She’s the Gold Coast gal who saw a gap in the market for affordable, fashion-forward sunnies and set about making her dream of owning a business a reality.
Gemma recently launched her debut collection and we absolutely love the laidback 90s vibe Raie Eyewear is all about.
We sat down for a chat with the local designer about the inspiration behind the brand and her advice for anyone looking to start their own label.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
For 20 years!
What do you love most about living here?
The Gold Coast offers such a flexible lifestyle with so many opportunities! Being able to walk to the beach every day never gets old. The Gold Coast is filled with so many creatives and like-minded individuals. Every day you see new and exciting small businesses launching here.
Tell us about your business Raie Eyewear…
Designed in the laidback coastal town of the Gold Coast, Raie Eyewear sunglasses draw on aspects of global fashion, art and youth culture. Raie Eyewear Sunglasses are made to inspire a sense of fashionability and functionality with each wear. Exclusively available online through our website, I designed the styles for women like myself. We started off with simple elegant designs and colours and have heard so much great feedback from girls wearing our eyewear all around the world!
How did it come about?
Studying public relations and marketing at university I was constantly writing essays and studying theory which didn’t suit me as I am such a practical person! Throughout university, I interned and worked at a bunch of PR Agencies and independent e-commerce brands which developed my understanding of the different aspects of running a business and grounded my aesthetic of feminine fashion styles. I have always had an obsession with sunglasses and unfortunately, there weren’t many of my favourite eyewear brands producing the designs I was after! I would always be hunting online in my spare time for a reasonably priced, good quality pair of sunglasses which were sun safe and fashionable! Since launching my debut collection this year, I have had so much feedback from girls all around the world about how happy they are I have created simple everyday pieces!
Why is Raie Eyewear the perfect Christmas gift?
Unlike clothing which is so fast and trend-driven (you see your wardrobe change so many times a year), sunglasses are a staple for every day. With the dangers of the Gold Coast sun always kept in the back of my mind, Raie Eyewear is made with 100% UV protection, protecting your eyes from UVA and UVB radiation. As many people spend long summer days at the beach, it’s so important to take care of yourself in the sun!
Who is wearing Raie Eyewear?
Raie Eyewear was designed for girls like myself who are fashion-forward, design-savvy and love quality products. As Raie is sold online, it’s for the girl who loves to online shop and is inspired from scrolling through style and interiors online. Inspired by 90’s style rectangular and cat-eye shades, the sunglasses are made with versatility in mind, to be worn as streetwear straight to the sapphire blue waves at the beach.
What advice do you have for someone looking to start a fashion label?
Just do it! It takes ALOT of trial and error! In this day and age as well, I would suggest always keeping sustainability at the forefront of your business too!
What’s the plan for the little bit of 2019 we have left?
Coming up to Christmas we are super busy here at Raie. Keep an eye out as we are launching a new design very soon! We’re always looking to expand our range and ask our customers what they like to see from us!
Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Restaurant for dinner: Rick Shores in Burleigh Heads, Frida Sol in Palm Beach and Social Eating House in Broadbeach
Coffee spot: Barefoot Barista in Palm Beach, The Salt Mill in Currumbin and Stable in Currumbin
Cafe for breakfast: Highline in Palm Beach, Alfreds Diner in Mermaid Beach and Down to Earth Café in Palm Beach
How does your weekend usually look: I usually start my weekend with a long bike ride, then I’m laying by the water somewhere along with the coast – usually DBAH, Tallebudgera or Palm Beach. You’ll find me enjoying a margarita and Thai vinaigrette oysters at Rick Shores for dinner with friends. You can always find me at the Village Markets on a Sunday morning!