This week on FEW Members' Corner, we would like to introduce you to Julia Bhula, Founder of Tribe of Sunday, a resort/weekend wear fashion brand.
Hi Julia, can you tell us more about your entrepreneurial journey?
Hi, I am Julia Bhula, Founder and Creative Director of Tribe of Sunday, a luxe resort / weekend wear brand for the confident, contemporary woman who loves travel, food, and her fashion with a large dollop of edge. Having spent the majority of my working life with listed corporates across a range of industries from Legal to Energy, a switch to the world of fashion really was a 360 for me in some respects.
What inspired you to start your company?
I took a sabbatical from my Marketing Communications role after my father passed away, and this allowed me the time and headspace to really tease out what I wanted to do.. for me. I'd been on the corporate treadmill for so long and came to the realisation I was over office politics and wanted to be my own boss. So I followed my passion for fashion! My husband and I love our summer vacays by the beach, resorts, anywhere warm really, so designing a collection of clothing you can wear over your swimmers to lunch or out to dinner with your man, long lunches with your tribe just felt so right. It's been a decision that over the last 12 months I haven't once regretted or freaked out about. It felt right and authentic from inception, because my designs really are an extension of me and my lifestyle.
So far, what's the most challenging part of your journey?
The most challenging part of the journey was not having a team around me (like you do in a typical business setting) to bounce ideas off of, share your thoughts with around what you want to do, seek advice from - all that kind of stuff. But those challenges forced me to grow and learn new skills and really push my boundaries. I’ve also had the privilege of teaming up with some special humans who have helped me bring Tribe of Sunday to market.
A FEW WORDS OF ADVICE
I've derived a real sense of accomplishment and personal success from starting my business from scratch. I see success as moving forward, continuing to create and having happy customers who love my brand.
On building credibility
This is an area which requires more effort from me..I'm naturally an introvert so I've had to really get comfortable with opening up and sharing more about myself and the business startup process on my business social media sites. My poor brand agency are always like "Jules, you need to capture more of what you do during your day and the business startup side of things for your social media community!" I'm quite hopeless in that regard but realise that the general consumer, like myself, wants to know about the person or people behind a brand they love, so I'm trying to improve in that area.
On the top three things to consider before starting your own business…
Don't rush into the process - allow yourself time to really think about what you want to do and how you plan to execute your idea.
Do the research around setting up your business in the part of the world in which you live and nut out the pros and cons - so you're not blindly launching into it.
Surround yourself with positive friends and family and an entrepreneurial community who really get your vision and support you through the process.