Holiday is a word that changed Rayna Hooper’s world…But rarely does she get to go on one.
Founder of one of Australia’s most loved lifestyle labels, Hooper lives on a daily diet of inspiration, product design, fabric sourcing, supplier, production and factory meetings which have become an all encompassing part of her life.
Holiday was born in 2010 in the tiny seaside regional town of Robe – one of SA’s beautiful coastal villages of only 1500 people. Robe is known for its lobster industry but never before for fashion, so it was quite a change when it started getting recognised for frocks rather than fish!
Originally a Sydney girl with a background in interior design and property development, Rayna moved to Robe for love, but figuring out what to do once she got there however was a bigger challenge. How to change gears from a fast forward city life to the slow pace of the country (albeit by the sea) was something that she realised was going to be difficult for her.
Sitting still didn’t come naturally.
Robe is a popular seaside destination for South Australian’s and Victorians, and during summer it fills to the brim with holidaymakers.
Hooper saw a gap in the market for stylish accommodation and started a boutique property management business and developed a couple of properties of her own. At the same time she could see that people wanted to shop when they went on holidays… To take a piece of their experience home with them.
With two babies now in tow, Hooper started a retail lifestyle concept store and it quickly became a popular part of the South Australian landscape.
As she traded beautiful things through her store and provided gorgeous accommodation to her guests, she came to see that travellers wanted to extend the notion of a holiday to their home life and she set about thinking how she could create a brand that did just that. A label that made … Every day feel like a Holiday.
“I started with nothing – just a dream and the courage to jump on a plane to India 5 years ago and see what I could discover and make. I didn’t have any contacts so I just learnt on the ground… Met people who knew people and after much trial, many errors and a huge learning curve here we are today… 1000 stockists in Australia and New Zealand, and ready to make the next move into some international markets.”
Travel to India became so frequent that Hooper ended up restoring an old basarti (roof top terrace) in Delhi and now has her own home there, which she uses quite a few times a year. When in India, Hooper resides with her partner Christos, and often has key members of Holiday’s design and production team join them for working sabbaticals.
Those wanting to live and breathe the brand further can also stay in their place “Amarika” in India, which is rented out on Air BNB.
In the last 12 months Hooper realised that to take the brand to the next level she needed to partner with experience on the ground. Her sales team needed to understand their customers implicitly and give them the support and expert advice required in what is a very difficult retail environment at present.
After a great deal of research Hooper chose Garland and Garland. “Rob and Phoebes Garland (the company’s founders) had been in contact with my label over a number of years – I love tenacity – plus they have a special rapport with buyers and understand what it takes to make retail sales work.”
No easy feat these days!
Phoebes Garland, spoke about the new sales partnership with Holiday, Brave & True, Talisman, True North & The Slip to the agency.
“Rayna Hooper has built an incredible business out of a beautiful tiny seaside town of Robe in SA, with all of her brands. She has a true authentic understanding of the customer and an eye for incredible finds, from fashion right through to a complete lifestyle offering which resonate strongly with the buyer and most importantly the customer at retail”.
“ Lifestyle brands are proving to be highly successful at wholesale and at a retail level, and we love the value for money component, look and ethos these brands have. We see a lot of potential in these brands for further growth in sales and we look forward to working with Rayna and the team at Holiday as they embark on this exciting new growth strategy.”
The Holiday brand now has a number of sister labels…. Brave + True, Talisman, True North and The Slip and all looking to further a growth strategy internationally. In five years, it is currently turning over 7 million.