South Canterbury fashion designer hopes to share her designs with the world
A Waimate fashion designer is dreaming big after launching her vibrant tailor-made clothing business in her hometown.
Naomi White, who launched Lida Fashion on January 1, hoped to turn her home-based business into a fashion factory in the township, which would bring jobs to Waimate.
"I like the idea of helping out the community and making sure the money stays in New Zealand," White said.
But she has already sparked interest for her designs from people in Shanghai and Holland after they were shared on Facebook.
"I would love to have shops all around the world," she said.
"New Zealand products are a lot better quality."
First White wanted to branch beyond cotton and silk and into Merino wool by the end of the year, which had been too expensive for her to use in the past.
White studied fashion and design at the Ara Institute of Canterbury for two years before finishing a Bachelors' Degree at the Otago Polytechnic.
Fabric sourcing and marketing had been her main challenges, although she used Facebook predominantly to market her clothing range.
"I would prefer locally sourced fabrics, but there are not many fabric shops in the area," she said.
Business Waimate and District Association deputy chair Matt Hampton said small businesses, especially clothing based businesses, could find entering the retail market hard because there was so much competition.
"Locating where you can share space can help," he said.
"Businesses need to network and get connections both locally and district wide.
"But you've also got to make sure you have a good work to play ratio."
Hampton recommended White considered using other retailers around the Waimate, Timaru and Waitaki Districts who may have space in their shops for her designs.
Business Waimate holds networking events to bring small, local businesses together.
"If you look over the Waimate District now, there will be at least 500 businesses working from home," Hampton said.