Verge Girl: Parents’ Sister Loan Has Now Become a Global Fashion Success
Sisters Natalia and Daniella Dionyssiou started the Verge Girl fashion company in Brisbane in 2007. Photo / Supplied
Sisters Natalia and Daniella Dionyssiou were only 17 and 19 when they opened their first fashion boutique in Brisbane in 2007. They started small with a “small” space as they both studied fashion design.
The couple worked part-time in their parents’ shoe store between their studies and began selling hand-dyed silk coats and kimonos that they made themselves.
A loan of $ 30,000 from their parents was “just enough” to buy stocks and open the doors of their first store, which was the start of their fashion brand Verge Girl.
The brand is now a booming international success, grossing A $ 40 million (NZ $ 43 million) per year and has a string of famous clients.
The pair have revealed that they are aiming for more than A $ 100 million in revenue over the next five years.
While the sisters had plenty of customers at their first store at Brisbane’s Elizabeth Arcade, the big breakthrough came when they brought the business online in 2014.
“It took a good six months to launch our online store, but once it took off it was really like a rocket, there was no turning back,” Daniella told news.com .to.
“With our physical store, we couldn’t do more,” she said. “We would have a line up in the arcade that our store was in, young women wanting to enter our store every week.
“When we decided it would be a good idea to go online, we had little cards for the girls to fill out their email addresses that we put into our database one by one.”
The emphasis is on style and quality at an affordable price – with tops starting at A $ 39, $ 45 for skirts, $ 49 for shorts and pants, and $ 55 for dresses.
“We’ve always made it our mission to provide affordable and cool clothing for young women,” Natalia told news.com.au.
The label has become a worldwide success. Celebrities such as Kourtney Kardashian, Gigi and Bella Hadid, Maddie Ziegler, Kendall Jenner and Ariana Grande share images of them wearing the mark.
“We are often contacted by prominent celebrity stylists and of course we love to see these kinds of women in our clothes,” Natalia said. “It shows so clearly that style is not about what you wear but how you wear it, which is exactly what we are.”
The business is now only an online business; an estimated 60 percent of the brand’s revenue comes from international sales.
“We launched our online store seven years ago, which completely exceeded our expectations,” said Natalia.
“At first it was really organic and mostly word of mouth but of course as the influencer trend grows so do our followers,” she explained. “We have a huge network of influencers who support us regularly.”
Verge Girl has only gotten stronger during Covid – succeeding not only in increasing sales, but also in hiring new staff.
“Customers with little choice but to order online have shown how easy and fun it is to shop online. There is no better feeling than having a package that arrives at your doorstep, especially with this year’s gloom, ”Daniella said.
“Our sales have grown exponentially and we are proud to be able to not only retain all of our staff, but also hire a number of new team members.”
To cope with the high stock volumes and sales growth, the sisters bought another warehouse and rented the neighboring warehouse.
With parents in the fashion retail industry, they both knew they wanted to start their own fashion brand from a young age.
They grew up in Melbourne where they say “there was no shortage of style and cool clothes” – but when they moved to Brisbane as a teenager they said they “had it”. feel like if you weren’t wearing a premium label then you were just “that’s not cool enough”.
“The inspiration really came from seeing such a lack of cool, affordable clothing in Brisbane. It was never how we saw fashion and that’s why we wanted to see a change,” Natalia said.
“There really wasn’t much to offer young women who wanted new and exciting clothes, but were also on a budget. The market was really made up of more expensive labels or super cheap clothes,” she explained.
“Filling that gap is what made us start in the first place. Our goal was and still is to help young women feel confident and look cool without breaking the bank.”
Both men believe their financial success is due to their willingness to “stick to our core values and our mission.”
“Not involving investors gives us the full capacity to make decisions based on what is best for our consumer and not for a group of people in control,” said Daniella.
With plans to grow the business from the $ 40 million in revenue they saw this fiscal year to $ 100 million a year over the next several years, the girls remain as ambitious as ever.
“We are so focused on our goals and our future plans,” said Daniella. “When we score a goal, we are grateful and make sure to celebrate our victories, but always try to have bigger and better goals at the forefront of our minds.”
The duo have their own styles – Natalia is more feminine while Daniella is more of a tomboy – and they both embody different work styles. Daniella is “organized and business minded” while Natalia “is quite the opposite and is very creative and fluid”.
“It makes perfect business partners because it’s so important to have different strengths to support different areas. We have always been best friends, we complement each other perfectly. We work together, socialize together and travel together too. Said Nathalie.
“Working together as sisters has always been amazing for us. At the beginning, when we got closer and stood up, we knew we were supporting each other and that we were 100% supporting each other,” Natalia said. “As we have grown our strengths and roles have become more defined and we are now in our own way.”
Since the start of Verge Girl, the entrepreneurs have donated a portion of the proceeds to charities close to their hearts, including Sunrise Cambodia, the Australian Red Cross, Mercy Ships, Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation and Mission Pawsible.
“Our mother always taught us as we were growing up that it is more blessed to give than to receive. We have found this to be 110% truthful. What we are giving is like a drop in the ocean of need. that’s in our world, “Natalia said.” We donate 10 percent of all our profits to charity and we believe it is our duty as the founders of a successful business to do so. “
For others who dream of turning their idea into a successful multi-million dollar ecommerce business, the girls have a few tips: “Be passionate about what you do. If your work does not inspire you, then it is difficult. to inspire others, ”said Daniella.
“Stay in your lane and don’t get distracted by the people around you,” she added. “If you always watch what other people are doing it can be a real mood killer and you can easily lose focus on what you are doing and why you started out.”