The Home of Beautiful Maternity and Everyday Wear: Amabel Gowns

Do you have a maternity photo shoot coming up and are in need of a beautiful gown? Do you have some other kind of formal occasion on the horizon? Amabel Gowns is the home of beautiful maternity and everyday wear made in New Zealand. It was started by Julie Vandy, mother to Riley, Bayley and Dustin and wife to Gordon, and she has been designing and making clothing and accessories since 2011. We spoke to Julie to learn more about her business. 

The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?

With three small boys, I wanted to do something that I could work around them. I have done many hand crafts over the years and am a bit of a perfectionist, so working with fabric has been the one I am the most proud of. The finished product is always something that I am 95% happy with. Translating that into a business means I feel that success as often as I am in the studio.

The Launch: How did you start out in the beginning?

Amabel Gowns started as Butterflies and Diamonds. With two small boys I was looking for a way to make money while doing something I really enjoy, so started making hair accessories, swiftly moving into pettiskirts and tutus. Overcoming my inner “I can’t do this” voice in regards to my sewing skills, I moved onto maternity gowns and everyday wear as well, and now moving into gifts.

The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?

I think learning new skills is always a big breakthrough for me. I don’t think I have had one really big moment yet but I am always looking for new ideas.

Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?

I don’t always. My two year old started preschool in February and has had sickness after sickness. My husband works long hours so it’s up to me to step in and unfortunately my business sacrifices. So sometimes working into the night is the best way to get things done. That’s the great thing about working for myself, I can work when it suits, and if that is until midnight every now and then then so be it.

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