In our last issue we brought you Anti Vice Studios, a 100% vegan crafted and locally designed clothing label by 17-year-old Rose Bourke. While sustainable fashion stimulates positive change in the design industry, we chat to another local business boss, Meggie-Fay Furminger, owner and operator of Meg-Fay Makes. A lover of all things eco-friendly and thrifted, Furminger uses mostly second-hand, upcycled items to keep costs low for both her business and her consumers. Her fervent nature has created her own social media empire, with many of her sales stemming from her Instagram account, @megfaymakes. We learn more about Fay’s quirky Flower and Mermaid Crowns – a must-have fashion accessory for any music festival.
Born and bred in Winchelsea, Furminger has spent her life growing up local. Though she has loved existing within a Geelong zip code, when her life hit a crossroads in 2016, Furminger was unsure about her career direction, an unfortunate reality that many individuals come across. Working casually and struggling to locate a creative outlet, an unexpected surprise fell comfortably into her lap. “I was feeling a little anxious not knowing where I was heading. I had always been very crafty in my teens but hadn’t found much time for it as an adult. One day I decided to start making crowns because I liked wearing them but I found they were fairly costly. I wanted to use materials that were either items I had lying around the house or cheap, easy to source products such as thrifted items. I started off making Mermaid Crowns with shells, recycled flowers and up-cycled beads for myself and my friends. From here, my business grew and Meg-Fay Makes was born,” she says.
Cost isn’t the only reason why Furminger uses recyclable materials in the making of her crowns. “Sustainable fashion is important to me because I love fashion and clothes, but I also love our earth and we are slowly destroying it. The high turnaround of fashion trends is alarming,” she explains.
As the digital age continuously reinvents the way in which organisations communicate directly with their consumers, businesses must keep up with social media trends. With over 1,000 followers on her Meg-Fay Makes Instagram page, Furminger understands how vital technological advances are in ensuring her business booms. “I love Instagram and the power it can give your business. Being consistent and creative with your content is key. As soon as I started putting my own face to my account rather than having my friends model for me, I found I got a lot more attention and traction with my sales. I’ve also been offered some modelling opportunities,” she says.
According to the Sensis Social Media Report 2017, our love for visual content has seen a rise in Instagram usage, accounting for a 15 per cent jump from 31 percent in 2016 to 46 per cent in 2017. Arguably a defiant force in promotional activity, Furminger has intentions on furthering her online presence despite her Instagram success. “I would love to get a website up and running. This year I have added a new service called Meg-Fay Makes It With You, a workshop catered to parties ranging from Bridal Showers and birthdays. I would love to get the site up to promote the new services a bit better. I’d also like a calendar feature where customers can book themselves in for appointments as I only have limited dates available,” she says.
Though her business is relatively new, Furminger’s immediate success is an inspiration for women who are considering delving down the same pathway. I ask Furminger what advice she would offer to the local ladies out there who are wanting to start an empire, “Queens, don’t be afraid! I think for me it has been all about setting small, achievable goals. Keep coming up with new ideas for your business and don’t become complacent; the world is changing quickly and we need to keep up. I think the most important part is balance. Overdoing it quickly turns your passion into a chore. Don’t let your business control everything in your life! Give yourself some business hours and stick to it,” she answers.
Great advice from a great girl. To discover more about Meggie-Fay, visit her Instagram page @megfaymakes
Written by Hannah Kenny