FOR WOMEN BY WOMEN: CLAIRE

Here at Sussan, we have been celebrating the spirit of Australian women for more than 80 years.

Through our designs and brand partnerships, we are committed to supporting, empowering and championing women and are always looking for new ways to help our community thrive.

Now, we want to recognise the influential women of our Sussan family by sharing their unique and uplifting stories.

From female cotton farmers and garment technicians to motivating members of our wider community, including Breast Cancer Network Australia.

With that, we give you: For Women By Women, a new series featuring valuable and diverse insights from women who create, design, and inspire.

CLAIRE MELLIOS, QUALITY ASSURANCE MANAGER

How does your role contribute to the world of Sussan?

I love my role; it is really dynamic and connects with many aspects of the business.

My role includes managing a team of amazing women who form the Sussan QA department. We work closely with the design team to ensure quality and fit are on brand and meet the needs of the customer.

I work closely with garment suppliers and the product team on critical production paths and processes; helping resolve issues as they arise to deliver our monthly collections on time, without compromising design, quality or fit.

I also work across sustainability which includes tracing fibres in our product through the supply chain such as Australian cotton, recycled polyester, traceable linen and Ecovero.

How do you approach your role’s process

Our QA department is located in Head Office, so it’s really important to have strong feedback loops in place to gather information about quality and fit from customers, the online team and the store teams so we can continue to drive improvements through the brand and meet the shifting needs of the customer.

I work across two brands: Sussan and Sportsgirl, and need to be aware of the production, quality and fit issues for both brands. I’m constantly striving to empower my team so they can make a valuable contribution to the process and achieve successful outcomes.

I love collaborating with colleagues across the business, finding opportunities to improve processes and systems to make things easier for the team and drive the vision of the brand.

I’m very solutions focussed and like to resolve issues as soon as they arise.

What excites you most about your role?

What people choose to wear each day is a reflection of their personality, mood, values and beliefs — I love seeing the way customers purchase and wear our product, making it uniquely their own.

The modern Australian woman is multi-faceted; balancing a complex mix of daily demands with ambition and fulfillment.  I love delivering product that makes her feel fashionable, confident and powerful but meets the needs of her lifestyle.

What does ‘For Women By Women’ mean to you?

Collectively, as women, we have achieved so much — every generation taking another step forward. I’d like to think we have each other’s backs navigating the complexities of day-to-day life. One of my favourite sayings is, “If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.”

The team behind the brand are passionate and driven, and are living and experiencing these complexities firsthand.

What have been your biggest learnings in your role?

Because my role is so broad, I often fall into the trap of trying to do too many things at the same time. My biggest learnings have been to slow down and prioritise.

How do you balance work and home life?

A productive and rewarding week for me is achieving my work, life and exercise goals. It’s so easy to get through a week and have let them get out of balance. This year, I’m trying to give them all equal weighting and review and reprioritise daily.

My husband and I both work full time and have 3 children aged 4, 7 and 10 so we are busy! We try share the load equally, stay flexible, and support each other to achieve our goals. Neither of us have much free time so we stay focussed on priorities.

To maximise my free time, I’ve been controlling my “inputs” for a long time — I’m not on social media, don’t watch TV, and try to use technology purposefully. I listen to podcasts, music and read.

Who are the women you are inspired by?

My grandmother was a force of nature, passing away on her 99th birthday. She was always stylish, determined, opinionated, cheeky and had a lust for life. Inspiring in every way!

I truly believe in surrounding yourself with good people, and I’m constantly inspired by the women around me navigating the challenges of life and making brave decisions every day.

#WOMENFORWOMEN

We are thrilled to launch a new initiative, inviting women to nominate and celebrate the women in their lives. We want to put you, our Sussan community, centre stage. We call it ‘women for women’.

As part of #womenforwomen campaign, we’re asking you to nominate a women who inspires you. This could be a woman who has lifted her community or someone you’d like to thank for all they do for you.

To win a $20 online voucher for yourself and the woman you nominate, simply:

  1. Make sure you’re following @sussanfashion and like this post.
  2. Tag your nominated woman
  3. Comment below in 25 words or less who you’d like to nominate and why?

We’ll pick two winning entries from this post. Competition closes 11.59pm AEDT Thursday 31st March, 2022. For T&C’s head to our website.

Read more about the #sussanwomen who inspire us, including our Print Designer, Hannah Potter.

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