Q&A: Meet Jess – Founder & Owner of Meraki Thread Co

 

Hi Jess! Tell us a bit about yourself  

Where did you grow up?

 

 I grew up in Country NSW, in a little town called Gunnedah.

 

Can you tell us a bit about your family life, community and support network?

My home life consists of my husband Nate and our two little ones, Goldie & Sunny, and we love calling the sunshine coast home. We have no immediate family here but are so blessed to have a large group of friends that we have met through business and personal life. 

 

I studied fashion & marketing and worked for fashion wholesalers & designers in my 20s before travelling and then starting out on my own.

 

When did Meraki’s journey start? 

 

My husband and I were travelling around the world for three years and went to over 30 countries, and while abroad, I knew that when I returned to the Sunshine Coast, I wanted to start my own boutique, something unique, so while travelling, we started planning and gaining inspiration from all over the world including the name “ Meraki “ that we discovered in a tiny village in Greece and fell in love with the meaning we returned to the Sunshine Coast in 2017 we opened our doors in the back streets of Cotton Tree.

 

What made you take the leap to start your own boutique/business? 

 

I dreamed of opening my own boutique for years, and I knew that I had the passion, drive, and creative flare to create a unique and beautiful space that people would love, so I took the leap and never looked back.

 

Who is the Team at Meraki? 

 

My husband and I own and manage the business and have a beautiful team of staff that align with everything our store encompasses, so you will often see the friendly faces of both Katy’s, Nicole or myself in the store.

 

Were you always passionate about vintage/up-cycled fashion & recycled fabrics?

 

YES, I have always loved vintage because of its uniqueness and sustainability. Fashion can be sustainable, environmentally conscious and most importantly, fun! 

Where do you get the store’s style inspiration?

I pull inspiration for the store from personal taste, seasons, trends, earthy textures, tones, quality fabrics and above all, uniqueness. Finding designers and collections that offer unique quality pieces that inspire and create stories throughout the store.

How would you describe the style of the pieces you are selling – to someone who has never visited Meraki Thread Co. before? 

Meraki offers a carefully hand-picked curation of unique designers, conscious labels, and on-trend brands with pieces for all occasions, whether it’s everyday casual wear or styling up for events and occasions. Our goal is to style every person that walks in our door with a unique outfit that makes her smile with confidence and allows her personality to shine 

 

What do you love about Sunny Coast style?

 

I love that the Sunshine Coast is so laid back and has no judgment, no “trend” expectations or climate limitations! You are free to wear what you want, when you want all year round!  

 

What trends are you loving at the moment?

 

All the knitwear at the moment is amazing such earthy tones and a lot of matching sets with multiple styling options. Oversized knit jumpers with matching knit pants for a casual look or for dressier option the sleek knit dresses with belle sleeves paired with nice boots.

 

Any trends that you are not so interested in? 

Blacks and dark tones we tend to steer away from dark styles in store as we like a nice light, fun aesthetic throughout the store.

 

Do you prefer summer or winter/autumn styling options?

 

Definitely, summer being a coastal store, I love the bright floral fabrics, linens and denim on offer in summer. 

 

For someone who wishes to start being a more conscious fashion consumer – what are some tips for beginners?

 

My top tips would be to be mindful of where / what you are buying by supporting smaller designers or the big brands that are environmentally conscious makes a  huge difference, keep your wardrobe minimal – follow the rule less is more by having quality statement pieces and items you can mix and match or style multiple ways, I know the sale racks at the fast fashion chains are tempting, but they will sit in your wardrobe unworn whereas a quality piece you love will be worn over and over. Always recycle your clothing, never throw it into landfill, try and find ways to upcycle unwanted items, donate them, sell them on market place or if they are Meraki items you can use our recycle buyback program! 

 

Who are some of your favourite ethical Australian labels – retailers – or vendors? 

 

Pastel designs from Byron have beautiful fabrics, styles and is one of our favourite ethical labels in store. Another brand making huge waves in the sustainable fashion world is Afends with their hemp revolution and sustainability throughout their design and manufacturing process.

 

What are three current staples in your wardrobe you can’t live without? 

 

Vintage Levi denim shorts, long sleeve button-down blouses you can style these so many ways, and I have a few dressy ones, bright, fun ones or plain linen ones, and lastly, a hemp tee. I live in these; so breathable and last forever!

 

Zoe Foster-Blake, Leigh Sales & Stephanie Gilmore all approach you to be styled for an up-coming event. Who are you choosing to style & why?

 

I would have to say Stephanie Gilmore being a gurfer myself I have followed along her journey and admire not just her surf achievements but her ability to dominate in a traditionally male focused sport. It would be so fun to style her in Meraki and find a fun outfit that she can rock with confidence!

 

Can you tell us about the Meraki Thread Co. ‘Take Back’ (recycle) program you’ve recently launched? 

Absolutely! We are so proud to be the Sunshine Coast’s first boutique to offer our customers a conscious way to ‘close the loop’ in three  easy steps, and give their Meraki garments a sustainable afterlife. 

As a business, we try to be as sustainable as we can and are so mindful of the labels we offer in store to ensure they make environmental choices, offer quality and uniqueness.

 

More information on our take back program is available via our Instagram – or come in store to talk to one of our friendly team members about how you can participate! 

 

What’s next for Meraki? 

 

So many exciting things in the works for Meraki, we are always sourcing and bringing in new amazing products and brands, we are expanding our own in house kids wear label into accessories and vintage (YAY) we also have our 5 YEAR birthday party this year that is going to be one for the calendar so stay tuned for that.

 

Where can we keep up to date with you & the team? 

 

Follow us on either Instagram or Facebook to keep up to date with everything Meraki @merakithreadco