We had a great catch-up up with local, Patreece Botheras at her lovely Mosman home. Patreece is the Creative Director and founder of Duskii Active, the luxury Australian swimwear label. She is also a wife and mum to two beautiful girls!
So you were living in Hong Kong?
Yes and when we had our girls it was time to come home, mainly because my little one had her diagnosis – a combination of cerebral palsy and profound global delay. I wanted her to be home for medical treatment. When I came back to Australia, I couldn’t wait to get into the ocean at Manly or Balmoral. Having been an expat for four years I started trying to find things I wanted to wear that I loved and couldn’t as a mum. I could not find something that ticked all the boxes, was fashionable, and held you in. Something you can wear when you want to be active without yourself falling out. It all went from there.
This all happened in a year, what were the challenges?
Balancing my family; they are always going to be my number one. I had to go to Asia and the UK so was calling in great help from my husband. I was learning on the go. We got our first set of samples and they were terrible. We spoke to other factories and got more patterns made up from a local lady in Manly and we physically had to go over and hand-draw. It was challenging but super exciting.
Do you have a favourite piece right now?
I love the tank and cap sleeve, it is beautiful and I love navy. I also adore the Monte Carlo navy and white suit because it is almost like a denim cap sleeve swimsuit. I love the red and the black.
What inspired your design and colours?
For colours I definitely look at what is on trend coming off the runway. We are about to inject an orange/tangelo colour. Design is a combination of research and what our customers are looking for.
Does it surprise you which ones sell better than others?
Not really, sometimes we have had a really good reaction for high-waisted and have had to re-order.
Do friends wear the swim suits?
I have got two suits in my car for mums that are popping over on the weekend and it’s funny, last weekend I had five deliveries to my local friends. My friends want to try them on and I bring them to school for them. Everyone is super supportive.
Can you share of something that you have learnt so far on this journey?
To be more patient and calm. I remind myself that I am not an expert at everything and that other people can help me. I have learnt to balance family and work.
Did you ever see yourself as a designer growing up?
I was always conservative, I was into Stussy and surf brands. It wasn’t until I was 19 or 20 that I started to really explore and love fashion. But that’s why I can visualise and see colours together. I never really thought about it until this ping went off in my brain.
Back to Mosman, do you have a favourite café?
I love Bloom – the juices, take-away salad, and their breakfasts. My girls love the blueberry pancakes.
Can you describe a normal day for you?
I get my girls ready for school – I walk Darcy and my other daughter goes to school in Wahroonga so she gets transport. I am at work by 8:15. I speak with factories, look at colours, mock things up, speak with our freelance designers, look at samples and zips. I also check if customer service have questions; I have Jill in the office doing social media, something will pop up with PR, for example they will need a suit for a magazine that they don’t have so we will need to get it over there. We have also just got some new accounts like Farfetch and Harvey Nicols in the UK so we are currently setting up for that. I do love coming to work, that’s really nice because I’ve never really been able to say that before.