Harvey The Label is a home-grown Adelaide brand taking residency on Rundle Street. Following her incredible debut at New York Fashion Week, we got the chance to sit down with owner and head designer, Mim Harvey, to talk about everything behind her namesake label, Harvey.
Mim started her label back in 2015, returning to Adelaide after working for a bridal wholesaler in Melbourne. Come 2017, Mim opened the flagship store for her label on Rundle Street, Adelaide’s one stop shop for fashion.
When and why did you start Harvey The Label?
I started the label because at the time I was travelling from Melbourne to the US to do trade shows, then going to China for manufacturing as well as doing the wholesale sales management for a bridal company. In all of this I realised that I had the connections, sales skills and business knowledge to create my own label. Through being in touch with retailers daily, hearing what they were missing from their own curated collections instore and leveraging sales and consumer trends, I realised a sustainable and uniquely created label was missing from the affordable end of the market.
What are some of your biggest inspirations?
The weirdest things will inspire me. I generally start with a basic shape I want to create, then add by draping, taking in other aspects around me such as colours/ prints which are popping up and coming into my life, textures and economic moods. This spring collection I was inspired when I went to visit my fabric factory in China and they were experimenting with fabric paints.
Who else is behind the scenes at Harvey besides yourself?
I have an amazing team…we all rely on each other day in and day out. I have Georgia O’Grady, my head of sales who leads the Harvey wholesale division and Taylah Minchington who is my store and social media marketing manager. There is no hierarchy in our team, no job is too big or small for anyone to cover if someone needs help to get it done. This will always be our workplace culture. Also, I am extremely fortunate to have my beautiful interns who apply to our programme.
What has been your proudest moment?
When I was able to hire staff. For any business owner you will always need help and every day I am grateful for my team. In my previous job roles, I had bad management above me, so making sure staff and work culture is harmonious is incredibly important to me. To have grown the business to a point to be able to hire permanent staff, open a store and expand a business past the front room of my house took immense amounts of work. When you get to the other side, it is pretty cool to look back and see the journey. This reflection hit me hardest just after I walked out our NYFW debut in September. Being able to appreciate having people who want to share the vision you have and put in immense amounts of work together to pull off events like NYFW makes all the difference.
How was your experience at New York Fashion Week?
Every time I am asked this question I don’t quite have the words to describe the whimsy, surrealism and all the emotions that hit you in the hours after completing the “Mecca” of fashion weeks. It is a lot to take in, to reflect on and then to move and take action from. But in essence, if you don’t do what terrifies you, you won’t ever be able to grow past the safe little world you create for you and your business.
What’s next for you and Harvey The Label?
Our gradual US expansion is on the grind and also still have another store in the works but seeing the viability of opening another permanent store in Australia or doing a destination pop-up (also, working from another city for a few months is appealing). We also will be hiring another Harvey team member in the coming months after the Christmas craziness has finished.
You can shop Mim’s designs at 237 Rundle Street or at seekerstore.com.