Meet Hannah, owner of the hottest Australian shop this side of the Pacific and the 3rd #girlboss in TSK’s #KatConvos series. We chatted with Hannah about her new store location on Abbot Kinney and how she came up with the idea to start her own Aussie exclusive retail boutique. Read the full interview below and for those of you who are no SoCal locals, check out AUST. here (pssttt they’re having a sale):
TSK: You’ve coined yourself the ‘Prime Minister’ of AUST. Run me through a typical day at the shop.
HW: Haha, actually my mate Duncan started that as a joke and I rolled with it! I’ve also been coined (by different people) Vice President of Parties and Captain of Froth.
The shop on a typical day is such a social place. Shoppers end up hanging out for a chat and we get to make new friends, or old friends come by for a visit with a six pack in hand and end up shopping! We have a lot of fun here at AUST., sometimes a little too much! Haha.
TSK: How did the idea of AUST. come about?
HW: This is going to sound super cheesy, but I started actually dreaming about this shop! Most of the first business plans were written at 3am in the morning when I couldn’t get a restful nights sleep until I woke up to write down all these ideas I was dreaming about.
I had always thought about owning my own shop one day. When I moved to the US in 2011, I realized how much talent there was in the Australian fashion industry and I became so excited by the idea of showing the world how rad the fashion was! The ideas just started rolling in after that and the vision for AUST. was formed.
TSK: Did you anticipate the store to be as successful as it has?
HW: Of course I believed it would be successful, but it’s very different to actually see an idea in your mind become a reality, and that people are genuinely so stoked on it! I gotta pinch myself all the time. I’m so grateful.
Starting your own business is such a fun, wild, and challenging adventure and I appreciate the mistakes we’ve made just as much as our successes. I really feel like this is just the beginning for AUST., there’s a lot yet to come!
TSK: You recently moved to a bigger (and some may say better) space on Abbot Kinney. What is your favorite part about the new digs?
HW: Ah I love this new space!! It feels like home. We’ve got amazing neighbors around us, great exposure on the street, lots of retail space as well as offices, and the best part about it is we still have an amazing courtyard area to throw killer parties!
My favourite part though, is this spot I have at the shop which has the best sunset view over Abbot Kinney! I can’t tell you about it though… it’s a secret 😉
TSK: What are your top three songs to play in the store?
How Will I Know – Oliver Nelson remix by Whitney Houston… it never fails to bring up the vibe and get the whole shop dancing.
Blackbird – Fat Freddy’s Drop. The song and the album.
The Decades Remixes – Flight Facilities (if you can count this 4 hr long mix as one song!)
TSK: Who is your ultimate fashion muse?
HW: This is too hard! I love so many different styles and I collect bits and pieces of style inspiration from everywhere.
If I was only allowed to pick one though, I have to say I always love seeing the way my mum dresses. She wears the most amazing 80’s 2 pieces with huge shoulder pads and bright prints and always looks amazing. I don’t know anyone else in the world that dresses quite like her and can pull it off how she does.
TSK: What do you look for in a designer when buying threads for AUST?
HW: I’m drawn to dedicated and passionate designers that have vision to share with the world. It makes it much more interesting when labels have a clear voice and continue to push their aesthetic in different ways. It’s important to me that labels pay attention to the details, and I’m always interested in the back story of a label.
Mostly, I’m looking to represent the most exciting and relevant labels that are out there in Australia right now.
TSK: Who is your favorite person to follow on social media?
HW: @sweet.fang – My baby sister Tamara. I can’t even. She’s the cutest lil love bug, and it’s great to have a little window into her life when I’m on the other side of the world!
TSK: 2016 resolution(s)?
HW: I would say I have goals for 2016 rather than resolutions.
There are some exciting things in the works for AUST., such as we’re looking to make our site more content based, where it’ll become the landing spot to find out what’s happening in the realm of Aussie fashion. I’m going on a road trip up the east coast of Australia later this month to visit a bunch of designers in different cities and share their stores… stay tuned for this!
Also, another goal is to start looking into another location for AUST. by the end of the year… (Paris perhaps?!)