ALANNAH WILLIAMSON

CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR @ CIRCUIT COLLECTIVE

1. What inspired you to set up Circuit Collective?
Alex and I had dinner one evening, and I was wearing a top from one of our favourite brands, Sister Jane. Alex was so amazed that the shirt looked like such great quality as well as being fun and a bit different but also of extremely good value for money. Over a few glasses of wine we then complained about how hard it is to find items of clothing just like that - fun, cool quirky, luxurious but affordable. This thought clearly stuck with Alex as the next morning she was determined to pursue the idea - as you can imagine I was quick to jump on the band wagon! 

2. How did you come about the name? What does it mean to you?
When developing the brand in the initial stages, we wanted it to be a place for anyone and everyone to come and find something that they were looking for. We wanted it to be inclusive rather than exclusive, as fashion can so easily be. Circuit Collective seemed like a fitting choice to depict this environment we wanted to create. It reflected not only a "Fashion Circuit" but all the different kinds of 'Circuits' women embark on during their daily lives - where that be work, brunch, gym, cocktails - you name it!

3. How do you select the brands that you feature?
Many of the brands we selected have been favourites of ours for several years that we always got complimented on wearing. It seemed like a no brainer to bring these gems to the forefront and to try and let as many people know about how incredible they are. 

Some others, we actually did not know of previously, but fell in love with them at trade shows when we got to touch the fabrics and understand the story and vision behind the brand. We feel extremely lucky to have such a great set of brands that we love so much supporting us in this venture.

4. How would you best describe each others style?
Every time I see Alex I am always obsessed with something she is wearing. She is way too cool for school and has always had such an incredible eye in the way she pairs different things together to create the most stunning outfit that I would never ever have thought of! Alex is elegant, classic, effortless, elevated and polished.

5. What is you're favourite characteristic about each other?
There are too many to name - but I would say above all, Alex is one of the most generous people I know. Extremely generous with the time and energy that she gives to the people that she loves most in this world. If I had a problem I know that Alex would move mountains to be standing right by my side to face it together. She is always the first to champion her nearest and dearest and will be your biggest supporter cheering you on the sidelines. Alex will go to great lengths to make you feel like an absolute princess on any special occasion or actually just whenever you need a good cheering up! Friends and family are very lucky to have Alex by their side - she is an  absolute rarity.

6. What is the best thing about working with a friend?
The best thing has to be that you always have someone to pick you up when things get tough. There have been times when  I am stressed or Alex is (fortunately it is never at the same time!) so that one of us is always there to calm the other and get things back on the right track. It also helps that when you love each other you are happy to work more just to be in each others company and of course - the laughter we share goes a very long way.

7. What has been your biggest hurdle so far in setting up Circuit Collective?
Financing a start up is, I think, always going to be the biggest hurdle for any new business. Everything always (unfortunately) boils down to money and budgets, and it has taught us to really prioritize and make sure we are spending the bacon on what is absolutely fundamental to the business strategy.

8. What should every girl have in their wardrobe and why?
A bold, colourful and striking go to top, blouse or shirt, that when they put it on they feel like a million dollars.

9. What are your top style picks for the upcoming season?
For Spring 2018, I cannot wait to get the pastel and block colours back out the closet and pair them with a classic trench coat. I also think everyone will be jumping on the sheer fabric bandwagon and expect to see that everywhere all Spring/Summer long! 

10. What is your favourite destination to visit?
It has to be Whistler, Canada. It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen with such an incredibly vast landscape. In Summer you can kayak, hike, mountain bike, white water raft and tan by the lakes in 30 degree heat. Then experience the polar opposite in winter time as the village turns into a Winter Wonderland and you feel like you are in Lapland! The people are also some of the nicest I have ever met, and the restaurants are simply divine! 

11. What is the most valuable lesson that you have learnt from business?
I would say understanding to foster and nurture relationships is one of the most valuable things I have learnt in business. You spend 80% of your time with the people that you work with so that they truly do become your second family. There have been so many times when the people surrounding me helped me get through certain situations and inspired me to push on. That family and all your connections and contacts will always want to help, support and guide you if you have a good relationship with them. Let's face it - no one is going to want to help a mean girl! 

12. Quote of the day! What are your words to live by?
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.