“Passion for success is contagious in Canberra”– meet Hollie, entrepreneur and recently turned Canberran

Posted 20 Jun 2017

Story by CBR Canberra

Dreaming of starting your own business?

Canberra is the city to make it happen. Here in the ‘start-up capital’, you can tap into support networks, grants and programs to help get your start-up off the ground.

Meet Hollie. She is a serial entrepreneur and has leveraged Canberra’s innovation ecosystem to turn her ideas into flourishing businesses.

Like many people who strike out on their own, Hollie has an enviable range of talents. One of them is the invention of sewing tools which she sells on her website Tools by Hollie.

Hollie showcased her most recent invention, the Sew Sister, at the First Wednesday Connect event hosted by the Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN).

The Sew Sister is set to get Australians excited about sewing again. It’s a 3D scan of a body carved into foam, so you can make the perfect dress fit for your body.

“The Sew Sister makes sewing faster for you. Whatever you make on the Sew Sister it will fit like a glove and, more importantly, there are no wasted unfinished objects,” says Hollie.

The idea of the Sew Sister stemmed from Hollie’s disappointing experiences when she went to buy clothes.

“As a non-standard body size, buying clothes was a stressful event, and when sewing my own clothes, the store-bought dress forms were nothing like my actual body shape and dimensions,” said Hollie.
“For the last few years I’ve been thinking about exact replica dress forms but it’s only been in the last year that the technology was available to the masses and it became a reality.

“Now almost anyone can send me a scan of their body and I can then produce an identical model, AKA the sew sister, so they can then make the perfect dress to fit their body.”

Hollie says Canberra’s innovation ecosystem is what has persuaded her to finally settle down, rather than hop from city to city every few months.

“In my lifetime, I’ve lived in over 55 houses and tend to get very restless and feel the need to “flee” every three months,” she said.

“But I see my future in Canberra, simply because I know there is no other place that can offer me as much as it does.”

Canberra is home to world-renowned education institutions and multinational companies, combined with a small-town vibe it’s easy to grow networks as everyone wants to see success in their city.

“The people that live and work in Canberra are generally here because they love the city and want to increase its profile and reputation.

Once you start networking in Canberra, you’ll find it has a really big supportive community where everyone wants to see everyone else become successful.”

Hollie has been extremely impressed with the start up support networks there are in Canberra such as CBRIN, Cause a Stir and the Griffin Accelerator to name a few.

“In 2016, I was part of the Griffin Accelerator with one of my other businesses Anti Grabbity.  By going through Griffin, I met some amazing people, many who have had successful ventures themselves and were there to mentor you,” she said.

Hollie encourages other entrepreneurs to get involved in Canberra’s innovation ecosystem.

“CBRIN hold monthly networking meetings filled with entrepreneurs with brilliant ideas as well as people who can help others achieve those ideas,” she said.

“The passion for success is contagious at CBRIN and it’s contagious in Canberra. You never know who you may meet and what advice and support they can offer you. Everyone is willing to help you on your way up,” said Hollie

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