Tallow is a brand of surfwear, designed for women…by women. Practical and stylish, the brand was started by Ali and Shannon, two free spirited girls with a love for big waves and plenty of business savvy.
One half of the duo, Shannon, chatted with Beauty and Lace about Tallow:
B&L: Who is Tallow?
Shannon: Tallow is a women’s surf brand that is bringing back the unique style, authenticity and independence to surf and the culture.
B&L: Where did the name come from?
Shannon: Both of us wanted something that was very earthy, like a type of wood, coastal wood, Australian wood…so we asked around and Ali’s partner suggested Tallow.
It was perfect, as Tallowood is a type of Australian Eucaplytus tree, it’s also a beach in Byron which is where we are based and we both fell in love with how it looked written in Ali’s handwriting.
The logo came about when we were both sitting in a meeting with our accountant, and Ali getting bored with all the numbers talk started drawing on her arm then tapped me on the shoulder and showed me her arm. I just winked and whispered ‘ that’s it!’. Stoked.
B&L: What makes your swimwear brand different?
Shannon: We have a fusion of a lot of factors that everyone enjoys. The swimsuits are functional designs teamed with art based prints, there are a lot of different cuts to suit different body types as well. It’s also swimwear that you can live in.
B&L: The collection is designed for female surfers, how do your pieces reflect that?
Shannon: There’s quite a few factors with being a female surfer when it comes to swimwear. You want a swimsuit that doesn’t move when you’re duck diving or catching a wave, it means you have less to think about and can enjoy the wave more.
As a woman you also want to look good in water as much as you do out of it, so we’re take some current fashion trends and colour palettes and transfer them into our swimwear and wetsuits.
B&L: Where do you get your inspiration?
Shannon: The inspiration definitely comes from different art scenes around the world as well as the daily treasures and happenings that occur when you live by the beach.
B&L: How do you like to spend your free time? Surfing?
Shannon: Definitely, any chance we get. When you’re out in the water surfing you seriously don’t have a care in the world. It’s an incredible type of relaxation and piles of smiles all around you.
B&L: How did your collection begin?
Shannon: Ali came to me one day saying she wanted to begin a functional swimwear label for women that surf, whilst being super feminine and very art based.
We both had talked about doing a surf based business together for a few years as we are yin and yang in our skills when it comes to business, yet we still have the same vision and get excited by each other’s ideas. We went for a surf the next morning at sunrise and decided to take the leap and begin Tallow.
B&L: How would you describe your summer collection – Black Moon, White Night?
Shannon: A fusion of art and ocean, it’s natural and it’s graceful. Inspired by old school surf (the 70s).
We wanted the range to be for all parts of a personality:
some is tough
some is pretty
some is fashion
some is cute
functional yet still flattering
bit home made
and a bit crafty..
B&L: Who is the Tallow woman?
Shannon: There is no one type of Tallow woman. Everyone is different. There is just one common ground with Tallow and that’s the love of surfing, the beach and good old fashioned fun!
What is it like working so closely as a design partnership?
Shannon: Excellent! It’s not so much a design partnership, it’s more of a holistic partnership in business. Ali does the design and I do the Sales and Marketing and we meet in the middle on everything else.
We both have an incredible respect for each other’s skills and opinions which is possibly one of the most important factors in building a brand. We also keep a good sense of humour, working has gotta be fun too!
B&L: Do you have any advice for Australian girls with a passion for surfing?
Shannon: It doesn’t matter whether the surf is big or small, if it’s raining or sunny…you’ve just gotta go! Sometimes you fear getting dumped by waves, but when you get to know the ocean and it’s flow, then getting dumped can be one of the funnest parts!
Moral of the story is to build a relationship with the ocean and you’ll fall in love with it forever!
B&L: Where can we buy your collection?
Shannon: We have various retailers around Australia and New Zealand – It’s important to have retailers that are like minded with your brand, they need to enjoy it as much as we do.
You can also by online at www.tallowgallery.com.au.
B&L: What does being a woman mean to you?
Shannon: The great thing about living in the age that we do, is that women can do and be anything they want to be, and I think that’s pretty damn cool.