After experiencing pregnancy and the birth of her daughter, Amanda Murphy was left with a new appreciation of how amazing and beautiful the female body is. Looking for a creative outlet, she launched My Maternity Closet to empower women to look and feel wonderful during pregnancy, offering beautiful maternity gown hire, and stunning maternity photo shoots to capture lasting memories of this special time.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
I needed a creative outlet that was just for me, not as a mother or a wife, but for me.
Looking back on my pregnancy and how I felt, I knew I needed to be working with pregnant women, It was almost instinctual. My pregnancy and birth were transforming, like a rebirth or a reset on my life. I wasn’t the same Amanda. The old saying is true, women glow when they’re pregnant. Some feel far from that at multiple stages, but it’s in there and it’s my pleasure to help accentuate that feeling. I want all pregnant women to look and feel a billion dollars, even if they doubt that.
The fact that putting on a gorgeous gown can change a woman’s body language and the way they feel about themselves is inspiring and so satisfying to see. It’s an honour to witness. There is certainly something in power-dressing, we saw it in the 80s with shoulder pads. Of course, there is no “one-size” fits all when it comes to fashion, so we have launched with a small collection of gowns and intend to grow as the business does.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I started with some poorly executed drawings and some tips from a very good friend of mine in the fashion industry. I sought a pattern maker and 2 dressmakers and away we went. I held meetings in my home office with my toddler in toe and before we knew it I had a handful of gowns. I’m no designer but I certainly know what I like and I have a keen eye for detail. I needed to have gowns that would look flattering on woman of all shapes and sizes, that would work well in photographs and a style that would entice a woman to find her confident, empowered self that may be hiding behind jeans and a baggy tee.
In January 2020 I decided it was time to launch, I needed to push myself off the comfy ledge and just expose myself. It was exciting and I felt very exposed and vulnerable BUT I knew if I didn’t, how would I grow as a business and more importantly as a woman?
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
I have 2 breakthroughs
1. Accepting that it’s OK to veer off the original path and vision. To sound daggy: from little things, big things grow! Originally, I wanted to design and make all the gowns here, but I don’t have the time or resources to do that at this point. It’s a very long and expensive process to do small batch gowns domestically. While I’m still working on my collection behind that scenes, I have purchased some gowns from a delicious designer from Germany. She does the most stunning tulle gowns, whereas I love to design figure hugging gowns that show off all the curves and bumps.
2. You can’t do everything yourself. I’m a complete control freak, so coming to the realisation that it’s OK to outsource the things you’re not great at. Socials was one of those things for me. I engaged my friend’s business to take over for a month and in that time I spent hours researching and reading about social media.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
Sometimes I have no idea!
My husband has a business Bayside in Melbourne which keeps him busy, we have a little 3 acre hobby farm with an abundant veggie patch, sheep, chickens, and recently a new a puppy for our daughter.