Monthly Archives: December 2013
be wild, be sweet, be you
That’s the motto for Sajeela Jamie’s clothing label, Wild Sugar by Sajeela, sold exclusively at her boutique on the popular Cairns Pier.
The slogan also captures the very essence of Sajeela’s personality and her vibrant, international fashion career. Her designs have sold in high-end retailers across the globe, including Myer and Selfridges.
But after 20 years of working abroad and living the high life, Sajeela returned to Australia to open her boutique and pass down her skills in design, sewing and pattern making as a teacher.
She remembers her own frustration at the difficulty of breaking into the competitive industry, and offers her expert knowledge to give aspiring designers the cutting edge.
“There are a lot of people wanting to be fashion designers, but in reality there are very few jobs in the industry,” she says.
“To be a designer you have to launch yourself, and to do that successfully you need to know exactly how to go about it.”
Sajeela’s own schooling in the industry came as a teenager in Perth. She was still in highschool when she began taking night classes and soon after started work at a local boutique, helping with alterations in between sales.
But it wasn’t until she went to Bali for a holiday that she got her big break.
“I was running out of money and I needed a way to support my son and me, I had some fabric so I decided to sell a few pieces,” she says.
“When I went to get business cards made it just clicked that ‘hey I’m a fashion designer’. I’d wanted to do it all my life and it never worked, but somehow I just fell into it.”
Her designs soon attracted the attention of buyers from all over the world, but while she designed and manufactured the clothes, they were sold under other labels.
Today there’s no mistaking the trademark bold designs of the Wild Sugar by Sajeela brand.
While her early creations were largely inspired by her own interests, these days her focus is on flattering, practical and adaptable fashion that can be worn to work, dinner, parties or even on holiday.
“I design different dresses that are appropriate to different age groups,” she says.
“Some dresses are made with young women in mind and other styles are for older women. I want any woman to feel she can walk into my shop and find something perfect for her.”
The Wild Sugar by Sajeela boutique is constantly growing, now stocking jewellery from ‘Jewellery 2 Match’ by Wendy, including a unique range of necklaces, earrings and
“He works at the shop with me, helps source fabric and creates and manages my websites,” she says.
“Without his constant support the shop would not have been able to grow and evolve like it has.”
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All models wearing designs by Sajeela Jamie:
Olivia Seguin wearing “Night Rose” in black and silver.
Designer Sajeela Jamie wearing “Angel Lily” in black.
Alia Kassam wearing “Backless Jumpsuit” in orange and pink abstract.
Sarah Hasham wearing “Forever” dress in orange and blue butterflies.
Hair and Makeup for Sajeela and Alia provided by Jewel Hair Boutique.
Hair by Jasmine Barnes.
Makeup by Adele Sharvell.
Jewellery by Jewellery 2 Match.
Written by Michelle Dryburgh