Based in Armidale, on the beautiful New England Tablelands, Tracy Wright has created Raw Fibre. Unique boutique which, as the name suggests is focused on selling garments made using beautiful natural fibers.
Tell us a little bit about your business Raw Fibre.
Raw Fibre started in 2016 as a brand making a range of garments and accessories from quality natural fibres, such as linen, cotton, wool, and silk, as well as combinations of different fibres. I took a slight diversion for a few years while involved with another business and ventured back into my own space in May 2022. It was possibly the craziest year to start a new venture, but is there ever a good time to take that leap of faith? But by this point, I was too invested in what I had started just to walk away, so the new shop opened in the Armidale Mall in May 2022.
On top of the Raw Fibre label, we sell gorgeous products made by talented local artisans. I’m passionate about sustainability, so I ensure our brands are ethically made. This includes organic labels and brands manufactured from things like recycled plastic bottles. We also sell a range of natural fabrics and Bernina sewing machines.
What inspired you to open Raw Fibre?
I get incredibly frustrated by the fashion industry and the pressure put on women, in particular, to follow trends, ultimately making them uncomfortable in their clothing. My passion for creating merged with my desire to help women of all shapes, sizes, and ages feel good about themselves and, at the same time, challenge fast fashion trends.
What is unique about Raw Fibre?
I don’t focus on what is “on trend.” I try to buy and make a collection of garments that are timeless, well-made, and feel beautiful to wear. We are about quality, not quantity, so we may only have one of each size in the shop. It is important that our customers don’t feel like they are buying what they will see everyone else wearing in town.
And the level of support we love to give local makers is valued within our community and by travellers. People love buying unique pieces made in the region they are visiting.
Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently when you were first starting out?
Find a mentor, and don’t try to be a superhero! I tried to do everything myself and quickly realised it didn’t work. You need to outsource some things. I advise you to do what you’re good at and outsource the rest.
What would you say is your personal definition of success?
For me, it is being financially sustainable and content in my personal and professional life. If I am fulfilling my home and business goals, I feel calm and have succeeded.
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
Be true to yourself. So many people now try to follow social media influencers or others in their circles. You are never going to succeed if you aren’t true to yourself.
Find a mentor and use the knowledge of those who have gone before you. I wish I had done this, as you need someone who is not emotionally involved in what you are doing to bounce things off.
What have you enjoyed most about owning your own business?
I enjoy the freedom that comes with running your own business and being able to do what I am passionate about and work with local, sustainable brands. I am also being true to myself and my values.
I have met so many wonderful and inspiring people and gained my customers' respect. They know that when they can come into Raw Fibre, it is a calm and inviting space filled with beautiful things.
What’s on the horizon for Raw Fibre in 2023?
We have exciting things happening this year as we return to manufacturing a larger collection of our own garments. The best part is that some highly talented people will produce these clothes locally. So watch this space!
Location: ARMIDALE | NSW
Facebook: Raw Fibre