Milla + Honey at Kaleidoscope
Coffs Coast local Sophie Hallam is making waves. From selling lemons on the side of the road to scrunchies made from recycled fabric, the 15-year-old now owns her own clothing label, Milla + Honey. Determined to establish a brand that reflects her personal values, Sophie is focussing on sustainability, equality and slow, conscious consumption. She has now joined the makers at Coffs Central’s collaborative retail space Kaleidoscope.
“I told my friends about Kaleidoscope and they reminded me that it’s been something I’ve dreamt about since I was little,” Sophie explains.
She jumped at the chance to be involved in an emporium that empowers artisans and their businesses.
“The fact that it will be supporting local makers and giving people like me a go at having a retail space… it’s literally a dream situation for a small business,” Sophie says.
As a brand that started online, Sophie spends a lot of time on her laptop, sorting through orders, responding to emails and creating social media content. She says she’s excited to meet customers face-to-face and share her vision.
“Milla + Honey is a reflection of the world I want to see,” she says. “I just feel so incredibly lucky to do what I do.”
In the past year, momentum has been building. Sophie has fielded various offers and invitations from pitch competitions to runway shows and even a letter of encouragement from Vogue. Her following has grown as like-minded people are drawn to Milla + Honey’s ethos.
“When I’m in the zone, creating – not focusing on trying to be bigger or get noticed – that’s when people come to me,” Sophie explain. “They see I’m focussing on what I love and doing something authentic rather than trying to get their attention.”
Age doesn’t factor into the equation for Sophie. She refuses to let youth limit her and isn’t afraid of hard work. From designing logos to sourcing ethical suppliers and creating online content, she has jumped in feet first, eager to learn and grow along the way.
Unsurprisingly, Sophie has had to contend with those who want to give her a dose of “reality”.
“I’m at the age when everyone is asking what I want to be when I grow up and I’m reluctant to tell them I want to run Milla + Honey fulltime,” she admits. “A lot of people think I need a back-up plan.”