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South Australian Business in Focus: Gomes Ruche

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by Tema (subscribe)
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If you are like me and new to appreciating the beauty of scrunchies, then know that you (and your hair) will be in good hands thanks to Gomes Ruche's scrunchie range. Known to reduce hair breakage through its wonderful fabric layers between the hair and elastic, scrunchies by Gomes Ruche aim to prevent any kinks or friction that may affect your hair care routine (especially on the go).

With the beautiful weather seeping in after what has felt like a long and dragging winter season, Gomes Ruche has released a vibrant and colorful range of scrunchies that will elevate your overall look to present with a fresh and summery vibe. Specialising in a range of bright and eye-catching patterns of fabric and texture, the scrunchies by Gomes Ruche boast of a high quality stretch, resonate with that authentic handmade touch, and are versatile enough to be worn across a number of outfits - be it in a casual setting or more formal event.

Being a recent customer and having put in repeat orders of their products, what is attractive about this business (apart from the stunning patterns and designs) is the fact that the order comes wrapped in eco-friendly packaging, so in addition to looking fabulous, you are also looking after the environment (which is always a bonus when supporting a business).

In anticipation of their Spring collection launch on September 13 2021, I was fortunate enough to have an e-interview with founder Cicilia - have a read of our exchange below:

Tema: Can you please tell us a bit about yourself, Cicilia?
Cicilia: I'm Cicilia Gomes (also known as CC) the founder of Gomes Ruche! I'm 21 and in my third year of medicine at Adelaide University and run my small business on the side to get my creative fix that medicine doesn't give me. I've been sewing since I was in year 8 and always wanted to be a fashion designer since I was young. I even wanted to be a Doctor with a fashion line on the side! Someone tell little Cicilia to stop making my future life so difficult (as if being a Doctor won't be tiring enough). But that dream is still in my mind today. I've always wanted a business to do with fashion and Gomes Ruche is just the beginning of it.

Tema: What made you want to set up your own business?
Cicilia: Gomes Ruche wasn't completely planned but I always wanted to have a fashion business some time in the future. I made and designed clothes for myself since year 8 and I wanted Gomes Ruche to eventually sell clothes in the future. I (sometimes) make my friends clothes for their birthdays when I have the time. Starting Gomes Ruche when I did happened because I made scrunchies for my friends' birthdays because that year, I was too busy to make a whole piece of clothing. I jokingly sent a Snapchat to my friends saying, 'if you want scrunchies, hit me up x', and surprisingly, people were genuinely messaging me wanting some! One of my first orders was actually an interstate order too. So that's when I started making them in bulk and selling them to my friends who were interested in buying them. I didn't have my business set up officially, until a month after debating whether I should start my business or not. I decided to just go for it and my business opened up on September 13th, 2020 during the pandemic.

Cinderella (photo by Fatema Sitabkhan)


Tema: What made you choose to focus on scrunchies in particular?
Cicilia: Scrunchies became a trend recently since the 90s and they have a lot of hair benefits to them. Satin scrunchies in particular reduce hair breakages, frizz, and split ends. They also leave no kinks in the hair like those skinny black hair ties do! My hair has been so much healthier since using scrunchies so I wanted to solve other people's hair problems whilst looking cute at the same time. Scrunchies are also something that I enjoy sewing so it was easy for me to decide on scrunchies compared to clothing right away.

Tema: How long have you been in business for and what has the journey been like so far?
Cicilia: I am reaching one year on September 13th (same day as my Spring Collection launch)! I seriously can't believe it's been a whole year since starting it since it flew by so fast (cliché, I know but it really is true). I'd be lying if I said it was all good, because having a small business can be very unpredictable. Some weeks are amazing with so many orders and other weeks can be none at all. That just makes the good sales weeks even better and I appreciate every single order! It's crazy that people want things that I MADE! Once you realise that, it makes having a small business so exciting. Over the year, I have definitely grown the business by introducing so many different collections of scrunchies and even expanded my products to include hair claws, headbands and earrings. One thing I wanted to do was be inclusive of all genders -with the introduction of headbands as they are unisex. Small things that people don't even think about such as packaging has had its own glow-up too! I've constantly been upgrading the unboxing process to be more personalised, cute and have on-brand colours that are distinct to Gomes Ruche. Not only has the business grown, but I have grown as a person. In the beginning, I was very timid and wanted to please everyone. Over time, through negative experiences, I have learnt to stand up for myself and the business, be more stern to people and become a more confident person. I'm very thankful to this business for allowing me to do that!

Romance (photo by Fatema Sitabkhan)


Tema: What would you say has been rewarding to start up as a small biz in Adelaide?
Cicilia: The most rewarding part is definitely seeing people wearing my products! My medical cohort and friends are super supportive. Every day that I'm at uni, I'll see someone wearing my scrunchies and it just makes me SO HAPPY! Adelaide didn't have as many scrunchie businesses when I started (compared to other states), so it was really exciting to be one of the few.

Tema: What would you say has been challenging to start up as a small biz in Adelaide?
Cicilia: Being in Adelaide hasn't been challenging at all since I'm an eCommerce business and people can shop from my store from anywhere in the world. In general, it was challenging in the earlier months to reach an audience outside of my friends and family. After the initial two months of immense support from people who knew me, I had to learn how to market to people outside that group with no knowledge in business whatsoever. Online resources and especially TikTok have been a great help to improve my marketing to reach new target audiences.

Tema: What are you expecting to achieve from your upcoming Spring collection?
Cicilia: I hope people feel inspired to accessorise their hair (or their wrists) with cute, floral scrunchies! We've just come out of the colder months, so I wanted to put out a collection that is bright, and has different styles for everyone's tastes. I also experimented with double layer scrunchies to create a rainbow scrunchie - Confetti and a stunning scrunchie called Cinderella. The scarf scrunchies are also very SPRING - cute vibes for the upcoming warmer months.

Confetti (photo by Fatema Sitabkhan)


Tema: What do you think helps Gomes Ruche stand out from the rest in the industry?
Cicilia: Bubble Tea Scrunchies. ACTUAL bubble tea charms inside a scrunchie. They went viral on TikTok with over 500k views and I'm very proud of that creation! Prior to that, I'd named a few of my scrunchies after bubble tea names: Thai Milk Tea, Taro, Tapioca Pearl. If you know Gomes Ruche, most of my scrunchie names are probably named after food. Then I had the idea to actually put bubble tea charms inside a scrunchie and the reaction was incredible. I also have Pom Pom scrunchies which were really popular too. I'm always experimenting to trial out scrunchies that no one has seen before. Lately, I've been experimenting with double layers of fabric to create unique looks - as you can see from the new Cinderella and Confetti scrunchies (and previously Royalty).

Tema: Do you primarily operate online or have you got a few stockists?
Cicilia: Gomes Ruche is primarily online through my website: https://gomesruche.square.site. There is worldwide shipping available as well. Recently, I've got a local hair salon stockist in Adelaide: Hair By Jurnee and their website stocks it as well.

Tema: Is there anything else that you'd like us to know about yourself and Gomes Ruche?
Cicilia: We're all about cute, colourful and pop culture vibes here! Whether you love Asian culture (bubble teas, animes), a luxurious look (Satin scrunchies), or pop culture (FRIENDS scrunchies), it's all here! Serving you iconic looks whilst solving your hair problems!

Gomes Ruche operates online at https://gomesruche.square.site/ and is highly responsive via their social media channels (Facebook and Instagram).

SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR WN READERS
If you are liking the look and sound of Gomes Ruche's scrunchies, Weekend Notes readers can enjoy a 10% discount using the code Tema10.
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Why? With Spring and Summer around the corner, you are going to need the perfect accessories to complete your lewk.
When: Online
Where: Adelaide / South Australia / online
Cost: $$
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