Wishing you a happy 25th birthday for what is a significant milestone in the life of a local Australian brand. At your inception in 1996, I was 24, naming you using my childhood nickname, MiM. Mim’s Company, MiMCo for short.
I reflect on the journey as your founder with pride for the DNA and vision that has attracted the people who have worked for, and with, you.
Once upon a time, I was driven to create bags I wanted, I still am. In 1996, I started by convincing factories offshore to give me a go with a small sample range and made the decision to sell them in retail stores that I felt were, at the time, attracting the customers I wanted to target.
I moved you between my family’s offices in the early years from Toorak to Coburg and eventually our own first floor studio in Collingwood, at which time the first employee started, Nicole Edwards. At the time, I was pregnant with Blake and figured somebody might need to answer the phones for the days I was in hospital giving birth. Soon after which time, Blake would be at my feet spending most of the day in his car seat on the sisal matting for at least a year before we moved closer to home in Prahran.
I appreciate being invited to share opening words for this book despite having not been involved since the time David and I made the decision to sell in 2007. I am happy that there is a legacy that remains stable and successful, and one that our sons can see still thriving in the Australian fashion, retail, and online landscape. While we are not part of the journey in any way anymore, we are able to speak to the importance of great partnerships and a story that was really built on a fundamental, mutual respect for creative and commercial abilities, and the critical ingredient of attracting and employing talent who care and contribute in infinitely important ways.
Having started two Australian brands, MiMCo and now A-ESQUE (in 2012), I’m increasingly of the view that spirit, stories and soul can never be underestimated. It takes a lot more to achieve success but without them I’m not sure brands get built nor last. This speaks to the force of creativity which needs a voice and should be heard now more than ever. The creativity is in everything from product to marketing, the business model, experimentation, team building, culture, innovation and risk.
Wishing Mimco a Happy Birthday, thanks to the people who have created this book. I’m pleased you are being celebrated.