Sandradee Makejev started a weekend market stall at Bondi Beach Markets in 2005 selling select on-trend women’s clothing. During the week she worked in fashion PR and marketing and desperately wanted to escape the stressed out demanding designers and crazy bosses - who can blame her!
In October 2009 Sydney was hit by a dust storm and weather experts predicted it was going to be more rain than sun over the next two years. Sandradee started thinking outside of the box because rain and market stalls don’t mix. Noticing her eye for picking fashionable yet wearable pieces her friends from her hometown were constantly asking her to text them pictures of what she was selling at the markets.
Sandradee launched St Frock’s Facebook fan page that dust stormy Sunday night after the markets with a few terrible images and invited some close friends to the page. She went to bed that night exhausted and not expecting to hear anything back. The next morning she awoke to $350 worth of orders and realised she was on to something.
Fast-forward three months and St Frock’s fan page had grown to 1600+ girls and Sandradee had quit her job. She happily spent her weekdays packing orders on her bedroom floor and skipping to the post office at 6pm. Every weekend she still did the markets when it was sunny. Sandradee used Facebook as way to share her story as her business grew while connecting and selling via email to market customers at home in Sydney and around Australia.
In August 2010, St Frock’s first boutique opened on Harris St, Pyrmont. We grew and before long moved to a beautiful two-story heritage cottage in Union Square, Pyrmont in 2012. We were one happy bunch with our boutique finding a beautiful home on the bottom floor with our online office above.
I pinch myself everyday that I get to do what I love with a team I love. I’m super thankful to all our customers that have supported us and shared in our journey as we grew, because I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them. At the end of the day I’m just a country girl from Casino that arrived in Sydney with no contacts, a few dollars and a big dream
With a team of 5 people we managed somehow to run the boutique, markets and online store. We were so busy we didn’t have time to think and the stock boxes were stacked to the ceiling with tiny paths in between for us to get to our small desks.
We out grew that 30 square meter space within a few months and the online team moved to our new warehouse office in Ultimo in September 2013. The first few weeks we all huddled together because we were unable to comprehend having 500 square meters of space and having so much space around you made you feel a little lonely.
Today St Frock is a team of thirty five staff and our office is buzzing from Monday to Friday with phones ringing, orders being wrapped and photo shoots. We try to make it a fun, beautiful and positive place to work. People that visit St Frock always comment how cool our warehouse office is and how happy the staff look that work here.
You will always find Fashion Dog Sydney and her small dog friends running around the office. Our kitchen is always fully stocked and we decorate each other’s desks for birthdays. We have a rule that no one is allowed to eat lunch at their desks and we don’t work weekends. For meetings we have pods that hang from the ceiling to swing in. Every Wednesday a masseuse comes in to give staff massages and we have recently started a weekly company boot camp to work on our bootys. We still get excited when we have people over for meetings in our big fancy boardroom.
You will still find our pretty Boutique in Pyrmont is the gem in our crown but it is spread out over two floors of shopping paradise.