Introducing the women behind
Introducing the women behind After Eight.
“It was our conversations that took place after eight each night that started everything. Talking passionately about shopping, retail experiences, designer brands, and examining - with detective-like detail - who was leading the way with responsible practices.”
Last week, we talked about what After Eight is. Today, we’re talking about the why – and the who – behind our movement of a style-conscious community making sustainable choices when it comes to fashion.
Q: But who are ‘we’?
Em: I worked across comms, marketing and media for over 10 years, before starting my entrepreneurial journey five years ago when I moved from Melbourne to Hobart with my husband and two boys. It earned me a Telstra Business Awards Finalist award in 2019. But my love of fashion started when I was a little girl. I actually did work experience in high school at a retail store and dreamed of it as a career. I always regretted never stepping back into fashion.
Fleur: I have more than 20 years fashion industry experience between high end boutiques, buying, product development and personal styling. My other baby, styling business How To Wear It, focuses on empowering and instilling confidence in women through clothing. That’s actually how Em and I met – she was a client! She was already very stylish, but wanted clarity on making the right purchase decisions to maximise what she already owned. We ended up having lots of friends in common and it quickly felt like we’d been friends for ages.
Co-founders – Emma Petterwood & Fleur Wood
Q: What sets After Eight apart?
Em: Because After Eight is not just a place to shop carefully curated and beautiful conscious fashion. It’s a place to learn too. Education – about how the industry works, sustainable brands, fabrication, your style and purchasing choices – is just as important to us. And it’s something we really felt was missing. We want our community to feel like ‘After Eight’ is their secret weapon – to feeling powerful and looking amazing.
Fleur: You can literally add a styling service to cart when you shop! It’s an extra offering that’s another way we’re able to educate our community, providing the help and expertise when needed to make sure you’re really getting the most out of your clothes – both the special pieces you can shop from After Eight and what you already own. You know those days when you think I’ve got nothing to wear’? We want to end them!
Q: What is your go-to piece in your wardrobe?
Both in unison: Jeans!
Fleur: Always have been, always will be.
Em: Hands down (I learnt from the best!!). If I accept a short notice meeting or dinner I never stress about what to wear. I chuck on my jeans and whichever top is calling me at that moment.
Q: Do you have any rituals you do every day?
Em: I move my body everyday. I’m a morning person so it’s got to be early. I used to do triathlons and after a five year hiatus, I decided to get back into it this year. Then… COVID. The race season has been cancelled but I really enjoy the structure of training and the energy and focus it gives me.
Fleur: Now we live by the beach, I have to see it every day, whether that’s a swim or a run. I tell my girls and husband how much I love them, and always end the day with a cup of chamomile tea and book in hand. It’s something for myself and helps me switch off.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Em: Can I have two? Firstly, you can never be too overdressed. And a mentor once told me to never stop being curious. I just love that and it’s stuck with me ever since.
Fleur: I can’t just choose one either! Be kind and grateful, always. Continue to educate yourself. Do everything with a smile on your face – you will always get a better result. And finally, you can never over communicate. The key to a successful relationship is communication – which also means to stop talking and to listen, which I must admit is hard for me! (Some say I could talk underwater and I tend to agree… can you tell?)