Shayne Brook Simpson
Skinny Fools is an online womenswear boutique store for the modern millennial women. From statement dresses to luxe bottoms and staple accessories, the e-commerce brand oozes sophistication and elegant finesse.
We talk to the designer, owner and mastermind of Skinny Fools, the gorgeous Shayne Brook Simpson about the ins and outs of her boutique store.
Hi Shayne! Tell us a bit about yourself
I am originally from Adelaide, we moved to the Clare Valley when I was about 4 years old. All though growing up I was a bit of a tom boy, not by choice. I was a middle child so I got some of my older brothers clothes handed down to me, I was also very thin and very tall so I always found it hard to find clothes that fit me so I just wore baggy, unfitted clothes or ankle freezers. The 90’s were not a good year for tall, thin people! I guess my interest in fashion grew from being so unfashionable. Around 18/19 years old I started to get into fashion, my body finally started to develop which helped and I was able to buy clothes that suited my shape. I remember when skinny jeans first came in, I was so happy! I had finally found a jean that fitted me and it was ok if they were a little too short.
How did Skinny Fools come about? Where did the name come from?
My online boutique began when I was on my second gap year from university; I had already done a year of Industrial Design and was changing to a Visual Arts degree. I knew I didn’t want to do art; but I knew my passions were shopping and clothes, as well as sewing and designing. So I finished my degree but in my spare time channelled those passions into starting my online boutique SkinnyFools.
I developed a list of about 50 names, but I kept coming back to SkinnyFools, which was a pretty accurate description of myself at the time, so I decided to go with a name that was personal to me. I knew it may be miss-interpreted as a boutique only for a certain body shape, but that’s not the case. I have plans to grow my brand to suit a range of sizes and styles.
Take us through a day in your life as a fashion entrepreneur…
My days consist of lots of social media, editing photographs, designing clothes, sewing, trips to the fabric store, organising photoshoots, website updates and trying to grow a following. Designing and making are my real passions, so I make sure to devote time and focus for those, and work everything else in around them.
What’s your favourite part about running your boutique store and the hardest part?
I love the flexibility of an online boutique. Everything is done at my pace, so I don’t get put under too much pressure. I love social media so I have a lot of fun running my Facebook and Instagram pages. The hardest part is trying to figure out computer problems! I’m not the most computer literate person, so I usually have to seek help and it usually delays my progress slightly.
Who are some of your favourite designers?
I absolutely love Alice Mcall, Zimmermann and Maurie and Eve
What is your personal fashion style?
I’m big on fitted clothes, most of my outfits either shows off the bust or legs, sometimes both. My go to outfit would be a high waited skinny jean and crop and I love a cute little playsuit for going out. I’m not big on prints and I rarely wear lots of colour. I have a lot of white, white and nude outfits.
What are your all-time favourite fashion trends?
I’m loving the frilly trend at the moment! The more frills the better! Dainty and Decorative garments; the layers of lace frills and goddess style sleeves are my favourite.
If you could dress anyone in the world, who would it be?
Probably Kendall Jenner, she is gorgeous and really hot right now and her wearing one of my designs would be amazing exposure. She fits the age group I try to target and would make anything I design look amazing.
Other than fashion, what are you also passionate about?
I like anything creative, I love looking at detailed architecture, drawing, building furniture and cooking. Art has always been a part of my life, so I draw a lot of inspiration from that scene.
What do you do for fun in your down time?
My down time includes a cocktail and my partner, exploring new bars, shopping, catching up with friends.
What’s next in stores for you?
My plan is to keep promoting my store and own products, organise more fashion parades of my own designs and to keep learning and evolving my looks. This year is all about new experiences and learning as much as I can about the industry.
What advice would you give to other savvy fashionista who wants to open up their own fashion boutique?
Just do it and keep going! If you love it then it shouldn’t be work. Know going into it that it won’t be an over-night success and it needs constant attention to grow. Try to be unique and professional from the get go, get good products with good media. Use Social Media as much as you can, interact with you customers and always keep them in the loop.
What is a quote or motto that you live by?
“It’s just money.” I remember my mum saying this, and it stuck in my head because she was always very tight with money when we were growing up, so when she ever lectured me about my reckless spending I always said it back to her. You can always earn more money! Experiences and following your passions have always been more important to me than how many numbers there are in my bank account.