Liann Bellis Design
Tell us a bit about liann bellis
liann bellis is a New Zealand clothing label sold online with free shipping and throughout NZ in selected stores. The brand emerged in 2010 with a time-honoured art of tailoring close to heart. Our collections are distinctive, classic, yet somewhat edgy and we are careful to purchase fabrics that correspond to the high values and practical needs of our customers. We draw inspiration from nature, culture and the realistic needs of people, believing in quality and in building a wardrobe with interesting pieces that you can rely on to create your own style.
How is it going?
Over the last 7 years the brand has gone from strength to strength. This is largely thanks to the wonderful team we have working in-house, along with the support of the NZ factories who manufacture our goods. We believe firstly in supporting our own backyard.
What goals do you have for the business - growth, consolidation, increased profitability?
We are taking steps to grow the liann bellis brand internationally and keep up with demand. We’ve been working with a sales agency to promote our brand in Australia as well as sourcing an ethically sustainable factory to produce our knitwear outside of NZ, which is an exciting change.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced and how have you overcome them?
Finding the right technology to improve our processes and enhance production. To begin with, all patterns were made and graded by hand. Now we have the use of PAD technology and marker making printers. We’ve also invested in machinery which means all samples can be done in house.
Another challenge has been ensuring our different software and systems talk to each other. We’ve worked with a local company to help with the transition and minimise disruption.
We’ve Looked at things critically. We have focused on how changes will improve efficiency across the business at various stages in the production process.
How important is good planning to your business success?
I look forward to my monthly meeting with my RightWay Business Partner to gauge our progress. I feel it’s vital to have someone outside of the creative process to help keep the paths straight. Reviewing, planning and evaluating frequently highlighted the need to implement new software across liann bellis. We are now using Dear, Shopify and Xero to consolidate the inventory, website and accounting practices.
Tell me about you. Why did you want to own your own business?
I have always had a strong need to be creative. My mother swears I came out holding a needle and thread! I studied fashion and trained in Wellington.
The time and opportunity arose to start my own business. It made perfect sense to focus on what I love and create a brand that would grow, evolve and develop over time.
How do you find the challenge of balancing work and life?
I’m lucky enough to only live 5 minutes from work. Being self-employed I can juggle the work life balance as I please and work from home when it suits. My work is something that I love, so to me it never really is work.
Has RightWay contributed real value to your business success?
It has been the best business step that the company has taken. So much so that I have now got my husband’s business to adopt the same support!
It’s vital to have someone outside of the creative process to help keep the paths straight. Reviewing, planning and evaluating frequently highlighted the need to implement new software across liann bellis.