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Rockstars & Royalty

Rockstars and Royalty have been coming to Handmade for a long time with bespoke and couture gowns and exquisite accessories. The epitome of a Canberra handmade venture with great ideas cleverly executed, Rockstars and Royalty is changing with the times and bringing an exciting new development to the Canberra and international audience. Vicky Kidd-Gallichan tells us more.

Tell us what’s new
Rockstars and Royalty has made some big changes since we were last at the Handmade Market. After 18 years designing and making couture gowns and accessories, I’ve now made the move to open an online store, and I’ve created a collection of customisable special occasion wear. I wanted to replicate the couture experience of unique design and great fit, but at a more affordable price. I’ve launched an interactive website where customers can customise all of the designs to produce a product that is as unique as they are. Customers who don’t fit a standard dress size are able to mix and match sizing at the bust, waist and hips and all the long skirts and dresses come with custom length as an option. As Rockstars and Royalty grows, I’ll be adding more designs, sizes, fabric options and customisation options.

I’m passionate about giving my customers the confidence to be themselves. I believe that everyone should be free to purchase and wear the clothing that they choose to wear, so I don’t label any of my designs as ‘plus size’, or categorise any of the designs by event or gender. All of our designs are, or will eventually be, available in my full size range and the website will feature models representing different dress sizes, body types, ages and genders. I want to encourage customers to confidently purchase the clothing that they love, to wear whenever and however they choose to. I hope to encourage everyone to have the confidence to be themselves.

I’ll be bringing samples of the new dresses, skirts and accessories to the Handmade Market, along with all the fabric samples that are available to choose from on the website, so that customers can see them in the real life and try them on for size. I’ll have laptops set up for people to order online, and I’ll also be selling the sample dresses, skirts and accessories at a special reduced price, just for the weekend of the market.

Why do you love the Handmade Market?
I love the Handmade Market because it gives me a chance to connect with my customers in person and to meet new customers. I also love meeting and catching up with the other stall holders. Some of us have known each other through Handmade for a long time now. It’s always great to see familiar faces and just as good to see new stallholders. Julie and the Handmade Market team have created a really unique event. Everyone who comes to the Handmade Market knows that they’re going to find such great quality products, being sold by the people who make them. I’m always excited to work my way around the food stalls as well. There’s always a great selection of vegan options which makes me very happy!

What’s the best thing about Canberra?
The friendliness of the creative community in Canberra is like nothing I’ve experienced anywhere else. Everyone I’ve met is so happy to help each other, even when they’re in the same industry. We all want to see each other succeed. We’re all fighting the misconception that Canberra is boring, when really there’s an amazing creative community and culture here that’s just going from strength to strength. As more and more Canberra businesses and creatives find success, we’re really starting to change the preconception that Canberra is just full of public servants and politicians.

There’s also a growing, supportive community here for startups and entrepreneurs. I was lucky enough to be chosen for the Griffin Accelerator last year, which gave me the investment and mentoring that I need to make the changes to Rockstars and Royalty. I was also awarded an Icon grant for $30k which has let me develop the interactive part of my website. If you’re sitting reading this and have an idea for a business, start getting out there and meeting people at events such as First Wednesday Connect, or get in touch with the Canberra Innovation Network and become part of the start-up community in Canberra. You won’t regret it. My motto at the minute is ‘Dream out loud’ (and if you know what song that’s from, we can be friends!)

Can you describe your studio/place of work
The Rockstars and Royalty studio is in a converted garage at my home in Tuggeranong. From the outside, it still looks like a garage, but stepping inside transports you to the world of Rockstars and Royalty. It’s part sewing studio and part show room and fitting room. I have two part-time employees now, so it’s a bit fuller than when it was just me working alone and seeing clients, but it’s still a lovely space to work in. In the future, I’ll be looking at finding a factory to manufacture my products to give me the production capabilities that I’ll need as I grow, but for now the three of us handmake all of the orders and samples at the studio. It will definitely be a day of mixed emotions when Rockstars and Royalty outgrows this space.

Photo shoot images credits,  ‘Lumiere’
Designer and styling – Rockstars and Royalty, Make up – Kimi Sanders from What Would Blair Do?, Hair – Brooke Varova from Rockabilly Boutique, Photographer – Belinda France from Belle Photography
Models – Dimitra LyrasFrances McNair , Sarah Mackey , Migara Liyanamage
Props and prop styling – Kartika Medcraft from Swish Vintage, Flower crowns – Peony n Pearl
Location – Arboretum in Canberra.

Callie

Caroline Leevers is responsible for the Handmade brand, including the website, Handmade Style, the newsletter and the online magazine. When she's not hanging out with the lovely Handmade team, she runs Callie & Co Design, a Canberra graphic design studio that crafts brands for small businesses. Her favourite things about Canberra are the seasons (especially Autumn), the big sky, the coffee and the great events.

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