Fashion week invitation a boost for Coffs swimwear designer

Designs by Carmel Kestles for her boutique label Carmel Simone.
Designs by Carmel Kestles for her boutique label Carmel Simone.

COFFS Harbour-based swimwear designer Carmel Kestles has been given the lucky break the new business operator has been looking for - an invitation to show her collection at Gold Coast Fashion Week later this month.

"I'm so excited. To have my pieces on display at the same event where established designers Lisa Brown and White Sands Swimwear Australia are being showcased are dreams come true," Ms Kestles said.

Ms Kestles only launched her swimwear business at the end of last year after taking part in ETC's delivery of the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) program.

"The NEIS program gave me a whole different perspective on how to set up and operate my business," Ms Kestles said.

"ETC also helped me get an NAB Microenterprise Loan, which effectively kick-started my business and enabled me to get my designs manufactured."

Ms Kestles' swimwear label, Carmel Simone, features exclusive boutique-style designs manufactured in Australia with material sourced primarily from Brisbane.

"There are four designs in my collection and each design is unique and beautiful, with limited stock of each design so women can expect to be wearing high-quality boutique pieces."

Ms Kestles is hoping Gold Coast Fashion Week will give her brand some extra exposure.

"As a start-up small business I have a limited budget for marketing and have been primarily using social media and word of mouth to generate sales," Ms Kestles said.

Carmel's NEIS business mentor Kevin Riddell was full of praise for this up-and-coming businesswoman.

"Carmel has worked very hard to progress her label and this invitation is a major coup for her," Mr Riddell said.

"Carmel has had to overcome obstacles not normally faced by most small business starters - she has cerebral palsy, but you wouldn't know it.

"She is extremely motivated and very determined to succeed," he said.


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