Jaime Beattie created Jaime Beattie Accessories in 2004 after she replied to an invitation from a Melbourne boutique looking for fresh new accessories to stock in their store. The store ordered 20 pieces and sold all of them within two weeks – Jaime never did go back to her day job as a lawyer.
Based in Brisbane, Jaime now works with her talented team to create fashion accessories which are stocked by carefully selected independent boutiques across Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Selected pieces can also be found in highly regarded online stores.
Every piece in the range is handmade in limited quantities ensuring a degree of exclusivity and individuality. Jaime uses only the highest quality fabrics, trims, linings and components from around the world, although wherever possible, she uses local suppliers and materials.
Jaime recently expanded production and will soon begin the in-house production of accessory hardware, such as, buttons, buckles and handles. This will allow her and her team to continue to design and manufacture truly unique fashion accessories. Unless stated otherwise, the fabrics used are 100% cotton.
B&L: How did you get started?
Jaime: I had always sewn bags and purses for myself and friends. Then, some time away from work gave me the opportunity to work on some designs I had in my head. I saw an invitation on the website of a Melbourne store seeking independently designed fashion accessories and I sent them a few pictures of my accessories.
The store ordered 20 items and they sold out in a couple of weeks. They kept ordering more and I kept making more. Then other stores wanted to stock them and it just grew from there.
B&L: Have you always had a love for fashion?
Jaime: Definitely. When I was little I had a typewriter that I used to make fashion magazines. I also remodelled some of Mum’s clothes which I think she wasn’t too happy about.
B&L: How would you describe your designs?
Jaime: I like to mix fabrics that are colourful and bold, or have some quirky characteristic with shapes that are classic to create accessories which are inherently feminine without being girlie. Everything is always a little bit retro.
B&L: Where do you get your inspiration?
Jaime: In general, I’m inspired by childhood memories of the 1970’s/80’s, things found (like buttons, vintage jewellery, retro magazines), amazing fabrics, Scandinavian design, Japanese craft (zakka), and traditional sewing techniques.
B&L: What has been the hardest part of starting your own label?
Jaime: Apart from never having enough money to do anything easily, I think the hardest thing is to be confident that people will like what you are doing.
B&L: What will you be wearing this Winter?
Jaime: I’m usually running around all day so I dress for comfort. I’ll probably be wearing jeans and a soft knit top. I think a great hand knitted scarf will be an easy way to add some personality to simple outfits.
B&L: What is your number 1 fashion tip?
Jaime: Just because you can fit into it doesn’t mean you should wear it. I think its much nicer for women to wear things that suit them rather than what’s in fashion – like skinny jeans.
B&L: What is the fashion like in Brisbane?
Jaime: I think the street fashion in Brisbane is great. It’s so laid back and anything goes. There is always plenty of colour.
B&L: What’s next for Jaime Beattie?
Jaime: I’m always working on new designs, using different fabrics and sewing techniques. I think you’ll see more detailing in future collections.
B&L: Where can we buy your range?
Jaime: You can buy our accessories via our website (www.jaimebeattie.com.au), or from one of our stockists (see our website for details). As our range is produced in limited quantities there is usually something different at each stockist.
B&L: What does being a woman mean to you?
Jaime: Doing it all but more importantly, having it all.