by Kathy Dumbleton
Biloela entrepreneur Jasmine Wallace’s online clothing business Buckaroo Boutique has been named 2018 Australian Boutique of the Year in The Boutique Awards, an international project to recognise outstanding specialty fashion outlets across the USA, Australia, UK and Canada.
The business was also awarded Australian Online Boutique of the Year.
“That still blows my mind!” Jasmine says. “I simply didn’t consider my brand at the calibre of other contenders.”
Running her own award-winning fashion line s is a far cry from where Jasmine was a year and a half ago, working as a safety systems officer at Callide Mine.
After the birth of her first child Jasmine returned to work full time, but between running the family cattle property and assisting her husband with their bull breeding program, she was struggling to balance her commitments.
“My daughter and I were both sick for what felt like eight months of the year. It was at this stage I realised I wanted to restructure my work/life balance and be a more present mother and wife,” Jasmine said.
The idea for Buckaroo Boutique was born from a conversation Jasmine had with her then co-worker Helen.
“Helly and I both felt that the Australian country western fashion was stale, and lacked the modern eclectic flare so readily available overseas.”
While Jasmine initially started Buckaroo Boutique in partnership with Helen, a few months in Helen’s own commitments took precedence and Jasmine became sole runner of the business.
It was also at this time Jasime was offered a redundancy due to a company restructure at the mine, and she gratefully accepted.
Already experienced in managing the social media for their existing business Wallace Bucking Bulls, Jasmine understood the importance of constant postings on the business’ newly formed Facebook and Instagram pages.
“Two or three days away from the social media loop in the online fashion game is business suicide,” Jasmine said.
To make the online business a success, Jasmine had to learn how to photograph and model the clothes.
“The initial reluctant modelling of clothing was out of necessity, and without any formal photography training I learnt how to use my cameras self-timer and googled ‘how to photograph using natural light’,” she said.
Over time, Jasmine has learned to use natural light to her advantage.
“I have learnt which sheds on our property to take photos in, and around at certain times of the day.”
Less than two years on, Jasmine is happy with the growth of her business venture and has developed a strong domestic and international customer base.
“I have learnt a lot about myself, my capabilities, strengths and weaknesses, but most of all I enjoy assisting women to feel empowered and wonderful, expressing themselves through their clothes,” Jasmine said.
Within the next few months Jasmine will be taking Buckaroo Boutique on the road in a fully renovated 1960s retro Valliant caravan named Valerie.
“I am so excited for the adventures with Valerie, which will take Buckaroo Boutique to selected campdrafts and rodeos in Queensland and New South Wales.”