By the time you finish this story on Auguste founder Ebony Eagle, you'll want to move to Byron Bay, own a couple of horses and dress exclusively in Auguste. At least, I did. She's the type of woman who spreads positive energy and this energy trickles down to the clothes she designs. Ebony has created a fashion brand for women and children that's driven by sustainability and giving back...
Her most recent charitable imitative was the Auguste ‘Hero’ campaign, which focused on raising awareness around the dangers of bullying. The brand designed a range of Hero slogan tees as a call to action and donated 100% of the sales to the National Centre Against Bullying and the Cybersmile Foundation to continue their work preventing abuse and giving support to sufferers. They raised more than $85,000 for their partner charities. On top of that, she’s the mother to two beautiful girls – Coco and Frankie – and doesn’t shy away from talking about the challenges of raising young women while simultaneously running a company.
Here, we talk to the ever-inspiring entrepreneur about moving back to Australia after spending time living abroad in Bali, how COVID-19 has impacted her business and the positive changes she’s making and why motherhood is the best thing that ever happened to her.
Go to augustethelabel.com Images: Carly Brown
Take us back to your childhood. What was it like and what are some of your most vivid memories?
There are so many magical memories, particularly of summers spent at our beach house in Rosebud, Victoria – days that seemed to go on forever in a world that felt so big spent with my brothers and sisters, aunties, grandparents. Lots of sand, sun and banana Paddle Pops on the beach. We still own this beach house and boat shed and I now take my children there to do the exact same thing. It’s so unbelievably nostalgic for all of us. It’s the most at ease any of us ever feel.
My childhood also wasn’t without adversity, but children are incredibly resilient and you learn to deal with the situation you are in as best you can. These things shape who you are. I’m from a big family of four children and we moved around a fair bit so, affectionately, home was always where the chaos was!
What was your career path like prior to starting Auguste?
I’ve worked since the day I turned 13, starting with an after school job at the fruit shop, into weekend jobs at cafes and then when I finished school at 17 I was a nanny for a travelling family and spent two years hopping all over Europe… This was where the fire in my belly grew for travelling and I believe it’s where my perspective on more of an entrepreneurial career took shape. When I landed back in Australia at 19 I waitressed for a few years until I got poached for a styling/production job at a studio in Richmond. This is where I learned all about shoot productions, etc, and it was whilst working here that I decided to take the leap and start my own fashion brand at 22. I managed to secure a small loan to start my business while I was working full-time and then resigned to waitress again by night and work on my label by day. I had that brand ‘ebonyeve’ for ten years before I started Auguste five years ago.
Was it always a dream to have your own label, or did that come about organically?
Well, my Grandma taught me to sew when I was eight-years-old and I continued sewing my whole life. I’ve always been a massive vintage and op shop trawler and I’m creative, so the whole design part came quite naturally. The business part I learned on the job!
Did you have your girls prior to starting Auguste, and if so, what was that transition like?
I had Coco when I was 28 and then Frankie when I’d just turned 30 so at that time I was still running my previous label ‘ebonyeve’, so yes I had a business. I never stop working and throughout pregnancy and when the girls were young this didn’t change… I was living in Bali at the time that the girls were young though, so I just worked wearing a few less items of clothing! Work-life balance will be my lesson in this life – it’s something I’m still trying to master.