Walking down the isle framed in flowers and the tear-stained cheeks of loved ones, the bridesmaids begin their walk to the alter in anticipation for the bride. Their dresses caressing the floor with each stride. Elegance beaming from the very fabric.
With the added touch of ethically made-to-order bridesmaid dresses, Harrie & Sam will have your golden girls draped in elegance and beauty with their gorgeous hand-made NZ dresses on your dream day. Made with precision, care, and love woven into the fibers of each piece, co-founder Stacey is a strong believer in what she does and why she does it and has developed a team with the same beliefs.
We love Harrie & Sam’s heart to provide quality pieces over quantity and their pursuit for slow fashion without compromising delicate sophistication and chic style.
We had the amazing opportunity to talk with the co-founder of Harrie & Sam to hear more about the business, how it started, and the belief and heart behind the brand.
Tell us a little about your background & what inspired you to create Harrie & Sam?
I studied Business Management with marketing and PR (many moons ago – so many I can’t really remember what I learnt) I then went on to about 10 years (OH YIKES) of being a rep or in account management. My later roll was very fortunately with a liquor company, where I enjoyed plenty of good wine. Four years ago myself and a friend, over a glass of wine, discussed ideas to start a side hustle. After months of working ourselves very hard to meet a launch date, we had a pretty cool business that was up and running and doing really well. After just over a year we decided we wanted to follow different directions, so I became H&S on my own. Three years deep was when I decided I wasn’t able to maintain career and side hustle so took the very daunting leap to see where this business would go. Over this time there was a huge amount of learning, due to my background not being in fashion, manufacturing, or design. I took the lead of amazing people we already worked with and made the decision to follow the path and see where it took me. The inspiration to do this and to keep going was the love for what being in business did for me as an individual. I was more energised to work hard. I loved the challenge and hard yards I had to put in and started to gain confidence in my ability to learn. Inspiration to make women feel their best was always there and grew as the garments started to reach more and more beautiful customers.
How does Harrie & Sam differ from other fashion brands?
Well, there is the stand-out point of us being NZ-made, and to order. This helps us with retail pricing being kept to the lower end of NZ-based manufacturing, as well as waste low. We also work independently but ‘together’ having no particular hub, but people based from home with working hours they please to get their jobs done. I love the flexibility and try to create an environment for our team to have H&S work into their lives. Everyone in this company believes in the brand and really goes hell for leather as we need to. I guess this doesn’t make us different to other fashion brands, it’s just how we like to do things to keep true to ourselves as a team.
What are you most proud of within your business?
How I can see the clothing makes our customers feel. I really love seeing women in their H&S. Hearing how the garments make them feel, makes me happy. I have always loved clothes and not always looked good in everything I had hoped to! (Common problem right?!) but when you find something you can wear time and time again in many settings, all while feeling great, it’s a win. I truly feel like H&S does that for our customers. Based off feedback and hearing these ladies in our pop-up shops. I feel proud of what the brand identifies as with our customers and how we present ourselves in the market. Down to earth and genuine to who we are and what we believe in as a brand.
Do you have a morning routine?
It varies, working from home is amazing! But also, terrible for the looks department, it’s so easy to roll out of bed and get right into PJ emailing, then bam it’s 11 Am and you are 5mins from a zoom with bed hair and toothpaste on your chin. These days I am used to it so tend to get up (after a well-trained husband brings me coffee and a quick scroll and read) do the normal get ready thing after a quick walk with our dogs, then straight to emails and the ‘to do’. I am one of those people that doesn’t feel organised until I have myself in order. So I like to quickly zip around and tick the household boxes, then jump into the list I set up the day before. Being organised when you do so many roles within the business is important as you can easily be sidetrack or choose something more interesting to do!
What is in your handbag at all times?
Literally everything under the kitchen sink. I can usually feed a family a meal out of snacks too. One thing I have learned to have which is very boring is a charger and about 20 different lipsticks.
The best piece of advice you have ever received?
Cliché as it comes but to believe in what you do and why you do it. I have always enjoyed my roles at other companies and found myself in jobs the longest when my beliefs and whatnot aligned with the company and who I worked with. Now being in business myself, I try to base my actions and those of the business around what we believe and personally chasing the “why” in decisions I make. I think you then are authentic, approachable, and ready for what’s thrown your way. I feel like believing in what you do day to do helps the curve balls become less of an enemy and the highs really well enjoyed.
Browse more beautiful bridesmaid dresses from Harrie and Sam on the Wild Hearts Vendor Collection, here, shop the made-to-order range and everyday wardrobe staples, here and don’t forget to follow over on Instagram @harrieandsamnz
|| VENDOR CREDITS ||
Photographer: Ses & Jen | Bridesmaid Dresses: Harrie & Sam | Flowers: Chloe Fleur | Cake Flour and Bloom | Make-Up: Brydie Donaldson Makeup | Hair Victoria James Hairdressing | Shoes: Chaos & Harmony Shoes | Jewellery: Meadowlark Jewellery | Bridal Dress: Alma J Bridal | Hire company: Royal Laboratorie | Tan: Busy Being Fabulous