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Joy has always been at the heart of Jenny Laing’s pursuits and her online boutique Evve Collective invites other women to leave angst behind and share in the inspiration that a good fit delivers.

Tell us a little bit about your business Evve Collective –

Evve Collective was founded in 2021 and started as an online business featuring a curated collection of fashion brands, shoes and accessories for those wanting to find effortless style from the one place. In February 2022, a bricks and mortar store opened at 117 Bathurst St sharing a space with another new business, Springtime Pilates, in a restored building in the main street of Condobolin. Our store stocks premium brands known for their quality fabrics and fit on the female form. From everyday dressing to showstopping outfits for events, we source beautiful clothing, shoes and accessories that will become wardrobe staples for years to come.

What inspired you to open Evve Collective?

After 25 years in teaching and several years operating a personal styling and wardrobe consulting business across the Central West, I decided to enrol in a Certificate in Fashion Design and Business through FBI Fashion College in Glebe. While studying from home and during the 2021 lockdown, I decided to start an online women’s fashion boutique as there was no opportunity for casual teaching and the time felt right to take the plunge as everyone was shopping online! It took about 10 weeks to set up the business, build the website and create connections with the brands that I knew would enable women to look and feel their best.

What is unique about Evve Collective?

With a background in personal styling and years of experience shopping both online and in store for myself and clients, I wanted to create a store that feels inviting, gives great advice and alleviates the overwhelm and angst some feel when purchasing online or in store. The brands we stock create amazing pieces for women that will be on rotation for years to come. We have an easy returns policy and work with our customers to ensure the right fit. Customer service is so important to us and as a result we have very few returns.

Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently when first starting out?

Starting out as an online business only was difficult because it’s hard to build a website without product and hard to source brands without a website. It’s the classic chicken or the egg situation! Having said that it was much easier to move into a bricks and mortar store knowing the online store was up and running. So I guess having a bricks and mortar store first would have made it easier but then again we were in lockdown!

What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) at any given stage of your career?

I stepped back from my first career in teaching when the juggle between work and a young family became impossible to balance. This stepping back created space for me to consider what really was important in my life. Obviously family was number one but I still wanted to have a career too and even though I loved teaching for many years, the time was right for making a change and following other passions. Owning a business comes with many of its own challenges but I wouldn’t swap it for anything.

Women have long represented the archetype of the ‘juggler’. How do you balance work and life responsibilities?

It’s tricky and sometimes I do it poorly but I try to make it a priority. Organisation is key and so is asking for help. The mental load women carry is like a full time job in itself! Outsource when you can and allow yourself to just let some things go.

What would you say is your personal definition of success?

Happiness. For many years it was all about furthering my career in the teaching profession but the older I get the more I realise it’s about the day to day love of what you do. Helping others and the joy that brings is at the core of what I do. It was in teaching and is so in the fashion industry too.

What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?

Follow your passions and make a career out of what makes you happy. Don’t be afraid to stop, reassess where you are at and pivot if need be. We are at work for a huge part of our lives so let’s love what we do.

What’s on the horizon for Evve Collective in 2023?

We are searching for a bigger store! We have grown rapidly and will look to move into another equally amazing space in Condobolin. We are also looking to further build our presence online and will continue to refine the brands we stock, bringing new labels into the store. Ultimately, one day, I would love to launch my own label.


Instagram: evvecollective Facebook: evvecollective


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