I’m based on the Sunshine Coast on Kabi Kabi country and I design for my own fashion label, Rainbow Goddess. I previously had a company called Native Swimwear Australia.
Fashion has always been in my blood. My mother was a model and used to work for David Jones and Myer, and my grandmother sewed clothes for Rod Stewart and Days of Our Lives. She was a very well-known tailor, we’ve had fashion houses in our family for generation after generation.
I’ve been designing fashion since 2006. I lost a daughter in 2005 and I turned all my grief into my fashion career. That was my therapy. It also meant I could be around my children as they were growing up.
I’m going through chemotherapy, I’ve had cancer and a mastectomy and I’m going through a divorce. Chemo really drains you, I can’t really work for somebody else, but I’m opening a boutique and I’ll juggle as many things as the universe wants to throw at me.
I’m very honest about everything. Growing up, everything was such a taboo subject, nobody wanted to talk about anything, even about being Aboriginal. Why not? It might actually help somebody if you do talk about it!
I was at Fashion Week in Sydney and I was waiting for my coffee when I turned to Mandy from Global Sisters and introduced myself. She and the team have become a pillar of strength for me. They’ve given me IP support, media support, marketing support, every kind of support. Small business owners are trying to juggle everything but Global Sisters are there, whatever you need. I owe a lot to them. It’s a sisterhood. It’s my family.
”I drop the ball a lot - I don’t try to be perfect. Things take a bit longer because my life is a bit hectic. But I am so passionate about empowering women through fashion.
I’m in the process of changing my name back to my maiden name – not only am I rebranding my company but I’m rebranding myself. It is daunting. I was the first Aboriginal fashion designer ever to be invited to New York Fashion Week and I know that Global Sisters will help me get back on track. I keep the pinnacle of the mountain in my mind. When I get there I wonder if I’ll stay or if I’ll say, ‘I can keep going higher.’
”My message for the girls of today is to be true to yourself and believe in yourself. Own what you are and rock it. Loving yourself is the best medicine.Natalie BlacklockRainbow Goddess