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Our owner, and Creative Director, Shevonne, gives an update on our transition to made-to-order fashion.

A few months ago we made the announcement about our final transition to a complete made-to-order model for Stella Phoenix.

I didn’t lie then, and I won’t lie now, I was N E R V O U S.

I mean, I was E X C I T E D. But, the golf ball in my throat was real. How would this go? How would our customers respond to it? In a world where everyone wants fashion NOW NOW NOW, could we achieve our dream of mindful, thoughtful, made-with-love fashion?

It’s not like this transition came as a complete shock to our customers. In 2020, we moved to the prelude of made-to-order which was a pre-order model. How that worked was we launched, and customers had a week to get their orders in, then we made them and shipped before moving on to the next drop. Again, I won’t lie in that our first go at this model was an absolute debacle. COVID shut down our manufacturing and interrupted supply deliveries, the lady managing our manufacturing had to leave just as we started because her daughter tragically, unexpectedly, and gut-wrenchingly, passed away. A member of her team stepped up to carry the load, but the tragedy put all of their production behind schedule, including ours. It was something none of us could prepare for, and as Mothers ourselves, our hearts just bled for her.

Then on top of this, COVID shipping was an absolute nightmare. Shipping routes were suspended without notice, orders sat at the airport for weeks. It felt like juggling balls of fire that were burning our fingers.

But to my great surprise, our customers were fantastic about it. We faced the wind, we were vulnerable, and we got through it – they L O V E D their pieces, and then they came back again to order next time. We evolved our model and cut our production time down to 3 weeks. The next time was smoother.

But as great as the pre-order model was, it had limitations. Firstly, we had to make sure everyone was ready to order during the pre-order window to get the orders made at once. And, if you ordered in the beginning of the pre-order window, you had to wait for everyone else to get their orders in before we started sewing. Customers missed out. I realised that in order to achieve the made-to-order dream, we would need to transition away from our traditional manufacturing relationships and hire our own team of sewers.

People told me I would never find the right people. That highly skilled sewers are hard to find – especially in Australia where there is a skills shortage due to everyone sending their manufacturing offshore. But again, I faced the wind, and I went for it. In the middle of a pandemic. Where everything was crazy, and nothing made sense, and nothing went to plan, even when you planned it with a buffer.

I not only found sewers, but I found highly skilled, amazing, beautifully talented sewers. Mum’s and Grandma’s who had lost their jobs due to COVID. Beautiful women who were not only passionate about quality fashion, but also loved the made-to-order concept. Together, we worked out our made-to-order process and we got to work.

How the made-to-order model works is customers order, we send the orders to our sewers, they sew the pieces with love, and we ship. It takes up to 10 business days for us to turn an order around – it sometimes takes less time than this, depending on what’s ordered and how many orders we are managing. Orders are made in the order they are ordered. That’s a lot of ordering in one sentence, but you get it.

I’m pleased to report that transitioning to a made-to-order model has been the single best decision we’ve ever made – commercially, environmentally, humanly. It feels like our made with love plane has finally come into land.

Our customers have embraced it, and love it [thank you]. They look at their daughters wearing their pieces, and think about their future. They think about the women who are embroiled in modern-day slavery [a truly complex topic]. They watch their little girls full of joy in their Princess outfits, making memories, writing family stories, and feeling special and beautiful – and they know that no one suffered for this moment. This moment was designed, sewn, created, with love. This really is priceless.

I visit our sewers weekly. We laugh, and have fun. I cuddle their pets, and chat with their kids, and see photos and hear stories about their grandkids, and we have become friends. They have become a crucial part of Stella Phoenix. It feels almost like they’ve replaced a missing limb. We’ve had some minor process adjustments, but mainly it has all gone like clockwork!

The BEST part is now we have our own team of sewers, we have been able to dabble in custom pieces for ready-made prices – and customers have loved it. We’ve also been able to make any top/bottom combination that takes the customers fancy, instead of them being locked into set-pieces as advertised on the website. This has meant that our customers are able to come on the design journey with us and truly tailor their special pieces to their little girls style, and tastes!

Sitting down with a coffee to reflect on this journey has been profound. There have been moments of shock and sadness, moments of feeling like we’re trying to solve a Rubix cube, moments of despair. But mostly, there has been moments of pure joy. Of excitement. Of feeling like we are changing the world for the better, one flutter at a time. Seeing little girls loving their pieces, refusing to take them off, sleeping in them, dancing, leaping, creating new identities for themselves in their imaginary worlds, making magic moments in the middle of two of the darkest years we’ve seen in the history of the world – and knowing all of that was made with love – is amazing.

No more ready-made fashion for us. We are standing in the future and it is GLORIOUS.

Shevonne x

If you’re like a lot of people out there, you are ready to throw fast fashion on the scrap heap or at least have an appetite to explore that further.

Welcome!

We saw a stat on @citizen_wolf [a fantastic Australian-made ethical t-shirt brand] that 1 in 5 people have now started shopping more ethically and sustainably since the pandemic began. This is fantastic news, and the beginning of a new, beautiful movement in fashion. That’s 1 in 5 people who have said no to the slave labour, destroying the environment and animal cruelty of fast fashion.

However, for real change to occur, we need to see more people making the transition. And, if we don’t, we have all seen the reports that detail the environmental devastation we are likely to see in as little as 10 years. So, yesterday was the best time to start making a shift in how we consume.

Of course, educating people about the issues that exist and how their clothes are really made is part of the solution. But, if we’re honest with ourselves, we know that most people already know about this.

As we see it, the next step is helping people to make that leap. Because for some of us we know it’s important we take this step, but we feel it’s a loss to us.

We do not want to discount those feelings. Fashion is deeply emotional. It’s a representation of ourselves. And, with every piece we shop, we satisfy a need within us. It becomes part of us. So, the brands and pieces we regularly shop become very personal to us.

There are many reasons people may continue with their same shopping habits (and there may be more, so please feel free to share with us!):

  1. They think that by buying less, but higher quality, they are still losing. Our brain loves to equate quantity with more, and better. Fast fashion brands play on this. The truth is, you’re only gaining by buying less, but better quality.
  2. They think it’s unaffordable. Fast fashion has trained us that clothes need to be frequently replaced at high volumes. The truth is, if they are fast fashion, they do need to be replaced. However, if you are buying true quality pieces, they will last. You will not need to consume at the same rate and they will go further for you – this will actually save you money.
  3. They don’t know where to start. It seems overwhelming and hard. We will help you with this.
  4. Shopping fast fashion is convenient. Trust us when we say, only in this very moment right here. Only at the point of purchase. It’s inconvenient in every other way, including how often you have to throw out and keep shopping, and how it’s destroying our environment, well-being, jobs and community. Once you get yourself going on the new way, you will realise how exhausting the old way is!


So now we know that you are not losing, it’s not unaffordable, it’s easy to start AND it’s more convenient, let’s talk about how to transition to buying more ethically and sustainably.

The Theia Dress.

Firstly, please focus on progress, not perfection.

Replacing an entire wardrobe in one go could be the most fun and exciting thing you can think of OR it can seem completely overwhelming. If you’re the former, great go for gold and enjoy every moment of it. If you’re the latter, please understand that you do not need to be perfect at this or do everything at once. Part of a transition is experimentation. Focus on replacing your wardrobe one quality piece at a time, try out new brands, try out new looks, don’t be afraid if you don’t get it perfect the first time. You are learning. Once you get a handle on it and you look into your wardrobe with love and excitement instead of shame, you will realise it’s the best thing you’ve ever done.

Also, if you really love a particular brand but you know it’s not as sustainable as you’d like, you don’t necessarily have to ditch it altogether. Just shop it less, and shop quality, ethical, sustainable brands more. Think of it as treating yourself to a little chocolate every now and again.

Do your research.

This can seem like a lot of hard work upfront, but do your research to find those little niche brands. Part of their appeal is that not everyone is wearing them, so it can take a little longer to find. Trust us when we say once you find them, you’ll never want to let them go though. Search Google, Instagram, ask around for recommendations, read websites. There is a lot of greenwashing going on. Avoid buying from places that manufacture in areas known for human rights abuses. Focus on those who don’t mass produce, and even have made to order models. Yes, you will have to wait a short time longer for your piece, but you can wear it in confidence that you’re being a great global citizen.

If a brand is not upfront with their manufacturing practices, avoid them like the plague. There is a reason they are trying to divert your attention away from that.

Look for transeasonal, timeless pieces.

Sometimes it’s fun to buy something a little on trend so don’t be afraid to do that every now and again. But for the most part, focus on transeasonal, timeless pieces that will never age and last generations. These are pieces you can wear for summer, layer for winter and style for Spring and fall. It’s amazing how different an outfit can look with styling as you take it through the year. It also means it’s always on trend because it’s timeless.

When it comes to kids clothes, high quality brands will last through multiple kids and still be beautiful enough to be packed away in their treasure boxes for if they have children of their own. You just can’t beat that!

Define what ethical and sustainable means to you.

While there are some blanket decisions you may make in order to shop more ethically (for example, vegan leather), please avoid fabrics you don’t love. For example, linen. If you hate the crinkle, and the ironing, don’t buy it just because it’s more ‘sustainable.’ It becomes very unsustainable if you don’t wear it because it annoys you. Sometimes it takes thinking outside the box to work out what sustainable means in your individual context. Instead, you might prefer cotton, or a cotton blend. And sometimes, pieces with a little polyester can hold their shape better and last longer. Yes, we need to consider what our pieces are made from, but we also need to consider how often we will wear and love them. The latter can also make them more sustainable.

We do believe that how we shop will become a reflection of our social reputation and part of our role in being a good citizen. The best time to start is now so you’re not left behind.

That wraps up our tips for how to begin your journey to ditch fast fashion. If you have any others, please feel free to comment on this blog, we’d love to hear them!

Happy shopping!

As we promised when we transitioned to our made-to-order model, we have continually evolved it [over a short period of time!] to make it as simple, convenient and fun for you.

Previously, we ran a pre-order window where we collected your orders all at once and made them all at once. This was a great model as it allowed people to plan for ordering from each drop. But, what it lacked was a true sense of flexibility. It meant customers had to be ready to order when we opened pre-order and many people missed out after pre-order closed. It also meant that customers who ordered early had to wait for everyone else to get their orders in before we could start making.

We’re pleased to announce we have now transitioned to a true made-to-order model where we make your order when you’re ready to order it [while stocks last].

Our New Made to Order Process

  1. When you’re ready to order, simply order on our website like you always have
  2. We will make your gorgeous pieces in 10 business days from when we receive your order [and keep you updated along the way like we always have!]
  3. We will also offer an early bird order window. There’s no pressure to order by a certain date, but if you do order by our early bird deadline you’ll be rewarded with special Stella prices! After the early bird deadline, prices will revert back to our usual RRP.

While we encourage thoughtful shopping, by the very nature of our brand, our pieces remain limited and rare. We therefore still encourage customers to order as soon as they can so they don’t miss out.

You can now also order separates!

We will also be offering customers the flexibility to order separates; this is, tops, bottoms [bloomers, shorts, skirts, pants] or, full statement pieces if you wish [dresses, playsuits, jumpsuits]. This means if you want a lot of Stella, you can have a lot. Or, if you just feel like a little Stella to give your little loves wardrobe some pep, you can have a little. Simply look at the product description to decide what to order. For example, The Kelly Shorts are the shorts only, The Kelly Flutter Top is the top only, The Kelly Playsuit is the full outfit.

We would love to hear your thoughts on our new way of shopping. Questions? Feel free to email us at [email protected]

WHAT.

WHAT.

WHAT.

WHAT.

Yes!

While other fashion brands are all about trying to get you to buy MORE, we have decided to dial it back. Why? Well, the truth is you don’t need to buy more. In fact, you need to buy less. And we’re not going to tell you you need to do something when you quite simply don’t. I mean, call us crazy, but we’re genuine like that.

Also, something else we’ve noticed? People are exhausted from having to buy things that just fall apart, and make us feel ashamed. SO.MUCH.BUYING. SO.MUCH.THROWING.OUT. SO.MUCH.SHAME. And throwing out, and buying, and throwing out, and shame.

We’ve realised that thoughtful shopping is the key to happiness and we dig it.

We’ve been talking about this for a while, but now we’ve decided to show you. Because the truth of the matter is when you choose well and high-quality pieces, you need less, less often. But more than that, when you choose Stella, you get to create more from the outfits you buy.

Keen to know how? Read on!

We have created two scenarios below for you to see how you can wear Stella from AUD $42 an outfit all year round.

LET’S BE CLEAR.

It’s from AUD $42 an outfit for luxury, high-quality childrenswear that will not only last, be comfortable, and delight your little love endlessly, but will also be the envy of everyone else on the playground! (Note: also, can be passed on to siblings/friends/family, put in a keepsake box, or on-sold to someone else when you are finished!)

We’ve split our scenario’s into size ranges for simplicity, but bear in mind that often we have pieces that cross over all sizes too.

Scenario 1: Sizes 1-5

We’ve taken 3 statement outfits: The Evangeline Playsuit, The Juno Set (dress and playsuit pants) and The Carla Skirt and created 9 different looks using the kind of cute, staple pieces you likely already have in your mini’s wardrobe (or would be planning on buying anyway). Remember: while we’ve created 9 looks, you can create way more, especially if you already have Stella in your wardrobe!

Here you can see we’ve:

    • Attached The Evangeline Mushroom top to the DIVINE wine Carla Skirt for a new ultimate glam dress
    • Layered all the outfits for winter, and popped some leggings or socks on with The Juno for cooler days.
    • Paired the gorgeous pink satin playsuit bottoms of The Evangeline with a cute little cardigan (tights and boots are great too!)
    • Pop a different coloured playsuit pant on with The Juno, here we have paired it with the pink Evangeline playsuit pants
    • While the wine coloured playsuit bottoms in the Juno set don’t have buttonholes, fear not – you can still create new outfits with them. Simply pop on your little loves favourite leotard/blouse/studded bodysuit underneath the bloomers (or even the Juno dress itself) and, voila!

 

Note: If you threw The Indianna May Dress into the mix, we could also pair The Indianna May top with the pink Evangeline bloomers and the mushroom flutter top of The Evangeline with the floral Indianna May skirt! New playsuit and dress!

Total RRP for The Evangeline, The Juno and The Carla Skirt: AUD $378.

Cost per outfit created through mix and match, plus layering and styling pieces on their own: from AUD $42.

Scenario 2: Size 5-10

Again, we’ve taken 3 core pieces: The Fleur Jumpsuit, The Indianna May Dress and The Carla Skirt and created 9 different outfits. Again: remember while we’ve created 9 looks, you can create way more, especially if you already have Stella in your wardrobe!

    • Despite the fact The Fleur only has one button which deviates from the classic Stella two-button look, it’s still hugely versatile. Not only can you layer or wear it on its own, but the tailored, sparkly culotte style pant is super stylish when worn with a mustard cardigan (purple or dark grey would look lovely too)
    • The Indianna May Dress can be worn floral on floral, or floral on wine velvet by pairing The Carla Skirt.
    • You can also wear The Carla Skirt on its own, or the floral skirt on its own with your favourite little top.

 

Additional option: As with above, you could pair the mushroom flutter top of The Evangeline with the Indianna May floral skirt, or Indianna May top with the pink playsuit pants!

If you wanted you could throw in some bows as well – attach a bow to a collared shirt as a bow tie or to a hat! There are so many options it’s enough to make anyone dizzy, but the sweet little sketches we’ve done illustrate some examples!

Total RRP for The Fleur, The Indianna May and The Carla Skirt: AUD $466.

Cost per outfit created through mix and match, plus layering and styling pieces on their own: from AUD $51.

What about exposed buttonholes?

Never fear, we have a clever solution to ensure you always have a polished look. We have created special Stella Phoenix aged brass buttons that sit in lonely buttonholes to complete your outfit when bottom pieces are worn on their own (if you’d like to order some, get in touch!)

Shopping Stella is about thinking differently about your purchases. When you look at it from this perspective, not only is it affordable, but it’s a MUST HAVE. Yes, AUD $197 alone might seem like a lot for a dress to some, however when you realise:

    1. How easy (and frankly fun!) it is to get more out of your investment
    2. The quality and beauty of what your little love gets to wear and;
    3. The fact that our pieces are ethically made with love in Australia

 

One must ask themselves, why would you bother with fast fashion again?

Happy shopping (and styling!)

Ps. We’re always happy to help you with styling – just get in touch!

 

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 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 find that people who would order our product anyway are our ideal customers, and therefore, our ideal collaborators because they understand our value on a deeper, more intuitive level. We, therefore, prioritise projects with genuine customers and fans of our brand who already shop our products.

We are also very generous, and love supporting fellow complementary brands and businesses, including dressing little Queens for special events, 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]

EEE! The rumours are true!

Stella Phoenix has just stepped into the accessories arena. But, not any kind of accessories. Luxury, high quality, 100% Australian premium merino wool and soft bridal tulle bows. With sparkle of course. For glam little Queens.

These stunning bows have been designed by the Stella Phoenix team and exclusively hand-made with love in Australia by our friend, Kirsty @feltinbloom.

If you’ve been following, and shopping, us for some time now, you will have learned that we are serious about our values. We want to have a positive impact on the communities we work with and serve. This is why we have implemented our Mindful Fashion Plan. It’s why we are 100% Australian made. And, it’s why we painstakingly ensure all the details are just-so for you and your little loves.

We have been thinking about accessories for a long time, however, we did not want to compromise on our values. When the opportunity came up for Kirsty to make our exclusive, luxury designs, we thought it was the perfect fit!

Kirsty is a Mum to two beautiful kids, a boy aged 3 and a girl aged 4. She is married to an incredibly supportive and amazing man. In her day job, she makes chocolates (ummm, don’t forget who your friends are when there are spares!) but by night she is making beautiful felt creations – by hand (chocolates and gorgeous bows, what’s not to love?!)

Kirsty shares our values of making stunning treasures that never compromise on quality and are ethical. We have created a design that aligns with our enduring philosophy: simple, yet clever. As with everything, we’ve gone full ultimate bow – and we’re sure you’ll appreciate that!

We have no doubt you will love our gorgeous bows as much as we do. In fact, you’ll probably never look at bows the same way again!

On a scale of 0 – WOW-EE, how excited are you? We are so grateful to Kirsty for coming on this journey with us.

Shop our first release of Amelia Bows here.

We’ve all been there. Where’s there? That place where we have hit the buy now button on a million impulse buys that seemed like a good idea at the time but now you or your little love have NOTHING TO WEAR.

Why? When you lay their items out in the cold light of day, they miss the mark somehow. Maybe it’s the cut or quality you are having second thoughts on. Or, there’s no synergy with the way they fit together for complete looks. Or, maybe you thought your little one would love them, only for them to refuse to wear it (EEEEK!)

Fast fashion has programmed us to mindlessly buy. It has disconnected us and our children from what we wear. It has eroded the value of fashion. Who cares if they don’t wear it when it only cost $15? Well, how many of those $15 purchases are going to waste? End up sitting crumpled in the bottom of the wardrobe? Fall apart on the first wash? End up in landfill? Fill op shops completely orphaned because no one else wants them?

And what do our little ones learn? That fashion doesn’t matter. That items are disposable. That everyone looks the same. That they have to be a slave to trends and continual wardrobe attrition is a way of life.

It feels numb. Empty. Alone.

Here at Stella Phoenix, we want you and your little one to experience the joy of beautiful pieces.

Wearing them.

Exploring them.

Learning about style. And identity. And how to express yourself through what you wear.

We want them to understand how to be their own fashion icon in a way that feels good for them and positively supports them to be brave enough to be themselves. After all, fashion is an art form. It’s a personal expression and celebration of who you are. It’s something to be loved and shared and valued and passed down. It’s an opportunity to tell stories, to re-live precious memories and milestones.

We understand it can be hard to know where to begin with changing the way you shop and value fashion. It can be hard to slow down. But, the truth is you don’t need MORE.

The customers of ours who get the most out of their wardrobes, and that of their little ones, are those who curate. We’d love to share some tips with you so you can learn how to do this too (and if anyone has any other tips, please feel free to share!)

Disclaimer: curating a wardrobe sounds like a lot of work, particularly for parents who are short on time. However, the investment upfront will save you time and stress later.

Rather than a process or a chore, it will become a way of life. Before you know it, you’ll be picking up the most amazing finds and always have that perfect piece at your disposal. Your wardrobe will become your own personal collection. You will be driving your shopping, instead of it driving you. Bliss!

How to curate your little ones wardrobe:

    1. Choose a colour palette

      The cool thing about colour is that you really don’t have to follow many rules with this. If you want to focus on seasonal colour trends, sure. If you don’t want to, great. If you want to blend a mixture of both, go for gold! The colour palette is yours and yours alone.

      For example, who says that all baby suits need to be pastel pink?

      Think about what colours you are gravitating towards. How they reflect where your little one is in their life. The story they will tell about them. Consider the colours they already have in their wardrobe and how the new palette will fit in. Don’t be afraid to be brave with colour, but ensure whatever you choose is cohesive.

      For example, are you going to go for earthy or pastel tones? Or bright colours? Is there a way you could add a bright colour here or a disco shimmer there that will be a cool complimentary twist?

      The colour palette forms the basis of the pieces you will search for. Depending on what you discover, you might evolve it. It’s a fluid tool, but a good starting place.

    1. Include your little one in the selection process

      It goes without saying that the garment will get so much more use if your little love is invested in it too. This means the cost per wear will go down. Play towards their interests and encourage them to experiment and explore with their clothes.

      Ask her what she thinks of different pieces and looks, gain her buy-in and pay attention to what’s important to her.

      Think about her wardrobe as a set of experiences. If she likes being a Princess, consider pieces that feed into her creativity. If she likes to be a superhero or a rock star, do the same.

      Consider any sensory issues (if your child has them). Don’t be afraid to ask brands about the placement of tags or how they line their garments to make sure it will be comfortable and enjoyable. Pay attention to fabrics to ensure they are soft and won’t be irritating.

      Create a list of non-negotiables based on what’s important to both of you. For example, ethically made pieces or what fabrics you will enjoy (for example, if you hate ironing, linen will drive you insane. You may prefer cotton blends!)

    1. Buy statement pieces as well as great quality neutral basics

      Focus on high quality statement pieces that enable you to create lots of different looks depending on how you style them. The more versatile the better as you are able to have more wow factor while buying less.

      The key is to think about longevity and transition through seasons, moods, events.

      Research different looks and layering techniques to see what catches your eye. Spend time playing fashion stylist with your little one and seeing how many beautiful new looks you can create!

    1. Don’t go overboard on bold patterns

      Matching pattern on pattern can be tricky so keep bold patterns limited. This will make it easier to mix and match. If you like a pattern go for tonal prints or jacquards with a select few statement patterns so mix and match is easier.

    1. Spend time researching and exploring new brands

      Think about ways you can go about discovering new brands and make a list of your go-to favourites. This gets you out of the endless mindset of going back to the same ol, same ol and empowers you to find quirky, unique and good quality brands that will have your little love jumping for joy or strutting with confidence in her new outfit.

    1. Arrange your child’s wardrobe by size

      Once you’ve found all your beautiful pieces, this is a handy tip that will enable you to get the most out of the smaller sizes before they grow out of them. If you’re buying good quality and versatile pieces, they will last through seasons and be able to be packed away as keepsakes or passed along as treasured family heirlooms.

Happy curating!

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. We are also unable to guarantee an item will arrive on or before Christmas Day.

In addition, in the current climate, shipping routes are subject to be cancelled by postal carriers and couriers due to COVID related challenges without notice. The following shipping routes have been temporarily cancelled:

  • Australia to Canada
  • Australia to China

Please note from 15 December 2021, for customers who order from these destinations, we will make your items and securely hold them until these shipping routes re-open. We will keep you updated on developments.

Despite the significant increase in shipping costs, we will continue to cover shipping on full priced statement pieces over AUD$129 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.

Made-to-order is the future of fashion. Ethical and sustainable fashion is good for humanity, the environment, local jobs and our global communities. In line with these values, Stella Phoenix is now only releasing items for purchase via made-to-order whereby a customer submits their order and payment, and Stella Phoenix will subsequently make the ordered item/s. Stella Phoenix will provide an estimated timeframe for your items to be manufactured [which is currently 10 business days from the date we receive your order] and shipped, however we cannot guarantee manufacturing or shipping timeframes and have no liability for such delays. Please note: an order is not considered received until we have confirmed it via email and received payment. We may, from time to time, release samples, or other ready made items, at our discretion, where it doesn’t compromise our values.

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.

Australia

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.

International

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.

We estimate our orders will be made in 10 business days from the date we receive your order. It will be packed and shipped by us within 1-2 business days of receiving the finished item/s from our sewing team.

Australia

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.