If you’re anything like us, your “sleepwear” often consists of worn out singlets, hoodies and track pants that are no longer in a state to be seen by anyone outside your immediate loved ones (and even that’s pushing it). Luckily Eb and Tash, aka Masini & Chern, have really upped the ante in bedroom style. The Melbourne-based besties share with us how – and why – their already well-adored brand was born…
What inspired you to embark on the world of sleepwear?
We stumbled across a gap in the sleepwear market around Christmas time four years ago. We were looking for sophisticated sleepwear that we could wear on a Sunday morning with family and friends without looking too raunchy or too cutsey. We couldn’t find anything and so the business idea started to form and eventually we decided we would go for it and do it ourselves. Ebonnie was living in London and Tash was in Melbourne and it took us three years to really develop the idea and the brand before launching.
What were you both doing before launching M&C?
Ebonnie’s background was in fashion design but prior to Masini & Chern she was based in London working as a buyer for the world’s largest shoe store in Dubai. Tash has a background in textile and interior design and she worked for Melbourne ad agency Clemenger BBDO.
What has it been like going into business with your BFF?
We spend way more time together than with anyone else… including our husbands. Sometimes we have to pinch ourselves and realise how lucky we are to be doing what we love with our best mate by our side. We work hard but we also make time to have fun. Especially when we travel, we both love good food, good wine and keeping a healthy lifestyle. We also laugh a lot.
Do the two of you assume different roles? How do your skills complement each other?
As a small company, almost every aspect of the business is done by us. From the very beginning we both wanted to make sure we knew and were across every facet of the company. We’re certainly not experts on everything but we feel good knowing that when we do hire staff we will have some understanding of what the job involves.
Where do you draw inspiration for your unique prints?
Rather than looking at themes or things we create moods with moments in time. Like spring mornings in Paris or a long brunch under grapevines in the countryside. We imagine these moments; the colours, the smells the feelings and then design our collections based on this.
Did you set out to design a line that could be worn out of the house too? Or did that trend happen organically?
Our motto from the very beginning was ‘between the sheets and on the streets’ and we still always keep this in mind when designing. We’ve spotted a few people on the street wearing our pyjamas, which blows our mind because it’s great to see that people get what we’re about.
How would you describe the Masini & Chern archetype?
We have customers from all over the world, of all ages, shapes and sizes. Our pyjamas are not sexy or cute. They’re for people that want to look stylish and sophisticated whilst being comfortable.
What are the biggest things you’ve learnt in your first 18 months of business?
Get a good accountant and Google is your friend. You can learn anything and everything via the Internet.
What does your typical working day look like?
We’re almost always together either working from our studio or each other’s houses. Tash had a baby late last year and we live literally 400 metres from each other so there are some occasions where we work from home in our pyjamas. For example our day could be spent collaborating ideas for upcoming collections, writing and responding to emails and picking and packing. Takeaway coffees and trips to the local health food shop for a green smoothie is very much part of our daily ritual as well.
You’ve amassed a fabulous fan base pretty quickly? Has there been a distinct strategy around this?
Absolutely not. We set out to create beautiful sleepwear that we hoped people would love as much as us. We’re still learning and growing as a brand and we hope that people will continue to appreciate what we do.
Any top marketing tips for other aspiring style entrepreneurs out there?
Know exactly who you are. Before launching it took us a long time to really fine tune who we were as a brand. You don’t want to rush into an idea without it being fully developed or else you could risk it not being understood properly. Especially with social media, you want to tell a story and you want that story to reflect in your designs.
What’s next for the Masini & Chern empire? Do you have any exciting expansion plans in the works?
Our goal is to be Australia’s leading bedroom brand, taking our sophisticated and fashion forward approach into all things bedroom such as slippers, bed linen, candles and chunky knit robes. We also plan to focus on increasing our international presence particularly in the US and Europe.
via Instagram @masiniandchern