Born Croatia | Arrived Australia 1993 | Owner and Founder, Karla Špetić
Originally from Dubrovnik, Karla moved to Australia as the war in Croatia intensified. A naturally creative person, Karla decided to branch out and start her own fashion label. She is now a regular at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week with customers around the globe.
We had to start over and when I first arrived everything was a complete contrast to my old home. Karla Spetic
a strange new place
I was 11 when we first moved to the Sunshine Coast. I could not speak English and everything in Australia seemed so strange from the food, the people, nature and especially the way everyone dressed.
My mother worked hard but could not always afford the clothes I wanted, and I always dreamt of having a big wardrobe. It was my love of creativity for clothing that led me to move to Sydney to study fashion design, and not long after I decided to start my own label.
A roller-coaster ride
Since starting my own business, my life as a business owner has become a rollercoaster. It’s filled with many emotions; anxiety, excitement, fear, doubt and satisfaction. It’s such a personal journey where you’re creating something for others to accept and judge.
Being a migrant in Australia has never hindered my business, in fact it probably helps me as people are intrigued by stories of migrants starting from zero and then succeeding in what they love. I would like to think that I did exactly that. I get to do what I love, and I feel so grateful for that.
My advice to others thinking about starting a business is to clearly map out your vision. Create a point of difference, whatever that may be. Karla Spetic
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