Christine Barrett loved fashion and business since she was a little girl. After graduating from Elizabeth Galloway Fashion Academy in 2010 and doing a part-time graphic and web design course, while also working as part time intern at a small clothing label and trend forecasting company, she started there full-time. When her dad was diagnosed with cancer early 2011 Christine suddenly realised how short life is and that she wasn’t happy where she was. She had to make the emotional decision to leave her job. While visiting her father at home, her mother encouraged her that it was time to pursue her lifelong dream.
So Christine moved to Cape Town and started her own clothing label under her father’s nickname, Georgie.B. Two years later her father has fought cancer and is so proud of Christine’s growing business. Having her family’s support and her mother as her rock has given her strength when she could not go on.
Now Christine also supports three machinists, a cutter, a finisher and an assistant designer as they create unique, quality, ready-to-wear clothing, inspired by upcoming trends, but mindful of a modern woman’s must-have classics. At first it was challenging to put together a hardworking and determined team, but after gaining some people and management skills, Christine is happy to say her team really makes her proud. “They’ve climbed into my heart and became my family too. I hope to walk a very long path with them.” Together they aim to create products that are trendy time and again, with long-lasting quality and value for money – all produced locally.
Christine shares how challenging it is to stay positive while building your brand. “It takes time and you should always remind yourself of what you’ve accomplished so far and where you started out. I started in my flat in Longstreet and now I have a lovely studio in Pepper Street and we supply 20 stockists.” Many doors have also opened for Georgie.B through KAMERS, Christine tells us. “KAMERS has been an incredible experience and has helped me so much in building my brand.” Launching her first summer range at KAMERS 2012 Lourensford, the event gave her the opportunity to learn so much about consumers and to build great relationships with boutiques and other businesses.
Georgie.B also gives back to the community by donating fabric off-cuts to charities like Projekt, where handmade goods are created by underprivileged people, and donating return stock to See Saw Do, a charity that distributes it among underprivileged children. Christine truly inspires us to grab onto our dreams, make them a reality while we can and even create jobs and give back in the process.