It’s the eternal dilemma facing millions world wide everyday: to treat yo self, or not treat yo self. Keeping up with the latest trends in women’s fashion is like trying to decide what to buy for lunch at uni: everything looks so amazing, and ideally you’d like to take the lot, however your bank account will only allow for one of two delicious items #firstworldproblems. Whether you’re buying for a specific event, or just need to look foooiiinneee this weekend, it can be a struggle to find that perfect piece that fits both you, your price range, and the look you’re going for; especially when some of our favourite brands are pumping out amazing and sought after collections like there’s no tomorrow.
Enter, One Night Stand Boutique. Born in 2012, Adelaide self confessed ‘fashion addict’ Natalia Chehade created One Night Stand to provide an Australia wide high end fashion hire service, that also offers items for purchase in their online store. With racks full of amazing pieces from Zimmerman, Sass & Bide, Keepsake, SCK, Finders Keepers, Bec and Bridge, Maurie and Eve, Nookie, and Cameo (trust us, the list is endless), ONS is a one-stop shop for anyone needing to look tight on a tight budget. This Is Radelaide caught up with Natalia to chat about all things ONS, and how she turned her idea into a successful business.
Tell us a bit about how One Night Stand began? What was your inspiration behind starting your business?
I worked in high fashion for years and was constantly faced with the school student who wanted to look a million dollars for her formal or birthday, but couldn’t afford the Zimmermann or Sass & Bide dress budget, or couldn’t justify spending hundreds of dollars to buy something they would only wear on one occasion. I am a Chehade, so my first job ever as a young teenager was behind the counter at the dry cleaners. As much as I lived and breathed fashion outside of work (buying every fashion magazine prior to social media being the go-to for current trends), I also dealt with the most luxury of brands at the dry cleaners every week, since Karl Chehade is famous for dealing with delicate and high-end fashion. I knew that it was possible for quality brands to be worn time and time again and come up brand new with the right care. Combining the two factors was only a matter of common sense, and before I knew it, One Night Stand was formed.
Sorry to sound cliché, but have you always had a ‘passion for fashion’?
Of course! Most recently before starting ONS, I was managing Zimmermann on Rundle Street. The highlight of that job was when they flew all the managing staff to Sydney for their runway show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. I was like a kid in a candy shop that day! Before then, most of my jobs were in hospitality because I was studying full-time for four years, but the passion was always there - my bank account can vouch for that!
Talk us through a day in the life of Natalia at ONS.
I spend so much time on social media, stalking for new stock! Every morning it’s the first thing I do when I wake up, and the last thing before I go to sleep at night. We have so much stock constantly coming in, that we have steered away from professional photo shoots (there is just no time) so we opt for more blogger-style photos, either in store or quickly on location. I have a few amazing girls who frequently model for me, but if there is no time to organise any of them I just jump in a photo at the very last resort so that our followers can see what’s available right away. Our ‘models’ are all REAL girls. They’re all average height and most of them were recruited while being customers in the shop! I spend a lot of time in the store, dressing girls and helping them find that perfect dress. But if I am not in the store, I’ll be on social media, in a photo shoot, online shopping, picking up dry cleaning, or somewhere doing something to promote ONS Boutique. I can’t help it!
How important has social media been in helping to develop your brand and business?
It’s invaluable; it’s the single most important element of the business, and has been since day one. I have never paid for advertising and we currently have 12k followers on Facebook and 49k followers on Instagram.
Who are your favourite designers at the moment?
Sorry to be so predictable, but I love, and have always loved Zimmerman and Sass & Bide.
I know this might be hard, but are there any pieces in stock at the moment that you are obsessing over?
My favourite outfit would have to be the Natalie Rolt Sequin two-piece. It’s a bustier and maxi skirt with hand-sewn all over in sequins. It is truly unique! We are also introducing Camilla to our collection, and we’ve just purchased the convertible Underworld Maxi – a leopard print kaftan-style maxi that can be converted from kaftan, to strapless, to one shoulder, and from long to short etc. The list goes on! Zimmermann is always the reliable go-to formal gown though. They use beautiful silk crepe and know how to cut a dress to show off all the right places while being comfortable enough to eat and drink as much as you want all night!
What is your prediction for the 2015 trend in formal dress wear?
The last couple of years there has been so much structure in dresses, however right now we’re seeing a lot more draping, and the use of softer fabrics. I predict that trend will continue – well, I hope so anyway because it’s far more comfortable!!!
What would be one of your career highlights so far?
Definitely moving to our current location (*referring to the move from the Hutt Street boutique into a much larger space on Pultney Street). The boutique itself is so beautiful and I love the space I work in!
Have you come across any challenges in regards to ONS and running your own business?
I think the hardest part of owning your own business is finding good, reliable staff. Everybody says it! I have an amazing employee who helps me so much, particularly when I have to travel. I can confidently leave the business in her hands and there aren’t many people who can say that.
What sets ONS apart from its competitors?
We go to great lengths to accommodate our customers. We open until at least six o'clock every weeknight, and are open seven days a week. Our dresses are available for hire Australia wide, and our online store can ship world wide. We don’t only buy what we like, but also what our customers ask for, and we are determined to be reliable. We also use an environmentally friendly dry cleaner at Karl Chehade Dry Cleaning. The most important thing would be the way in which we offer a discount service, but don’t discount customer-service.
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to start their own business, or have a career in fashion?
Don’t expect it to be easy, or think that it’s all just pretty fun and games. Like any other career, it is hard work. Owning your own business means you never switch off. Evidence of this was when I got to the resort on my honeymoon, jumped online and saw that I had been sent a new Nookie lookbook. I couldn’t help it, I had to open it and place an order right then and there!
Tell us, what’s next for ONS? Where would you like to see yourself and the brand in the coming years?
We’re really looking to expand our market. We have so much more space in our new location (it’s actually two shops joined together) so we have room to try new things. Next week we are launching our first small range of maternity wear, and going in to winter we will also be stocking Faux Fur vests and jackets for sale by an amazing Adelaide designer, Designer Duchess.
What: One Night Stand Boutique.
Where: Shop 40/422 Pultney Street, Adelaide.
Mon – Wed: 11am – 6pm
Thu: 11am – 8pm
Fri: 11am – 6pm
Sat: 10am – 5pm
Sun: 3pm – 6pm
All images via One Night Stand Boutique