FORM BY T
Sustainable staples for your wardrobe
I met Tessa at the Fitzroy Mills Market a few months back when I stumbled across her lovely timber fitted stall. The clothing aesthetic relaxed, form on the body is soft and the colours earthy in burnt orange olive and oatmeal. I immediately felt invited and welcomed into her space and wanted to find out more. Tessa’s high quality products are made from natural and organic fabrics that reflect her values of slow and ethical fashion. Through meeting Tessa and listening to her story, I learnt about the journey to creating the brand and how to she maintains her aesthetic with a sustainable practice.
Can you give us a step-by-step as to how Form by T came to be?
I studied Fashion Design & Technology at RMIT then worked for a few fashion companies in Melbourne and the UK. On returning home to Melbourne I completed the NEIS program (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme) which helped me start my own label. I had always dreamed about having a label but was unsure what direction to take. After watching a few confronting documentaries (such as the True Cost and The War on Waste) I knew in my heart, ethics and sustainability was the number one focus for my business.
'I draw inspiration from the fabrics I source. I find beautiful and sustainable fabric and design from there'
Do you have a mentor or influence you look up to? What is it about them that attracts you?
I think Clare Press is a huge influence as I mentioned before. It can be hard working by yourself and running a small business. Listening to her podcast always brings my mood up and keeps me motivated! She is the sustainability editor for Vogue and a passionate advocate for a circular economy and ethical fashion. I love how driven she is to change the future of fashion.
The most challenging part about running a business?
I find it hard running a small business as a sole owner. I love the idea of having a partner to bounce ideas off and have that emotional support. My family and friends have been amazing and extremely supportive but it would be great to have gone into business with someone.
Advice would you give to your younger self?
Woah, tough one, I think I would say ‘ Just go for it and don’t let fear of failing hold you back from achieving great things!’
What kind of response do you hope to receive from Form by T customers?
I hope they truly love their pieces as I purposefully designed them to be lived-in I hope they get many years of enjoyment out of their garments and know that a lot of passion has gone into making each and every piece.
Written By Olivia
Published August 09 2019
Where do you engage with industry?
I don’t get a lot of time to read (which sucks) but I do listen to loads of podcast. The Wardrobe Crisis by Clare Press is one of my favourites to keep me motivated while sewing. I also love the Lady Start Up podcast by Rachael Corbett. This podcast has lots of inspiring stories about women who have created amazing businesses from scratch!
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I love to travel and this is where I draw a lot of inspiration from. I also get a lot of inspiration from the fabrics I source. Once I find a beautiful and sustainable fabric, I design from there.
'Self -doubt is such an annoying voice and I find it always pops up now that I am running a business.’
Something that you did for self-care this week?
Yoga and meditation are my go to for self-care. It can be hard when running a business to take time out of a busy schedule to practice but after a class I always feel relaxed and in a better head space to get on with the day. It can completely change my approach to the day. I also signed up to an introduction to this amazing work shop called Dancing Eros. It’s all about creating a powerful community journeying together to fully reclaim and awaken your feminine power, desire and passion.
What is your choice music/ snack combo to be productive?
I love making nut butter balls as my little afternoon snack. I get all my ingredients from Bulk Source so it is a plastic free, sugar free healthy fix! For music, at the moment I’m loving Nightmares On Wax, it’s the best music to work to!
How do you overcome self-doubt and sad/ low moods?
Positive affirmations and meditation always helps to put my mind at ease. Self-doubt is such an annoying voice and I find it always pops up now that I am running a business. I try to recognise those thoughts as self-doubt and disrupt that thought pattern by saying ‘Stop!’ before they spin out of control. I also keep a journal so that I can look back and remind myself of all the positives.