When Penny Gorman found out she was going to be an aunty, she was excited to buy her future niece and nephew extra special gifts. After trips to large baby stores left her disappointed, she started her own range that is all about the joy of giving.
The result is Nura Australia, a line of Australian made, owned and inspired children’s wear, which debuted to trade at Life Instyle Sydney last week. The products are made and designed in Sydney and feature exclusive artwork that celebrates Australian life (think native flora and fauna) and are perfect for days spent playing outside.
“I was seeking prints that really felt unique and styles of clothing that were similar to what we grew up in; traditional styles that celebrate children being children, being outdoors and full of colour and spirit, just like our childhood in Australia,” says Gorman.
“The fact that I design my own Australian-inspired fabric means our products are extremely unique. You cannot buy my fabric anywhere else, giving it that feeling of exclusivity. And my fabric prints seem to bring about a nostalgic feeling for many of my consumers, reminding them of how beautiful our surroundings are in Australia.”
Being Australian-made gives Nura a point of difference but it means the products are at a higher price point than the average baby brand. Because of this, Gorman decided she needed to get her products into bricks-and-mortar stores rather than selling predominantly online, giving customers the chance to touch and feel the items and see the quality for themselves.
“This helps with their decision to purchase, thus the reason for joining Life Instyle and hoping to expand into the wholesale space… I feel consumers are ready for something a little different in the baby clothing/gift space—the mainstream styles and stores are becoming too ‘been there, done that’.”
Nura is a word from the traditional language of the Darug and Eora people, which translates to country, and Gorman says she chose this name as it reflects her belief in keeping her business local.
“For First Australians, country encompasses culture, nature and land; it takes in everything from landscapes, plants and animals to cultural practices, people, stories and art. I always try and keep this in mind and approach all aspects of my business with the intention to celebrate Australia and our surroundings.”
In keeping with Nura’s motto ‘for the joy of giving’, Gorman donates $1 from every transaction through her online store to Australian charities, an initiative she plans to expand in future.
“As a new small business, I am not in the position to be able to give too much in a monetary sense, but it is so important to be able to give back where I can.
“As Nura grows, it is a goal of mine to be able to make a difference to some Australian charities. I am so fortunate to be in a position to be able to start my own business and I do not take this for granted. I look forward to being able to contribute more as my business grows.”
After launching her second collection, Australian Animals, at Life Instyle, Gorman is looking forward to growing her wholesale business and sharing her modern Australian take on children’s wear with the world.
“I am excited to see how customers throughout Australia and the world receive my pieces, and hope I can contribute to raising awareness of the importance to keep our products local and celebrate our beautiful country.”
By Ruth Cooper