Student Entrepreneurs: StellaC
We have a number of young entrepreneurs at Santa Maria College. Some of them started their business through the Year 9 elective course Start Your Own Business. Others have started because of a passion they have. Some started just for fun or to make some extra pocket money, or to raise money for a charity. Whatever the reason, the skills these students learn along the way, will stand them in good stead as they leave school and start their careers.
Student Entrepreneurs is a new series of stories where we will be showcasing some of our students and their businesses over the coming weeks.
This week we start off with Year 12 student Stella Chiappini.
What is your business called?
StellaC The Label
What do you do?
I design and create clothing, as well as run the business.
How long have you been running your business?
I began the business in Year 9 when I was 13. We recently celebrated turning three, back in April.
Why did you start your business?
I come from a long line of inspirational and hard-working women in my family. My baba (grandma in Croatian) and mum are both dressmakers, so I grew up learning to sew. I have always been exposed to the fashion industry and have a real passion for creating clothes that everyone can wear and feel comfortable in. My dad on the other hand taught me about business from a very young age, so I was keen to take control and start my own business one day. I have been very fortunate with my family, in particular my mum and dad. They have encouraged me and supported me throughout my journey, and I would be lost without them.
Have you had any challenges? How have you overcome them?
There is only so much you can do when running a business, alongside schooling and a part-time job, so finding that perfect work-life balance was a challenge when it came to StellaC. But with my amazing support team, I was able to get through it. My mum is basically my chauffer and is always driving around to pick up stock or run around for me while I’m at school. She is amazing.
What is the best thing about running your own business?
Fashion and business are both things that I love and can see myself doing in the future. My favourite part about running my business is that I can combine my love for both those things. I get to be creative and design and sew the clothing, but I get to work on the business side of it too, which I love very much. I enjoy communicating and liaising with consumers and manufacturers.
Who do you admire in the fashion industry?
Growing up with an Italian background, I learnt to love all things Italian, especially the iconic Italian brands that led the fashion industry, this included Versace. Gianni and Donatella dominated the fashion industry with their sometimes-wacky designs, but also their subtle and chic designs. I loved how they had the ability to go from simple to crazy, with all their collections complementing each other. It is an iconic fashion house that is still as popular now as it was in the 90s and Donatella has done an amazing job leading the company after Gianni’s death in 1997.
Do you future have plans for your business?
After I finish Year 12, the goal has always been to launch a website and showcase my work to the wider world. Fashion is my passion and I love what I do. In the future, I can see myself running my business on the side, alongside university. However, anything is possible and who knows what can happen!
You can find StellaC on the following social media platforms.