The foundations of a multi-million dollar fashion empire were formed in the 1960s when the then teenage Sally Browne taught herself to sew. With an initial investment of $250, and a later loan of $1,000, Sally built her fashion label that took her around the world, taught her sometimes tough lessons on business, the need for insurance and in Sally’s words, ‘the school of greatness’.
The audience of Deakin Business School Commerce Alumni heard about Sally’s successful and not so successful business ventures. Her tips for success include focusing on what is working – Sally recalled weekly meetings that were known as ‘TGR Meetings – Things Gone Right’; the need to understand the how the business is meeting a market need: ‘niche and need’; and she warned how falling in love with an idea can be terminally dangerous for a business venture.
Sally spoke of the importance of her philanthropic work - Motherless Daughters – as a ‘sprinkling of fairy dust’. She believes that giving back and being open to others means being open to opportunities of all kinds.
The audience was impressed by Sally’s business acumen and her honesty. The peppering of laugh-out-loud moments created an engaging and lively atmosphere and her approach to success and tough lessons captivated the audience.
More recently, Sally has climbed some of the tallest mountains on the planet and followed the pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago on a 28 day walk in Spain. She reminded the audience to be authentic ‘because everyone else is taken’, chase ‘heroic mastery’, be ‘audaciously curious’ and always ‘invest in people smarter than you’.