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The joy. Joy came first. Joy of signing the paperwork to buy a business. So much hope and potential, and dreams.

We had worked hard our entire lives to build good savings and make investments for growth into our future. We consider ourselves smart and savvy people. We knew the business we were buying would need a lot of work (what business doesn’t, honestly?), but all the ingredients were there and the potential was huge. We were eager, we were ready and we were excited to roll our sleeves up.

I had always wanted to go into fashion. I can’t explain why. I had never studied fashion. In fact, I remember speaking with my husband about not being able to see how that opportunity would ever happen for me. And, then? We found Stella Phoenix. 

For those who are stumbling across us for the first time, I won’t spend eons on talking about who we are, but to give context – Stella Phoenix is a demi-couture childrenswear brand. We create designer and luxury pieces for children (dresses, playsuits, jumpsuits), which our customers often describe as “perfection.” That’s something we’re very proud of. Our focus is thoughtful fashion; taking inspiration from yesteryear and innovation to push fashion into the future. We want fashion to be valued, and loved, and kept, and cherished and passed down. We create quality pieces that make moments and enable our customers to buy less and create more through our mix and match capability. We encourage our customers to curate their children’s wardrobes; teaching their children about colour, textures, fabrics, and at the same time, enabling their children to express their individual identity (and moods!) through what they wear.

We have a number of design mechanisms built into our creation process that ensure nothing short of a magical experience for our mini wearers – one of which (that often conjures amusement) is our twirl test. That’s right, each dress and skirt undergoes a twirl test and if it’s not perfect enough, we go back to the drawing board.

The minute I saw Stella I knew deep in my soul that it was always meant to be mine. It was love at first sight, a connection so compelling that it reminded me of the moment you meet someone for the first time but feel like you’ve known them your whole life. Something we loved most about this business, and we still do, is its diverse customer base spanning Asia Pacific, Europe, USA, Middle East. We deduced that diversity was a strength. While marketing to several different markets, and buying behaviours, has its complexity, it also has its rich beauty. Our idea was that the varying markets would complement and support each other; if one had a down turn, the others would help carry it through.

What we did not anticipate was a global pandemic that would hit 100% of our market – all at once – and completely obliterate the world as we knew it. Especially not 6 months into buying the business when we were really still getting our head around it all.

Perhaps this was naivety on our part. We could see that parts of the world may experience varying challenges, but we did not foresee all our markets going down at once. 

Now, before we get in to the journey that has been, I’d like to preface this with a couple of things. Firstly, I’ve heard people saying:

“Who cares about fashion when there are real issues in the world.” 

To that, I’d like to say, yes, by talking about our struggles we are not negating those who have had it worse- especially those who have died or lost loved ones to COVID. Secondly, we are not eliminating our gratitude, which we’ll cover a bit later. But, fashion isn’t just clothes – it’s special moments, it’s memories, it’s family stories and keepsakes, it’s a magical escape from what’s going on in the outside world – especially for children. After all, there’s nothing like an adventure in a Princess dress to brighten your day. 

This business is our family, and our teams family and our suppliers family and our customers family. And our collective future. It’s lives and livelihoods. And all of that matters very, very much. One beauty the pandemic has given us is the ability to have real human conversations about varying degrees of human experience and vulnerability. Sharing our experience is just that.

When we first heard of the outbreak in Wuhan, we felt so sorry for the locals there, but we still didn’t realise the potential devastation en masse. We definitely did not imagine it would spread the way it has. Not sure what the experience was like for you (and please feel free to share!) To us, the COVID pandemic felt like a tsunami. At first, we were wondering what that faint ripple was on the horizon, and then by the time we realised it was a tsunami, it had well and truly hit the shore. 

We did what any smart business people do, consolidate your ducks and activate your contingency plans. We decided that there were a few things that played to our strengths:

  1. Our pieces are seasonless and transitional statement pieces that can be worn on their own for summer or layered for winter. This meant we were not at the mercy of the seasons so, unlike other fashion brands, we could keep stock current even if sales slowed
  2. We have a global market which means that Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere shopping could bounce off each other
  3. We had moved our manufacturing back to Australia before the pandemic hit. We had strong supplier ties. We thought that would help us weather any supply issues because we wouldn’t have whole collections stuck in factories overseas
  4. We are lean and agile in our operations – this means we have the ability to pivot and respond depending on what our markets needed from us. Our team works remotely so we could continue through the lockdown. We don’t have huge overheads such as offices or commercial rentals.

At first, things seemed to be going well. We were in peak USA buying time and the sales kept coming. We noticed they were less than anticipated but it still seemed to be going well. (Side note: our goal for 2020 and 2021 was to scale our USA customer base. It’s an extremely strong market for us, one that brings us so much joy selling into, and one of the hardest-hit countries during this time).

What happened next brought us to our knees though. Because what we did not anticipate was multiple waves of COVID. Mutations of COVID. We sort of anticipated the world would lockdown and it would be squashed and we’d all move on in 6 months time. 

Then, our stockists started closing. Those that stayed open became crippled by warehousing issues. We had pre-established payment plans that had never experienced a hitch before which completely ceased while they grappled with the devastation. 

We were still optimistic that things would be okay at this point. We hired a fresh, talented team (side note: best decision of our lives) we reviewed our product quality, our production efficiency, we slashed costs. We also made a decision to adapt our business model to pre-order in line with our Mindful Fashion Plan. This was something we had already wanted to introduce but the time was never better than now when we were needing to use our energies wisely.

We were designing a new collection. And then… The fabric shortages hit – globally. And, the thread shortages hit. And, the hardware shortages hit: and we had to re-design our collection 4 times. That means 4 times as many costs and resources and time.

And then, 3 months behind schedule, we tried to do an ordinary thing that we really took for granted: a photoshoot. A photoshoot in Melbourne was cancelled, due to an outbreak. A photoshoot in Sydney was cancelled for the same reason. And then we looked to Brisbane and an outbreak took off here as well. That means 3 times the costs and resources and time.

I sat down with the team.

“We are going to do something radical. A collaborative remote photoshoot that is COVID proof. This has never been done before to my knowledge. I’m going to approach photographers to see if they are interested. What I need from you is a photoshoot concept that can be done in lockdown.”

That’s how the Dollhouse theme was born for the collection shoot of the first drop of the Brave Collection.

If you know anything about photography, you’ll understand that bringing 5 photographers together on a collaborative shoot, photographing remotely, shipping samples around the country (in a time where Australia Post was crippled) and trying to bring that together in a cohesive theme is extremely difficult. These photographers, who would ordinarily be competitors, took the charge. They came together as a team, they helped each other, and we, against all odds brought together a flawless shoot. They were all in various stages of lockdown during this time, one photographer was in hard lockdown in Melbourne, and we’re eternally grateful to them. Really.

And then, just as I was feeling like we were getting somewhere, the next blow came. Our manufacturer in Australia had been smashed with work from everyone bringing production back. And he could not manufacture for us. He didn’t have the capacity. At the 11th hour.

Absolutely distraught, I phoned everyone I knew crying. No manufacturers had capacity. Because what I had failed to appreciate in all of this is that the offshoring of manufacturing over years had reduced the Australian industry to micro size. There’s a shortage of skills, there’s a shortage of supply and capacity. A shortage that cannot be solved overnight. Something that will take years to replenish should support for locally manufactured goods continue. This coupled with increased demand: disaster. The kind of disaster that meant your usual contingency plans were turned to water. They meant absolutely nothing.

I have compassion for manufacturers in this situation. They are also doing the best they can in out of the ordinary and uncertain circumstances. But for us, this blow was devastating. It had the potential to end our business right then and there.

With the help of my amazing network (thank you!) we found a new manufacturer who had opened her books up to help smaller brands, like ours, that had also found themselves in the lurch, like us. It’s moments like this that we’re reminded no matter what happens, there is someone full of ingenuity who will take the opportunity to do something amazing. It seems simple, opening books. But it just wasn’t. It has been a huge piece of work for her, a massive feat to take on. She’s singlehandedly saved a lot of businesses. Every time I see her, I want to just hug her gleefully, but obviously I can’t because of social distancing.

This lifeline was such a relief, but the reality was we were also competing for space with other brands. It was chaos – and on top of that, COVID slowed manufacturing, supply and shipping substantially already – more so when you are squished in with other brands.

I never anticipated the hardest problem we would face would be getting product to market. Because as a products business, if we can’t get product to market, our customers have nothing to buy. So as we sold out, and our stockists struggled, and we limped on trying to get new product to market, our revenue dried up.

By the time we launched the first drop of our new collection, Brave, we were 12 months on from the launch of our last collection. I was stricken with grief, excitement and pride in the team. On launch night I was trying to swallow my grief and fear while we celebrated, but it was like a balloon in my throat.

Getting to that moment was an enormous achievement. But who knew what the future would hold? In fact, right now, who knows what it holds still? I have no idea what the future holds or how any of this will end up. 

6 months later, we are still here, on crutches, in a swamp, making our way through, with mud on our face. While Australia has come through the pandemic quite well (so far), people forget that we are reliant on the rest of the world who are in 3rd and 4th waves of this pandemic. 99% of our customer base remains snared by COVID. Our costs have increased significantly, including shipping costs. Shipping routes are cancelled daily without notice which impacts our ability to get product to customers and stockists. Supply of materials is a constant juggle.

That said, we have a strong loyal customer base who are banging down our door for new pieces. We’re seeing new customers coming on board all the time. We’re signing new, thoughtfully selected, stockists around the world. Our payment plans have started flowing again. The sun is coming up.

Our accountant told us:

“The goal of every business for 2020 and 2021 is to survive. Just survive.”

I won’t lie and say that I’m not exhausted. That my dreams over the past couple of years haven’t been crushed. That I’m not scared. After all, even the best leaders feel fear. Or, that I haven’t contemplated giving up multiple times. But, I am also incredibly proud of our team who have continued facing the wind every day, working in chaos, in a situation where we cannot plan anything because the state of play changes daily and weekly.

They have said to me that the circumstances have forced them to think differently. To come up with new and innovative ideas that enable us to overcome seemingly insurmountable problems. To re-think what we make and do, and why we make and do it. 

I am also incredibly grateful to our loyal customers. Who’ve appreciated what we’ve been through to bring beautiful pieces to them in unprecedented circumstances. But the truth is, we’re not just fighting for ourselves. We’re fighting to continue to bring joy and beauty to children during one of the darkest periods in history. 

We’re also fighting to continue changing the face of fashion – to have a more positive impact on all the communities that fashion touches – to create jobs and change outcomes for children in the future. This, ultimately, is what keeps us going.

We want to look back on 2020 and 2021 and say, “We made it and we’re better for it.” If that’s the greatest achievement over these two years, that will be remarkable enough for us. Because that will be a platform we can leap from to achieve big things.

When we decided to pursue our Mindful Fashion Plan, we knew what we wanted to achieve and why. We wanted to do fashion better, but in a way that would honour the important role fashion and style plays. We wanted to ensure we have a positive impact on the world. We wanted to be the change we seek in a way that aligned with our values.

But, we first needed to understand the problems of unsustainable and unethical fast fashion practices in more detail. What we learnt blew our mind. It made us question everything. It gave us clarity around how we could translate our personal mission in a way that made sense for what we stand for.

We were lucky to sit down and chat with two fashion sustainability experts about how the world as a whole can do fashion better, and how, in turn, Stella Phoenix could do the same.

What is fast fashion?

Nina Gbor, an award-winning advocate, stylist and public speaker is famous for coining the term “get off the trendmill” to describe the process of emancipating yourself from the shackles of fast fashion. She helps clients become their own “personal style icons” (L O V E) by not only styling and shopping preloved, but good quality new pieces too. 

“Fast fashion is a business model that uses a lot of environmentally damaging short cuts, unfair wages, and other social injustices, to make clothing very cheap,” Nina explained. “We’re buying more clothes than ever before, wearing them fewer times, repairing them less and throwing them away sooner.”

She went on to explain that the industry is responsible for about 10% of climate change, which doesn’t sound like much does it? Oh, only 10%. Nina pointed out it’s actually 1.7 billion (BILLION) tonnes of carbon emissions in a single year. Not to mention the health effects that some of the chemicals used have on our bodies through skin absorption.

Nina Gbor

How did the rise of fast fashion occur? 

Nina said that once upon a time clothes were made to last, and to suit the four seasons of the year. 

“Now brands have over a hundred cycles, where new trends are launched into retail stores every few days,” She said. “In general, we no longer see clothing as a way to live and express our personal style. It’s become impersonal and, in many cases, mindless consumption without conscious thought.”

Priscila Martinez from A Fine Circle shares similar sentiments to Nina, explaining that fast fashion is responsible for deforestation, ocean micro-plastics and other pollution from chemical dyes. A Fine Circle is an ethical fashion wholesaler that stocks new pieces from sustainable brands and promotes what they describe as a “circular community” of shopping pre-loved.

“Nowadays people buy a lot more clothes, yet use them a lot less,” Priscilla said. “As consumers, we don’t value the work that has been put into producing our garments. We have gotten used to buying ‘cheap’ without realising the real cost.”

Priscila Martinez

As with many things, it seems like a supply and demand issue, with Priscila explaining that people can be addicted to fast fashion which contributes to the issues we see.

Solving this problem seems like such an enormous task, we could understand if you just wanted to hit the cross and go and distract yourself with something else instead of trying to work out what to do next. But, Priscila had a really great philosophy of progress, not perfection – for both consumers and brands.

 “I feel that it’s important that everyone realises that their own consumer behaviour impacts on the environment and on our society. Every single person, every single step/action, no matter how small, counts.”

What we took away from that in our quest was, the key is to just start somewhere. 

How can we ensure we are consuming more thoughtfully and ethically?

“Apparel should be good quality, durable and long lasting. When used in this way, clothing can be an empowering tool for confidence, growth and self-expression,” Nina said.

She recommended that shoppers forget trends altogether and instead “go for pieces that align with their individuality, lifestyle and self-expression” focusing on pieces that look great but are also practical.

Nina uses what she calls “a personal style formula” which encompasses body shape, colour palette and personality to help you become a style icon in your own right.

Priscila recommended looking for brands who are transparent about how their clothes are made, including researching smaller and medium sized brands. Yes, this may take a little more time, but the payoff is worth it in the long run because where we put our dollars directly contributes to outcomes. That $10 t-shirt might just seem like one t-shirt in an ocean of t-shirts, but it’s a powerful choice.

Both Nina and Priscila recommend buying less, choosing well and making it last longer with a focus on comfort and style.

Priscila had another important recommendation in line with mindful consumption. 

“Although I stand for buying more sustainable brands, let’s not dump the clothes we have in our closets just because they are made by fast fashion companies. Let’s use them, and reuse them, maybe mend them or alter them. And if you can’t wear them anymore, donate them.”

We couldn’t agree more!

Thanks for your interest in shopping our brand! We look forward to helping you find your perfect piece.

We’ve compiled this list of Frequently Asked Questions to answer some of the most common questions we’re asked. If your question isn’t listed here, or you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us via [email protected]

  1. The item I want is sold out, when will you be re-stocking?

Stella Phoenix pieces are rare, unique and limited in their designs, fabrics and fittings used. They therefore are not re-made or re-stocked after they are sold out. This is one of the reasons why our customers love to shop us so much – because our pieces are special.

It makes us sad when customers miss out, but there are easy things you can do to avoid disappointment. For example:

  1. We recommend registering your lovely self onto our pre-order list, and adding our email address to your safe sender list so you don’t miss out on new drops
  • Check in on our socials regularly for product updates
  • If you see a piece you love, order it straight away

And if you super, super L O V E it, order it in bigger sizes so that when your little love outgrows it, you’ve got the next size up. One of the main issues our customers express to us is their daughter outgrew her favourite piece… And it’s sold out. Thinking ahead will help to avoid this!

  • How can I collaborate with Stella Phoenix?

Stella Phoenix loves collaborating with others and has worked with many talented businesses, individuals and celebrities over our time. We receive a high volume of collaboration requests and therefore have strict guidelines and policies about who our ideal collaborator is.

Stella Phoenix strongly believes in connection and referral by genuine customers who love our brand and pieces. This is because they understand the whole customer experience, from ordering, to the pieces themselves, to our follow-on customer care.

We are also very generous, and love supporting fellow complimentary brands and businesses, so don’t be afraid to reach out and chat about how we can work together.

If you’d like to find out more information about collaborations or apply please email us at [email protected]

  • How do I pre-order a piece?

From 2020 onwards, Stella Phoenix is accepting orders from customers and stockists on pre-order. This is due to our Mindful Fashion Plan commitment to being ethical, sustainable and innovative for a better future. This means that there will be limited opportunities to buy our pieces.

To register on our pre-order list, head up to the navigation bar and click on “Register to Pre-order.”

Being on our pre-order list does not mean you are obliged to shop a piece. But, if you’re not on the list, you will miss out on shopping.

  • How long will it take to receive my order?

Please check out our Purchasing and Returns Info page for more information on shipping.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has caused shipping delays to most destinations due to reduced flights and increased government processes at the border. To avoid disappointment, please ensure you plan ahead and order as soon as a drop lands.

In terms of the pre-order window, customers will have a 1 week window to make their pre-order. It will take us approximately 8 weeks to manufacture the pieces. They will then be quality controlled and sent out via an expedited service.

This timeline may vary from time to time, especially with COVID-19. Delays may occur due to issues with sourcing supplies or COVID-19 outbreaks. If any delays do occur, we will update customers accordingly.

If you have questions about how long it will take to receive your order, please contact us before ordering as we are happy to help.

  • I’m a retailer who would like to wholesale Stella Phoenix product. Can we work on a dropship arrangement?

Stella Phoenix will happily work with wholesalers on drop ship arrangements whereby we hold the product and send directly to the customer upon order via your website.

We love drop ship as it reduces the carbon footprint associated with shipping product back and forth which aligns with our values on ethics and sustainability.

We do, however, require payment upfront for the pieces before we will agree to hold them and ship on your behalf. Please contact us via [email protected] for more information on how we can work together.

  • Does Stella Phoenix run sales?

No. However, we generously reward our loyal customers with special gifts and prices to say thank you for shopping with us. We may, from time to time, choose to sell samples and seconds at special prices too.

We have Afterpay and Sezzle at the check-out for those who would like to use payment plans. Use of these payment providers is subject to their terms and conditions.

Please note that any third-party website or platform advertising discount codes for Stella Phoenix are not authorised by us, nor will be honoured.

We’ve all heard the story about the tortoise and the hare. The hare being the overconfident and complacent fast runner and the tortoise slowly, surely, thoughtfully beating him at the race. It’s a storyline that repeats itself throughout the fabric of our lives. We often hear about how our focus on quantity and instant gratification erodes the meaning in our lives and leaves us burnout and dissatisfied. And yet, over and over again we see this same scenario play out in different ways. 

You might be mistaken for thinking this fashion article is some sort of life coaching blog but ultimately our choices speak volumes about us, including at the check out. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does give us a moment of pause to reflect on what, and how, we are consuming. This isn’t a push for anti-consumerism, because it definitely isn’t. It’s a push for thoughtful consumerism. Shopping is fun, fashion is fun and we want to keep it that way, but we can’t deny that shopping will look different into the future… Especially at Stella Phoenix.

2020 has been a year of… How can we accurately describe… What the actual bleep? That’s probably the most polite way we could sum up the pandemic that has swept the globe and changed life as we know it. People have heartbreakingly lost their lives, their loved ones, their jobs, their sense of selves, and there have been many, many questions. While we are slowly adjusting to this new normal, we are also grieving what we have lost. Things that were never things have suddenly become things – for example, a recent one we’ve grappled with is, how do we conduct a photoshoot without being physically near each other – one that will survive a COVID-19 outbreak? A photoshoot might seem like a minor challenge to face, however without a photoshoot, we can’t get product to market. If we can’t get product to market, that has the potential to impact our team and their livelihoods. Very quickly something that we once took for granted as another step in the process becomes increasingly critical. Instead of lamenting about these challenges, we’ve instead seen the bright side – a chance to reimagine the way we do everything.

We’ve heard stories and read articles about the collapse of the fashion industry in the face of COVID-19 – and we’ve also started hearing about fashion brands evolving for survival. The funny thing about this is, the things that people commonly assumed were our weaknesses as a brand 12 months ago, have turned out to be our strengths. Someone once said to us, “you must release a new collection every 6 months.” There was something about this that didn’t land for us. Because rather than rush out more more more, we wanted to create less, but better. We wanted to honour the design process, invest in product development and create exceptional pieces that were right for our customers instead.  “People will never wait for it. Customers want everything now, now, now. They’ll go somewhere else,” we were warned.

But, so far, the opposite has been true. While our customers love shopping and are wowed and excited by new things (and have also messaged us laughing about their “dress shopping withdrawals” which we L O V E), they have also demonstrated that they are prepared to wait for those breathtaking pieces. Because, there’s an old adage that time and time again proves to be true – things worth having are worth the time and commitment, the investment, the wait. It makes the prize that much sweeter, in so many more ways than one. After all, patience is about endurance.

But with less weddings, and holidays and events and going out during COVID-19, who would be in the market for sparkly, glamorous outfits?

A customer said to us recently, “amazing heirloom clothing is right up there with magical family holidays.” And in a climate where many around the globe aren’t able to enjoy their special pieces while on holiday, they’re instead creating magical moments at home. Moments that their little ones will always treasure, regardless of the isolation – because kids will Princess anywhere that takes their fancy regardless of the ‘rules.’ It’s that kind of live in the moment mentality that is rather profound in the current climate. What we wear affects our mood, our sense of identity, how we express ourselves in the world. Being at home doesn’t have to mean living in sloppy Joe’s. Comfort doesn’t have to negate style.

If we said we aren’t a little nervous about doing fashion differently, we would be lying. In fact, anyone trying anything new for the first time will reasonably feel the same. But, to be honest, that’s how we know we’re onto something big. Because if we weren’t nervous, we frankly wouldn’t be aiming high enough. And, all we can do is try our best while we roll out our new pre-order model: learn, test, adjust.

We’re forever grateful for our loyal customers and the way they value the process we go through to create those perfect, magical pieces for their little ones to enjoy, no matter what’s going on in the outside world. They are here for the unforgettable fashion, and what we stand for. Another customer said to us last week, “Stella Phoenix is more than a label.” It’s that kind of feedback that lights us up and reminds us that our mission is bigger than us. After all, we’re not here to sell you outfits. We’re here to help you find your perfect piece/s for your special moments. There’s a distinct difference.

What kind of fitness tests do our pieces have to go through before the designs are approved?

Really, they have to run a gruelling marathon in design terms and we make no apologies for our high standards.

You see, at Stella Phoenix, we’re not looking for the cheapest, easiest option. We’re not trying to find any old fabric we can slap on a coat hanger and sell for maximum profit without a single care in the world what happens for you after you’ve taken it home. Nope. We are, instead, customer-centric. What does that mean? Allow us to explain, but with the preface that it’s awesome news for YOU.

Our new Fashion Designer, Laura, started about a month ago and has been doing an amazing job at designing our new collection (side note: we know a lot of you are absolutely dying and having Stella withdrawals waiting for more info on this. We will tell you more soon, our pretties! Soon!) Last week she made an interesting comment that stopped us in our tracks. Not because we’d never considered it before, but because it’s so normal for us now, we forgot how special it is (for a brief moment). She said: “It’s so nice designing for a brand who cares about what’s right for the customer.”

She is, of course, referring to the painstakingly technical Stella Phoenix design process. Many hours, months, discussions, drawings, contemplations, tests take place throughout our design process to make sure that the outfits are as perfect as we can make them – for you.

Our designs are underpinned by a philosophy of being clever, yet simple. Special, yet practical. If it’s too hard to wear, to tie, to love, to care for, to interchange, to clean we’re not interested in it. We’ve had playsuits survive cake smashes and blue make up mishaps, we’ve had dresses survive the beach and we’ve had t-shirts go through 50+ washes and come out looking perfect on the other side (extra level sparkle included). There are times that the team has been drowning in fabric swatches hunting for that perfect unicorn fabric. While nothing is indestructible, if you care for your Stella, it’s made to last.

Here’s some examples of the kinds of tests we put the outfits through:

  • The twirl test: we’ve mentioned this before, but yes, all our dresses and skirts go through a twirl test to make sure the twirl is magical. We take it very seriously at Stella HQ!
  • The scratch test: during fabric selection, we put swatches through a scratch test and any that fail this test are rejected
  • The wear test: when our models try the outfits on, what is their first reaction? Do they love it, or hate it? If they start skipping, twirling and dancing about, we know we have a winner. Each piece must be nothing short of magical for the wearer!
  • The comfort test: how comfortable is the item to wear? How does it feel against little, soft skin? How easy is it to adjust and interchange? It may seem like the functionality of our outfits are effortless – and they are. But, the process to get them there? Very technical, with the combined genius of many minds.
  • The practicality test: what little functions can we add to outfits to make them easy for parents? For example, all of our playsuits have snap clips up to a size 5 because no one wants to get stuck trying to untie a playsuit during a toilet emergency. We consider questions like, how does it go zooming down a slide? What about a sandpit or climbing a tree?
  • The wow test: if a sample arrives and it doesn’t make us ‘WOW’? It’s a no go.

And after this is all finished and we receive the outfits themselves? They go through two separate quality control checks, that can take up to an hour per piece.

We realise this all seems like a lot of work for us, and it is. But, more work for us means less work, and more fun, for you. To us, the many emails we get describing our outfits as “perfection”, the stories we hear about little girls refusing to take their Stella off, and all the gorgeous adventures they have in it, are absolutely priceless. Hearing that customers are packing our outfits away in treasure boxes as family heirlooms fill our heart with gladness. Being customer-centric means caring about the customer most, and this is why our customers keep coming back to us. Refusing to waiver on this standard means customers have come to trust we’re here to look after them.

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Purchasing and Returns Info

By providing your email address during the order process you are consenting to us contacting you about your order. This includes updating you on the progress of your order, contacting to resolve issues with your order or following up with you if your order is incomplete.

Please choose your purchases carefully as Stella Phoenix does not accept returns or issue refunds for change of mind, natural wear and tear or incorrect sizing. 

We provide a comprehensive size chart on our website to help you choose the correct sizing. Please refer to our size chart prior to making a purchase as we are unable to exchange sizes due to limited stock availability.

Stella Phoenix takes reasonable steps to ensure that the products we supply correspond closely to the samples and images on our website, social media and in our lookbooks. Due to variations in production runs, computer monitors, device screens, printing colour differences and natural imperfections in fabrics (especially natural fibres) there may be slight variations in colour, embellishment, pattern or construction from time to time. Stella Phoenix is not liable for these differences and will not accept returns on this basis.

Stella Phoenix has stringent quality control processes to ensure the quality of our products, including two separate quality control checks. It’s therefore highly unlikely for a customer to receive a faulty product. It is your responsibility to check the product immediately upon delivery, but in any case within at least 30 days, and advise us of any faults or damage so that we can resolve the issue for you. 

If you have received a Product with a fault, damage or defect, please contact us immediately at [email protected] and provide evidence of the fault, damage or defect along with proof of purchase.

The faulty Product must be returned to us prior to us processing your exchange or refund. 

To return the Product to us, please arrange to post the Product to us by registered post so that the Product can be tracked. In the event the Product is deemed to be faulty, damaged or defective, we will refund your return postage costs, so please keep your receipts. We won’t refund return postage costs of products that aren’t faulty, damaged or defective.

If the Product is confirmed to have a major fault, we will repair (if possible), exchange or provide a refund for the Product to your original payment method, as elected by you. 

If the Product has a minor fault, we will offer a store credit if a replacement is not available due to stock limitations or a full refund at our discretion.

Please allow up to 10 days for the refund or exchange to be processed.

Nothing in this clause is intended to exclude any of your statutory rights as a consumer under Australian Consumer Law.

While it is always our aim to minimise impact to customers, given the unprecedented impact of Coronavirus, there have been some temporary service interruptions to our business (like with many other businesses).

Stella Phoenix has stringent quality control and safety practices to keep our staff, contractors and customers as safe as possible. COVID-19 has affected our business in a number of ways, including fabric shortages, supply chain issues, limitations on business activities such as photoshoots, participation in fashion shows and other events, manufacturing and also worldwide shipping delays and
cancellations. COVID-19 has caused a global reduction in flights. Subsequently, all locations are likely to have shipping delays, including express post in Australia. We ask customers to factor in potential delays when they place their order and to understand we cannot guarantee usual shipping times.

Despite the significant increase in shipping costs, we will continue to cover shipping on full priced statement pieces over $129AUD as an ordinary part of shopping with us. Please note this policy is subject to change.

We thank all of our customers for their continued understanding and support while we do our best to continue to serve you during this time while managing a fluid and often ambiguous global climate.

Stella Phoenix may release items for purchase via pre-order whereby a customer submits their order and payment, and Stella Phoenix will subsequently make the pre-ordered item. In order to be eligible for pre-order, customers must be registered on our pre-order customer list, and submit their pre-order during the pre-order window. Stella Phoenix will provide an estimated timeframe for your items to be manufactured and shipped, however we cannot guarantee manufacturing or shipping timeframes and have no liability for such delays.

All garments have a care label and care instructions are also available on our website. Customers are responsible for following the care instructions correctly. Stella Phoenix will not accept return of items where damage has occurred due to incorrect cleaning or care.


Stella Phoenix generously provides free express shipping on all orders delivered within Australia totalling more than AUD $129. For orders totalling less than this amount, a flat rate of $10 will apply for express postage.


Stella Phoenix generously provides free standard shipping on USA and Rest of World orders totalling more than AUD $129. 

For orders totalling less than this amount, the following flat rates will apply for standard postage:

NZ: AUD $15

Asia, USA and Canada: AUD $15

Rest of World: AUD $25

Stella Phoenix uses third party courier companies and mail carriers to deliver customer orders. Each company has their own terms, conditions and processes which are outside of our control. Parcels are delivered according to the terms and conditions of the selected courier or carrier. Stella Phoenix is only responsible for your parcel up until the point it leaves our physical care. All risk in the Product shall pass to you upon delivery.

It is your responsibility to take care when opening the Product or packaging so as not to damage it. From the time when risk passes to you, we will not be liable for loss or damage to the Product except as otherwise provided below.

A person must be available at the specified shipping address to sign for delivery. If the courier company allows, you may grant them authority to leave the Product at a designated area (for example, at the front door) when placing your order. If you do, you understand and agree that this authority gives us and/or our couriers permission to leave the Product unattended at the place specified by you without obtaining a signature confirming delivery. In such circumstances, you understand and agree that by granting authority to leave the Products, we and our couriers are released of all responsibility and liability for the Products delivered and left unattended, and that this responsibility and liability transfers to you upon delivery.

Customers will receive an email confirming who is managing the delivery of their order, along with a tracking number. If your parcel does not arrive as expected, your first port of call is to contact the courier company or mail carrier, quoting your tracking number. If unresolved to your satisfaction, please make contact with us as a second step.

Stella Phoenix is not liable for delays or failure in delivery for circumstances that are outside our reasonable control (including third party policies and processes). For example, error or omission by courier companies/mail carriers or customs/importation processes. We are also not liable for delivery issues associated with limited access to the property or inaccurate/incomplete contact/address information provided by customers.

Delivery timeframes:

Delivery timeframes are approximate and provided as a guide only. Actual delivery times will depend on the courier service and your location.

Orders will be posted by us within 2 business days of the order being placed on our website.


We use Express post. Once shipped, please allow 1-3 days for Australia Post to deliver your order.

Rest of World

International deliveries will be sent via DHL and may take 7-14 business days depending on where you are located.

We recommend our customers make adequate time allowances for shipping delays when ordering to avoid disappointment. If your order is urgent, please email us at [email protected] prior to ordering.

The order price does not include or cover any applicable importation charges, taxes and duties for customers in the country where the order is to be delivered. The customer is responsible for such taxes and duties. Stella Phoenix has no control over customs or importation processes specific to each destination. We are not liable for customs delays or non-delivery of items due to customs policies and processes.

We reserve the right to refuse any order placed with us for any reason, at our sole discretion.
Only approved Stella Phoenix wholesalers are permitted to wholesale our product.
All orders placed with Stella Phoenix are for domestic use and products must not be resold unless previously organised.

Any retailer interested in wholesaling Stella Phoenix pieces is required to fill out a Wholesale Application Form.

Approved retailers will be required to sign a Stella Phoenix Wholesale Agreement. All terms and conditions pertaining to our wholesale relationship will be as per this agreement.

Please note that minimum order amounts apply and product must be paid for upfront. Stella Phoenix does not wholesale on consignment. For drop shipping arrangements, product must be paid for upfront and a quarterly warehousing management fee applies.

If retailers wish to avoid this fee, it is recommended they ship the product upon purchase and manage their own warehousing.

Stella Phoenix may decline a Wholesale Application, for any reason, at our discretion. We reserve the right to revoke our Wholesale Agreement at any time, for any reason.

This contract is governed by the laws of Queensland, Australia and the Commonwealth of Australia and such other laws which are applicable in the country where the consumer is resident.

Stella Phoenix puts a lot of effort into providing a personalised service to our customers. If you have any questions or feedback please email us at [email protected] as we love hearing from you.

Please also email us if you have a complaint. We will endeavour to respond to your complaint within 5 business days of acknowledging our receipt of it. If you submit a complaint and do not receive a written acknowledgement, please contact us again to double check it has been received.

We pride ourselves on the quality of our customer service and will make every reasonable attempt to resolve a problem or complaint to the mutual satisfaction of all parties.

In the event that you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you may refer the complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

From 2019 onwards, all new Stella Phoenix pieces come with a certificate of authenticity. Each certificate will have a tracking number and other security features to prevent certificate fraud. If you receive your new item without a certificate of authenticity, or you suspect you’ve received a fraudulent item and certificate, please email us immediately at [email protected]

Please note that any suspected copy or fraud of our products, certificates, branding or IP will be referred to law enforcement agencies and vigorously pursued.

Please ensure you keep your certificate safe. If you decide to apply to ‘sell back’ your items in our pre-loved program, you will be required to provide it.

Stella Phoenix may choose to offer samples for sale at a discounted price. These items may have been worn and may also have minor faults or defects. The known faults or defects will be disclosed to the customer prior to purchase, however the customer accepts that there may be other faults or defects unknown to us. The customer purchases the product knowing it may not present or perform to the standard of a new, full priced garment. Stella Phoenix is not liable for the faults and defects on sample items and will not accept returns.

Please note that any third-party website or platform advertising discount codes for Stella Phoenix are not authorised by us, nor will be honoured.

Stella Phoenix cares first and foremost about the safety and wellbeing of our little customers. We therefore have stringent safety practices that we implement in our design. Our pieces undergo stringent quality control before being shipped to customers. This safety warning is a friendly reminder for parents, guardians and supervising adults.

Our pieces may contain small parts, including but not limited to sewn-in buttons, removable buttons, studs, sequins, beads, appliqués and other embellishments that may present a choking hazard to babies and small children.

Stella Phoenix Gift Certificates are valid for a period of 3 years and expire either on the expiration date as specified on the certificate, or in the case that the company ceases to trade or goes into liquidation.

Gift Certificates are not transferrable for cash, must be spent before the expiration date and are non refundable.

The Gift Recipient is non transferrable.

In instances where the purchase total is less than the Gift Certificate amount, no change will be given.

To redeem a Gift Certificate, customers must use the unique one time code on their certificate at the check out. Gift Certificates cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers or discounts.

In instances whereby Stella Phoenix suspects Gift Certificate fraud, the order will not be honoured, at our discretion.

If a customer submits a PayPal claim (or other third party payment provider claim) for a refund and that refund is awarded by PayPal or the other third party, the customer has 7 days to return the relevant item/s to Stella Phoenix at their own expense.

If the item is not returned within the specified timeframe, is lost or otherwise not received, without valid reason, Stella Phoenix will vigorously pursue criminal charges with law enforcement for stolen goods at our sole discretion.