This week’s Ambassador Feature is with Rebecca O’Brien, BRIE Corporate
2017 Bronze winner of AusMumpreneur Retail Business award
Tell us about yourself and your business?
I am a 35 year old mum of two girls, Emerson 5 (my baby who started school this year) & Isla 7 and a wife a very supportive husband Brendan, a carpenter. I have a love of fashion and branding (and a sneaky obstacle race or crossfit session when I can!). I love educating organisations how to best represent their brand through their corporate wardrobes. I am a specialist consultant who designs and creates corporate uniform wardrobes for medium to large companies all over Australia. I design, manufacture and maintain the wardrobes from start to finish so the client doesn’t have to lift a finger.
What was your inspiration for your business?
After becoming a mum I had a need for flexibility, while working in the corporate uniform industry for 14 years and watching the industry change, I realised there was becoming a niche in the corporate uniform market for a consultant that handled everything for you and took the headache out of the entire process from start to finish, from design brief to delivery and ongoing support and service for the entirety of the contract. There was a need for a company that delivered quality custom made corporate uniforms that made the staff feel proud to wear the uniform and represent their organisations brand.
Did you have any experience in running a business or in this industry before?
No previous business running experience at all!! I threw myself into the deep end well and truly. I have however been working in the industry for 16 years now and so many life experiences along the way with a few different companies from children’s designer fashion label to a successful corporate uniform company. This experience put me in a great position to feel confident to start BRIE Corporate.
What’s your point of difference that makes your business special or unique?
BRIE Corporate is one of the only companies outside of Sydney and Melbourne who offer custom designed and manufactured Corporate Wardrobes for organisations. A client receives specialised service from start to finish and a customised wardrobe to go with this is a bonus.
What have you learnt about yourself since becoming an entrepreneur?
I love to be a leader and have a team around me I can teach and guide as they learn what I have over the past 16 years. I was born to enrich other people’s lives with my knowledge and that’s what keeps me going each day. I have also learnt I have a great weakness for paperwork and my strengths lie in designing, not admin and marketing!
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced and how have you overcome them?
Working from home would have to be the greatest blessing and challenge at the same time. Initially I found it quite challenging getting distracted by washing, the television, preparing dinner and normal household tasks which I thought was what I was “expected” to do as I worked from home. Soon I realised my business wasn’t moving forward and I needed to focus. We deleted the TV aerial and I now structure my working week down to the minute. I block out hours for different tasks and ensure that every moment the children are in care or at school I maximise.
What lessons have your business taught you about life?
My business has taught me that anyone can create their own path to success and that you can have the flexible lifestyle, and a family while fulfilling my need to be creative and successful. Business creates a whole new perspective on friendships as I now have 3 groups of friends, old school friends, school mum friends and then my business friends. All 3 groups have been invaluable at different times in the past few years while I have been managing a business and being a mum.
If you could go back to when you were starting your business and give your younger self some advice what would you tell her?
Make that call – don’t be such a scaredy cat and make that call!! One of my biggest weaknesses is selling myself and I keep putting off calling the “ideal clients” for risk of failure. I would tell myself to be more confident in my ability.
What’s next for your business?
Now that my baby is at school I have 5 full days to focus on the business and with a goal in 3 years to begin tendering on large government jobs, I am scaling my business carefully and gradually so we can take on the really big clients. I am anticipating doubling my turnover this year and getting one step closer to where I want to be.
If you could change the world, and money was no object, what would you do?
I would ensure that all women and girls around the world receive the same equal opportunities as men.
To learn more about Rebecca and BRIE Corporate, please visit
Nominations are open for the 2018 AusMumpreneur Awards!
Proudly presented by AusMumpreneur and The Women’s Business School, the AusMumpreneur Awards recognise the best and brightest in the Australian mumpreneur industry, acknowledging success in business, product development & innovation and customer service at a glamorous awards event held in Melbourne. Previous AusMumpreneur of the Year winners and finalists have been featured in national media including Sunrise, The Today Show, Today Tonight, Cosmopolitan, and the Herald Sun and The Australian since winning this award
To nominate yourself or a mumpreneur you admire, please click here. HURRY! Nominations close 29 June 2018.