#PerthGirlBoss 4: Kelsie Gunn of Strange Lane

Who doesn’t love online shopping? Anywhere, anytime you can always get your shopping fix (hello couch, trackpants and laptop!) And thank goodness the days when shopping online would take money away from local business and fill the bank account of an overseas corporation. As you know I love supporting local businesses so when I find online boutiques that are run here in Perth it makes me pretty excited. One of my favs is Strange Lane an online boutique  stocking brands such as Indikah, Madison Square, Runaway and Isla by Talulah. Strange Lane is run by down to earth, Perth gal Kelsie Gunn and Kelsie was nice enough to give Running in Chanel readers an insight into what it is like to run an online business.

1. Tell me a little about yourself – have you always loved fashion?

It’s always hard starting off talking about yourself, but here goes! English born and moved to Perth as a child. I am an avid coffee lover, magazine hoarder and pseudo-crafty person! If you were to visit my apartment you’d be bombarded with an eclectic assortment of mismatch furniture, half-made craft projects and quite a few pairs of unworn shoes sitting on my stairs begging to be worn just once – I live in my leopard-print slip on sneakers.

Fashion has been the centre-point of my life, isn’t it for almost every girl?! I love design, I love fabric, I love patterns, I love colour and mostly, I just loved how you can put on a special piece of clothing and feel like you can take over the world. Fashion and style isn’t about vanity, it’s an extension of your own unique personality, and you are beautiful – so dress accordingly!  I believe in quality over quantity, a gorgeous fitting white t-shirt, a well-made pair of jeans, and above all – a divine pair of shoes (even if they just sit on your stairs!)

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Kelsie Gunn – down to earth business chick of Strange Lane.

2. What was your decision behind starting Strange Lane?

I’m a picky shopper, I would trawl through different stores and feel so disappointed in what was being offered. It felt like every store had the same style and it just didn’t offer much variance – and if they did – I was looking at dropping some serious $$ in order to get it.

It was a slow labour of love – I started a similar premise back in 2012, it was a hobby selling trinkets and jewellery – a few casual pieces of clothing. I moved to Melbourne and back in a short period of time and put it all on hiatus for a year to settle my life a little. Then one day, I was looking through my storage and saw all my old stock and decided to start it all back up again. It’s been such an over whelming response, thanks to this new fandangled thing called “Social Media”  – I’m so excited that Perth ladies are loving Perth businesses!

3. What kind of woman is the Strange Lane woman?

Ooh – good question! All women! Our business slogan is “Be a little different” – our mantra, if you will.  Every woman is different, is unique, and is beautiful – we are wanting to appeal to the little difference in each woman. You are f*cking special – own it! (Pardon my language!)

4. Describe Strange Lane in 3 words: 

Best. Store. Ever! (Just kidding, but seriously..)

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5. Every item at Strange Lane is affordable. When creating your business was affordability for customers a priority?

Oh, but of course! There is nothing worse than looking at something, falling in love with it and realising you’re not going to get change from $100. Nothing at Strange Lane is over $150. We’re not looking to get anything more expensive than that any time soon. Customer experience is very important to us, and I know personally that after I’ve forked out $300 on a dress – the experience leaves me with a bitter-sweet taste in my mouth. I’m hoping we leave you with nothing but purely sweet!

6. What does your everyday style look like?

Totally casual. I love relaxed fits, ripped jeans and flats. I am hoping I look effortlessly chic, but I probably don’t. I am a monochrome fan, whites and blacks. I prefer to let my accessories stand out – but, I do have pink hair – so maybe it’s more that my hair does the talking! I am obsessing about the minimal jewellery trend at the moment, and I am wearing my wrist cuff daily – However, I did lose the little screw-driver to untighten it…so it may be because I can’t take it off! Help!

7. What clothing item should every woman should have in their wardrobe?

Does it have to be just 1?! I want to list so many! My absolute wardrobe staples is a correctly fitted bra. Your whole outfit can go wrong with the wrong size, shape and design of the bra. So get fitted properly, and once you do – get 100 in the right size!

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8. Strange Lane is an online boutique run in Perth. Why choose online rather than a “bricks and mortar” store?

While I was travelling here, there and everywhere it would have been hard to have a BM store, so online was the best fit for me and the business at the time. Saying that, a BM store is in the pipe-line and we’re currently scouting locations – exciting! The online portion of the business will always be there, we will never take ourselves solely offline. I love online shopping, I can be in my pyjamas and buy a fabulous dress – what is better than that?!

9. How important do you think it is for Perth women to support local businesses?

I remember seeing a photo online somewhere of a sign outside a business that read: “Did you know: If each of us spent $100 a year more on local businesses instead of chain stores, it would put an extra $3 million a year in to our economy, not only that, but it would create thousands more jobs every year!” We are a small city and it’s so, so important to support your local businesses, girl bosses, boy bosses and creative people in the Perth area. We are such a creative community, so spend a little bit more locally and nurture these people with passions – Plus, you don’t have to wait weeks to receive your goods – they’re all right here!

10. Finally, what are your future plans, ventures or ambitions for Strange Lane?

I’m definitely looking to showcase some more local Perth based designers and labels.  I want to see every creative person here flourish and would love to be involved with helping them achieve that. I’m looking to have a few pop-ups stores and eventually and BM store! I’ve got such high ambitions for Strange Lane, I’m even in talks about have our own exclusive basics label coming out very soon! It’s all a bit exciting! However, despite my personal ambitions, Strange Lane has been and always will be a platform for me to show the gorgeous designs of others, I’m happy being behind the scenes and support our local girl bosses! Dream big!

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Make sure you check out Strange Lane for some cool brands at seriously affordable prices (I love the Rise of Dawn cape!) Also did you happen to notice a certain someone in the above styled pictures? They are from my guest blog for Strange Lane where I show how to style my favourite pieces from Strange Lane so make sure you check it out!

JB xx

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