Meet the Maker: Florence Semaan, Designer of BOA Basics
Team Buy Aussie Now
This story was written by several Buy Aussie Now team members.
BOA Basics brings children's wear back to basics with an easy to co-ordinate colour palette, giving you a simple take on comfortable streetwear.
Their range offers timeless, everyday essentials designed to intermix seamlessly with any wardrobe item. Dressing your kids shouldn’t be complicated. Their upcoming collection offers additional key wardrobe pieces that encourage easy wear through a simplified wardrobe.
How did you start your homegrown business?
For the longest time, I’ve always had an urge to create my own brand. BOA has been 2 years in the making, and finally, we were ready to launch in 2020. As a mum of 3, there is nothing more annoying than a cluttered wardrobe. 'Buy less, choose well’ as they say. Taking a minimalist approach when choosing wardrobe items is key. I know what works when it comes to dressing kids so I embarked on creating key wardrobe pieces that offered the comfort of streetwear but without the messy logos. I’ve found that a simplified capsule wardrobe where everything goes, makes life easy. Comfort is key and you can’t go past the classics paired with a good pair of sneakers.
What inspires you?
Old school classics always inspire me. There’s nothing like those key classic wardrobe pieces that we all know and love. Classic crew neck tee’s, hoodies and sweat sets. You’ll see more of this in our next collection launching in November. 3 kids and 3 cluttered wardrobes inspired me to create simplified key pieces. My kids watching me turn my dream into a reality inspires me every day. They love seeing my range come to life just as much as I do and they get so excited watching the process come to fruition.
What are the benefits of manufacturing locally?
Local manufacturing means I have full control in decision making and quality control at every stage. Things don’t always go smoothly and when you’re faced with a challenge, it’s good to know you can be there to physically check and approve things. The best way to describe my journey is ‘Two steps forward, one step back’ and that why local manufacturing is important to me. We take pride in creating premium quality kids wear with all pieces responsibly made in Australia using 100% Australian cotton in an attempt to bring back support to local businesses.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business?
Definitely competing price-wise with other brands that manufacture overseas. I knew this would be a task but for me, purpose over profit is what keeps me going. Also, launching in 2020 has brought unexpected twists and turns. Being Melbourne made, restrictions have affected months of planning and delayed our second collection. As we work through each obstacle, it is important to us that we continue to support our Australian made fashion community.
What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic?
The world has changed in so many ways. This pandemic is shining a light on the world of fashion. Change is needed and I feel a positive takeaway from this pandemic is that people are more conscious of where their clothes are made, who made them and the impact that fast fashion has on the environment. From the very beginning, we planned to ethically manufacture in Australia using sustainable fabrics and eco packaging. Covid 19 has proven to be a massive awakening for all of us to do better and to look after our precious earth!
What was your first job?
I’ve always helped out in the family businesses over the years. We went from owning the local milkbar in Edithvale, Victoria to the hospitality industry in Brisbane. I would have my day job in the corporate world Mon - Friday, then on weekends I would be helping my parents with the family business. I’ve always worked from a very young age which has instilled a very strong work ethic in me.
Do you keep your vegemite in the fridge or pantry?
Vegemite belongs in the pantry. If you're putting it in the fridge… stop it. Stop it NOW!!! Lol
Which classic Aussie song would you perform at karaoke?
The Horses, Daryl Braithwaite… of course! My first concert ever was in 1927. Loved their ‘ish’ album.
Check out BOA Basics for Aussie-made kidswear.