A Mount Isa millinery business is gaining international attention, as the demand for unique fashion design grows.
Millinery by Mel, owned by Mel Atherinos has been designing custom and ready-made millinery in Mount Isa for four years and has seen increased interest in her designs.
"I have quite a few regular ladies that bring their outfits to me to have a millinery design created to compliment their outfit," Ms Atherinos said.
"There are also quite a few local ladies that travel to surrounding areas to compete in Fashions on the Field race day competitions, even as far away as Melbourne."
While a large portion of Ms Atherinos's clientele is from the North West, her unique designs were also capturing attention of fashionistas internationally.
"My designs are sent all over Australia and worldwide each day, supplying to United Kingdom, Ireland, Dubai, Japan, China, Russia and Italy, with approximately 10 - 15pc of my sales going overseas all year around," Ms Atherinos said.
"I am asked all the time through social media what city my business is based, people are very surprised when they find I am based on Outback Queensland."
The demand of Ms Atherinos's business has expanded rapidly, outgrowing her house.
"My business has now taken up its own premises in a separate two bedroom unit and I employ two people to assist with keeping up with the demand on my webstore," she said.
"Between the three of us we produce and sell approximately 900 fascinators a year ranging from smaller headband designs through to very elaborate headwear that is worn to both Fashions on the Field as well as weddings and function overseas.
"I initially started making fascinators as something to do in my spare time as I have always enjoyed being creative. I made a few for ladies for our local races and with the help of social media and my marketing background it wasn't long before I had to quit my job and take it up full time."
Ms Atherinos's business has grown substantially in the past 18 months, with more women glamming up and enjoying the experience of creating their own outfit for Fashion on the Field.
"Many of my 'Millinery By Mel' clients say it is their hobby," she said.
"Numerous women travel each weekend to race meets to compete and win the amazing prizes that are on offer. They also enjoy the friendship that they make with other women who have the same interest as them, fashion.
"It is great to see ladies from the outback showing the city girls that we have plenty of style and class."
READ MORE: Fashion on the Field stakes grow in North West.
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