth.
“There were inevitably doubts, mistakes, and bumps along the road. I don’t ever refer to them as failures though, rather hurdles and learning points. The best option in the face of these is to take it on board and begin again with a clear heart and mind. Simply learn as much as you can, because it is definitely what will make you.”
Karen also highlights the role of perseverance, humility and resilience in her journey over the past two years.
“You must be ready to take on a lot of hard work, you need to persist when there are barriers, and you need to learn from each of your mistakes.”
Karen also told us, “I work on always trying to better myself as a person, and love to read positive and inspiring books. The more you practice it the more naturally it is instilled into your life.”