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How a serial University dropout became the Queen of Tinsel

Rachel Burke is known for creating spectacular tinsel jackets worn by the likes of Miley Cyrus, Kesha and Beyonce’s daughter Blue Ivy.

But the Queen of Tinsel originally dreamt of becoming a star on broadway.

 

“It wasn’t going to be my forever career and to realise that I didn’t want to do musical theater anymore left me feeling really confused,” said the designer and entrepreneur.

Then, whilst studying at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Burke learnt about a new phenomenon known as ‘blogs’.

She lasted six months into the course at QUT before dropping out to launch what would be her first business – writing blogs about the garments she created for her friends to wear clubbing.

“I made a dress a week for 20 weeks to raise money for charity. Then I wanted to challenge myself, so I made a dress a day for a year,” she said

“I would sew in my parents garage until 4am and just by the act of doing I got better at my craft.”

With 365 dresses under her belt she was ready to officially launch her own label. That label was quickly picked up by a well-known boutique, who later hired her as an in-house designer.

“I ended up staggering into the world of commercial fashion and then got approached by Universal Store as their in-house head of design and started their five vertical brands which are still running today,” she added.

But in 2017, she decided to go out on her own, launching her now infamous tinsel creations.

“I always knew I had to keep my own thing on the side just to stay creatively fulfilled,” Burke said.

But she says the time spent working at other organisations equipped her with the valuable skills required to start her own business. For example, the use of data and technology to develop insights into the customer and what they want in a product.

“Had I just gone out on my own back when I was 24 and not gone and worked as a designer somewhere, I would have missed out on a lot of those learnings,” she said.

“It was only through working on the job that I was really able to take things to the next level.”

Four years on, Burke has more than 150,000 followers on Instagram and does collaborations with brands like Lego, Disney, Barbie and Visa.

Burke final piece of advice is to aim for quality, not quantity. “Even if you have 100 loyal followers that’s more important than having 100,000 followers who don’t engage with your content,” she said.

6 Steps to Elevating Your Energy:

Here are her tips for growing a strong social media following:

Be authentic: Always create content that’s true to your story. Sharing a narrative is so important to creating and sustaining a following.

Call in the experts: Engage professional photographers when it makes financial sense to do so to ensure content is engaging.

Don’t stop learning: Rachel took a photoshop course and invested in a good camera to better her content.

Be generous: Share what you’re doing and learning with your followers. Rachel loves to share DIY content to help inspire others.

Call in the experts: Engage professional photographers when it makes financial sense to do so to ensure content is engaging.

Don’t stop learning: Rachel took a photoshop course and invested in a good camera to better her content.

Focus on the audience: Always keep in mind who will see the content and whether they wil like it.

Push boundaries: Create content that you want to see. Experiment with new ways of telling your story.

Be patient: It takes time to amass a large following.

Final advice

Burke final piece of advice is to aim for quality, not quantity. “Even if you have 100 loyal followers that’s more important than having 100,000 followers who don’t engage with your content,” she said.

Name

A geometric pattern featuring four triangles arranged in a pinwheel formation, each with a turquoise and light blue alternating color scheme. Reminiscent of the dynamic energy found in female businesses, this design creates a vibrant and symmetrical visual effect perfect for women in business.

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