Friday, 22 March 2019

Wine Not the Brand is your new best friend

Millennials listen up! There is a new wine brand launching especially for you! Wine Not the Brand is officially being launched this Sunday and you won't want to miss out.

The brains behind the brand is the inspirational Kata Cser. This fearless woman knows a thing or two about building a business and brand and lucky for us, its that wisdom that has enabled Wine Not the brand to come into fruition.

Ahead of her launch, I sat down with Kata and asked her to share her pearls of wisdom and find out more about her journey.

1. Tell us about your latest business venture- wine not the brand. What inspired you to develop and create a wine brand?
Would it be ironic to say it started with the thought... wine not...? Having been in the network marketing industry in my first business for some years I had become associated with wine, as I was one of the few millennials in the company at that stage & did all my business meetings over wine as I felt awkward doing it the old fashioned way. I was getting tagged in so many wine-related memes, products, puns, and Facebook videos every day I just thought, wow, what if I had my own wine label? People already associate me with it, so wine not? 

Nothing happened for years, but then I moved to Bondi and happened to see a wine consultant on tinder. I swiped right knowing I was going to pitch him my idea. I explained to him that I felt there was no real millennial voice in wine - there was old, classic, expensive and boring, and there was cheap & tacky - but there didn't seem to be a solid brand that was classy, fun, sassy, well priced, and delicious. I went down a rabbit hole of research & found there really was no millennial brand - the market was wide open. 

3 years later, here we are. About to officially launch, and see where it takes us!

2. Who is the wine not the brand girl? Who did you have in mind when creating it?

Wine Not is for us - for you, and for me. I created the brand with myself and my friends in mind. Every step of the way I've asked myself "what would I choose? and what do we need?"  I'm really big on ethical business & I think the best ideas and solutions come from the people who truly live that life, and have those problems, every day. 

Wine Not the Brand is for the girl who works hard and plays hard. She's killing it in her career but goes through challenges like the rest of us. Wine for her isn't optional - it's a part of her life. She grabs a few bottles to sip throughout the week. She's always looking for the cute, fun, sassy labels that make her feel understood and seen. She wants good quality but doesn't care where the grapes are from or what a tannin is. She just wants to feel good, without breaking her budget because... adulting.

3. This isn’t your first business venture? Tell us a little bit about your entrepreneurial journey? 
I started my business journey 7 years ago in network marketing with a company called Arbonne. I learned how to operate an online business, how to find clients, how to talk to people, brand and market myself, expand into new countries, and learned about client retention, scheduling, goal setting and most importantly how to network & build a super solid mindset. I'm still with the company today & promote plant-based vegan skincare, makeup and nutrition products. A part of my role is also coaching and helping other women build businesses so I've been very fortunate to be exposed to a huge number of people over the last few years which has substantially helped me build really strong networks, and also get a good perspective of what people need. I'm even more fortunate to now be in a financial position where I don't have to work another job & can invest a massive portion of my pay into my other businesses. As well as have the freedom of time to be able to afford to invest my effort into growing Wine Not the Brand without sacrificing my lifestyle too much. 

4 years ago I saw a gap in the marketplace & felt like network marketing was getting a bit gross, desperate and salesy. I opened my second business - KATA the Brand, a consultancy with an online course, ebooks, and personal coaching. My focus and goal were to change the stigma of network marketing and help other consultants and companies run their businesses ethically and sustainably. I closed that business last year to focus on launching and growing Wine Not & also because the challenges I was facing to take it to the next level just weren't worth my time and effort at that stage of my life.

Over the years I've worked with business coaches, mindset coaches, mentors, have gone to courses, and read so many books - so I can thank every experience that's brought me to today. 

4. We all know starting a brand is not for the faint-hearted. What are some of the challenges you overcame and what surprised you the most when embarking on this business venture?

This sounds so ridiculous now with what I know and what I've been through... but I really thought it would be so much easier. Buy some wine, throw a label on it, sell it - how hard can it be? To be completely honest if I knew everything I would have to overcome to get to where I am today, I probably wouldn't have started at all. So I guess the saying ignorance is bliss may be somewhat true, and I'm so grateful I was ignorantly unaware and moved forward with belief. 

I actually wrote a list some time ago and found that for every 1 thing that had gone to plan over the last 3 years, 6 things had gone very very wrong. Some of these included our first wine distributor going bankrupt and disappearing overnight, wineries not wanting to work with me because they didn't believe in my vision of branding wine to appeal to the younger generation, everything being so much more expensive than I ever thought, and most companies only taking cash, and the fact that the wine industry has literally zero systems and it's every man (or label) for themselves. I also separated from my business partner which meant that I now had zero industry experience, networks, or knowledge so I got really really good at asking for help and googling. More recently I've entered a trademark legal battle, almost lost my entire stock to a heatwave, and found out I've been priced out of the retail industry due to my expenses being so ridiculously high because the timeframe I was given for production was completely off and I had to manually do every single step. 

So I guess when you say what went wrong...? Everything. But I'm so grateful to have learned these lessons at this very early stage as opposed to when we're a multi-million dollar company - which we 100% will be.

5. What is your business mantra? 

Progress is success.

6. What is your life mantra?

Your dreams are worth the effort.

7. Finally, what would be your one pearl of wisdom you would pass on to young women looking to undertake their own entrepreneurial journey? 

Get help from the beginning! Find anyone you can who's done what you want to do and take them to lunch, buy them coffee, pay for their coaching - whatever you need to get those magical nuggets of advice. You'll be surprised how many people will want to help you.

 Also be really careful who you trust, and if you're going into partnership get contracts done from the very beginning. It sounds nice to work with friends but when there's money, risk, and hard work on the line it's best just to do the smart thing and get everything in writing. 

Also... it's worth it. 
The woman you become from this journey will take your breath away. Don't hesitate, just act! Things will fall into place, just be persistent, patient, and believe in yourself with unbroken devotion.

Don't miss the Wine Not the brand launch which will be held this Sunday at Lennox Gardens, Canberra from 12pm - 7pm. Go to their Facebook page event to find out more.


Saturday, 9 March 2019

Meraki Canberra's newest fashion experience

Canberra has always had an appetite for fashion shows, and Maryanne and Bianca are preparing us a feast!

These local girl pals of ours are launching Meraki! Canberra's newest fashion experience hosted at the beautiful Fitters Workshop on Sunday 24th March from 1pm to 3:30pm.

The show will feature a number of local designer labels, grazing tables, drinks, pop up shop, nail bar, touch ups station, DJ, flower wall and more.

The shows theme is centred around a glamorous muted palette drawing on feelings of romance.

Maryanne’s and Bianca’s motivation behind the how was to create a platform for models, makeup artist and designers  are craving for. Speaking from personal experience I know too well that there are few platforms to express yourself. The girls are aiming to create an inclusive environment for the Canberra creative community.

“Events like these encourage collaboration, support and a chance for local talent to shine,’ said Maryanne.

Maryanne conducts herself with love and creativity on the daily basis with aligns to the name of the show. Meraki means to do something with love, creativity and soul.

Some of the local designers include:

  • Claudia the Label
  • Venus Blooms
  • Gerhardus Harmannus

So if you like us are craving some creative inspiration join Maryanne and Bianca for a fun show at Meraki.

“We aim to deliver an event that celebrates fashion and beauty. We have diversity in our models; all shapes and sizes so we’re hoping that this will encourage more women and men to break down the stigma of what it means to be a ‘model’. And lastly for others to live by Meraki in their everyday lives just like we do - to follow their passions and dreams,” said Maryanne.

Get your tickets now:

Ticket Inclusions:
VIP: Drink on arrival, Food, Goodie Bag, Table Service, Pop up shop discounts, Prime table seating
Front Row: Food, Pop up shop Discounts, Prime seating
Second Row: Food, Pop up shop Discounts, Prime seating
Standing: Food, Pop up shop Discounts
Venue: Fitters Workshop
Date: Sunday 24th March 2019
Time: 1pm - 3:30pm
Dress: Semi Formal


Wednesday, 6 March 2019

3 looks to try this Black Opal Stakes Day

The Autumn racing season has been officially launched by Flemington Victoria and is in full swing with race days being celebrated in Queensland, Tasmania and even Auckland.

Right here at home, in just a few days away, we will be celebrating Canberra's favourite race day - the John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes. You can expect a day of socialising, champagne, a few sneaky punts and of course fabulous fashion!

This race day will bring some of the best fashion thanks to the Canberra Outlet Fashions on the Field competition and the stakes are high with a trip to London up for grabs. To enter you must follow the criteria when planning your winning outfit, and every detail must be carefully considered, however, if you are not planning on entering but still want to make your mark we've put together 3 of our favourite looks to inspire your race wear style.

The Statement Dress - ladylike

I love a statement dress for the races and the silhouette is so perfect as the ladylike shape is always on trend for racewear. The brocade gives the dress the perfect amount of detail which is essential for race day dressing.

Dressing for the season is a must which is why I styled this dress with a pair of black suede points to take the dress from Spring/Summer to Autumn.

To balance the amazing shape of this dress, I accessorised with a simple rose gold and pearl headpiece to add a touch of elegance and glam but also to keep the look classic and suitable for day. 

Dressing up doesn't mean you should style your look as you would for an evening event so avoid cocktail wear and too much bling.

Autumn layers - edgy
Fashion is all about expressing yourself and having fun! So why not be a little daring and experiment with your look for a day at the races. After all, racewear is about making a fashion statement but most importantly showcasing your individual style.

This dress caught my eye as it's THE perfect Autumn dress and I knew it needed a felt hat to achieve an edgy look.

Layering it with this tux style vest takes the edginess further and makes a statement by making this look unique and perfectly tailored to DJ's tomboyish and on-trend style.

Accessorising this look with a pair of white ankle boots complements the layering and again is perfect for the Autumn season.

Bold and colourful - classic

For racewear, you cannot go wrong with classic and of course colour.

Traditionally Black Opal Stakes was once true to its traditional black and white theme but modern racewear now embraces colour.

Orange is perfect for an Autumn race day and even though the tone is bright and summery, the style of dress is racewear perfection as it has a high collar, covered shoulders, a long hemline and the perfect amount of detail.

Given a bright colour is a little outside of my comfort zone, I styled this look with black to stay true to my individual style as well as accessorising my bag with a colourful silk scarf to tie the whole look together.

No matter what look you want to try for this year's Black Opal race day don't forget to pay attention to the details. This includes your hair and makeup, nail polish, accessories and shoes. Racewear is about dressing head-to-toe and most importantly about having fun and trying something new with your look! See you at the races! 
Dresses || CUE/ Canberra Outlet Centre 
All Headwear || Canberra Outlet Centre

Words and styling by @sofiapolakstyle

Photography by Daniela Jukic (DJ) @wearefoundau

This post was sponsored by Canberra Outlet Centre. If you would like to work with us email


Friday, 1 March 2019

My top 3 shades from Quay

My favourite accessory is a pair of sunglasses. Anyone who knows me knows that rain hail or shine, I am always wearing a pair.

I love a great pair of sunglasses because no matter what I am wearing, they add a touch of glam and makes me feel polished and protected - it's so important to cover yourself from the sun but also wind and glare in the cooler months.

For my face shape, I think bigger is better! But I also love playing around with different shapes, colours and trends.

Lately, I am loving Australian brand Quay! Not only do they have a huge range of styles to choose from, but they are quite well priced for designer shades. I am loving their latest collection so much that I have teamed up with the brand to bring you my top 3 styles from their current range.

Breeze In

These shades are super cool and perfect if you are looking for a pair that is going to freshen up your look. I love the round frames yet they have a hexagon type shape, which will suit a variety of face shapes and the gold detail adds a touch of sophistication.

These would be perfect for your next festival or I would wear them to accessorise a summer dress and denim jacket combo for autumn.

These are my fave! I just love the shape - perfect for my face shape (heart) and I can't get enough of the colour - tortoise shell as it goes with everything and is softer on the face than all-black. These are super sophisticated and could easily be dressed up or down. I feel like a rockstar in these!

Mod Star

Lastly, these are a perfect addition to any wardrobe as they are simply classic. They give me a sense of 90's nostalgia yet they are super current and on-trend. This pair is the kind you could throw on and instantly elevate your cool girl status. Unfortunately, my face shape is the only shape these frames won't suit but I couldn't resist including such a classic style as part of my top 3 picks.

For more styles check out Quay Australia, they're currently on sale and have uploaded loads more styles to choose from.

Words by @sofiapolakstyle

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

What We Wore: One night only at the Opera with your girls!

When was the last time you did something different, something so different like watching the Opera?

Late last week The Fashion Vault was invited to attend Opera by Candlelight at Albert Hall. I always jump at the chance to try something new, listen to live music or Discover new offerings Canberra has to experience.

Carl Rafferty presented a cast of glamorous, young and talented opera singers from Canberra to Vienna, Warsaw, London and Prague. It was such a treat! We surprisingly knew a few songs (feeling worldly) we sang along to Nessun Dorma whilst sipping on champagne. Feasting on our home made gazing platters and laughing along to the storyline s.

I felt like a complete princess, wearing this amazing number by Naomi Peris. Christian Loutboutin shoes and a red lip by Bourjois.
Deejay on point wearing a classic one sided detailed dress by Shieke, Nine West Shoes and Collette earrings.
Sofia, effortless wearing a classic lack dress by Bardot, Wittner shoes and Lovisa earrings.
 Sarafina wearing a strapless dress with a statement split by Salvos, vintage bag and Wittner shoes.

 Images Shot by Deejay, Sofia and Janette


Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Why you need a windbreaker in your life right now!

Just rockin out in my windbreaker. Image by @creationsofsarafina. Jacket from @canberraoutletcentre

When I think of windbreakers I can’t help but to think of the 80s and 90s. Pops of colour, electric prints, and even Will Smith in Fresh Prince of Bel Air comes to mind.

Falling in the athleisure category naturally it’s a garment that catches my eye. I know it’s something that will easily integrate with my existing wardrobe. However, in general think it’s an underrated garment that’s often overlooked.

The reality is summer is almost over we and need to start thinking about trans-seasonal dressing. We all know Canberra has its' moments with gusty winds and sporadic rainfall.

*dah dah dum sound effect* Queue the windbreaker….

Lightweight enough to be crumpled in your bag and pulled out as you need (or tied around your waist as a statement).

Water resistant and protecting against the wind they get the tick of approval from me. While you can get some very minimalistic designs in black and white, I particularly like bold prints and block colours. Who doesn’t I love a vintage throw back?

I’ve styled this jacket with a jeans and crop top. But it’s something I that will translate with a more sporty look such as black tights and gym singlet or event with some trackies and heels.

**Public service announcement** So I scored this Ellesse jacket from the Canberra Outlet Centre at Platypus Shoes. Maybe I am late to the party but I didn’t realise that they started selling apparel! Hosting some of my favourite street wear brands like Ellesse and Ivy Park, this store is sure to tempt me some more #SMH!

|| Outfit breakdown ||  
Jacket – Canberra outlet centre Platypus 
Crop – Hnm 
Heels – Zara
Jeans – Zara

I’m not the only one who likes a good windbreaker check out some of the celebrity inspo below!

Images shot by Sarafina - @creationsofsarafina


Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Date night prep for Valentines Day with Bella Box

This year I have my Valentine’s Day prep covered thanks to Sharon Farrell’s perfectly curated date night Bella Box. It was such a delight receiving such a beautifully curated box of goodies which will make this Valentine’s Day all the more special.

My fave products from the collection would have to be the ones I was already familiar with, the Blaq eye masks because hello... #mumlife, the gradual tanner by Jergens, and the delicate but delightful Jurlique rose water spray. These items could easily be added to my list of beauty staples.

What I loved most about receiving the Bella Box was being introduced to new products to trial for a special occasion such as the delectable Clarins comfort lip oil for a perfect pout, the Mac Cosmetics strobe cream for a perfect and fuss-free highlight and the makeup products which have totally inspired my date night look, the Eye Hours cosmetics vesta red bio lipstick and smokey black pencil, and the Ardell faux minx lashes.

I am excited to be so damn organised for date night with my valentine this Thursday night. Thanks Bella Box for doing all the prep for me and including everything I could ever need for the perfect Valentine's day look.

Words by @sofiapolakstyle

Back to basics Living my best life in a Tee!

How good is it when you find a T-shirt that you love, wear over and over and it lasts?!
I found the perfect one, and you can see that I love it cause its all over my Instagram feed.
Back to basics whether your a graphic tee or worded type of gal, finding the right tee is so important because you end up relying on them. Like this one from Müssen I have worn it over and over again as You can see, it’s my go too. Have you found yours?
I just can’t go past the simplicity of a white tee and a skirt or jeans!

Words by Janette Wojtaszak Photography by DJ @wearefoundau
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