Stella Phoenix generously provides free worldwide shipping for items over AUD $129. See our shipping terms for more info.

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Made to Order Fashion: Standing in the Future

November 12, 2021 · Life Style

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

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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.


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.

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.


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.