As we transition from hot summer nights to cold winter morning, we’re all looking to trade our oversized tees for something a bit warm and snuggly. But there’s a little sleepwear company determined to make sure this doesn’t mean we pass up style for comfort.
Starting out in 2013, the brand was launched by Western Australian friends Ivy Arellano and Loan Tran.
“Basically we kind of saw a gap for sleepwear in that you’ve got your comfy long sleeve flannos and oversized tees which are super comfy but they’re also a little bit daggy and then on the total other side you’ve got something really risky and sexy and I didn’t feel like there was an in between,” said Arellano.
The pair then began designing beautiful yet comfortable pyjamas to fulfil their ‘in between’ niche and researched different avenues of manufacturing including overseas manufacturers in China.
Difficulties of being a small company in a big factory
For businesses with smaller manufacturing needs it can be tough entering the Chinese market where scale means everything.
Arellano and Tran flew over with big hopes of finding a manufacturer and quickly realised how overwhelming it all was for a small business setting out.
“We realised that we’re such a small company and the orders are way above and beyond whatever we would be able to give them. So we kind of had a panic moment and had to sit on it for about it and look for alternates as to where we are going to go next.”
Finally, after much back and forth the pair managed to find a manufacturer that met their small scale needs and they continue to work with them.
Competing with big players
While the market is by no means saturated there are a few big giants, namely Peter Alexander, which have dominated the scene.
“I guess we always looked up to Peter Alexander and that’s how we fell in love with sleep wear and we knew he would never want to be in that same kind of field as he is. He does the beautiful comfy stuff really well and we kind of wanted to create an aesthetic that’s different from that so instead of I guess competing with him, we really wanted to provide customers with an alternative to what he already offers.”
Using Instagram to garner a following
From the get go the pair new that marketing their brand on social media would be essential for building a customer base and so they focused in on Instagram, blogging, Facebook and Snapchat.
“So the way we would really get involved in them is to be interactive, so questions are always answered, we’re always striving to find new people and that’s not based on followers it’s just based on movement and interest in our brand and I guess if they suit our aesthetics.”
The pair spend about 70 percent of their time engaging with their online audience as it is what really drives their business.
“We realise how important that is to our business and right now that’s the only kind of marketing that we’ve had so far and we attribute a lot of our success to marketing and that platform.”
Success for other small businesses
The pair attribute their success to their passion and say that it is what has kept them going whether it be late nights filling orders or dealing with their Chinese manufacturers.
“Along with being passionate you also need to believe in yourself and not give up so instead of taking what people might look at as failure find alternatives. Be really persistent, get really creative in the ways you have to get things done i.e. financial pressures.”
On the horizon
The pair hope that their success continues so they can make Hunter Rose their full-time job.
“We’ve been chatting about new collections and what other kind of avenues we want to move into so we’ve been toying into the idea of men’s and children’s but I think the next step would be a really beautiful lux range. I’m really excited and I can’t wait to show everyone what we’ve been doing.”