10 Life lessons you can learn from Rebecca Thompson

Speaking in this case of the face behind the brand, Rebecca Thompson is somewhat of a unique designer. Having started her very first business at the age of 15 (painting pots and selling them at Camberwell Market with best friend Chrissie Swan), she’s no stranger to the demands of the fashion and retail industries. With 23 years experience in the fashion (and real) world, we figure there’s a thing or two we can learn from our leading lady… 

  1. Get fired from a job. RT was fired from her hair dressing apprenticeship and it lead her to the path she is on today. “Some things are meant to be, and some aren’t, and sometimes the things that aren’t meant to be are just as important as the things that are,” she said.
  2. Be good to your boss, as she might just work for you one day. “Georgia, who has worked for RT for 9 years, was my first boss in fashion when I was 18, and I still love her just as much today as I did then!”
  3. Nobody expects you to be perfect. “I was a size 22 until I was 26 years old, and managed to lose 45 kilograms. I’ve been on the 5 : 2 diet since September last year and have lost 4 inches off my hips!”
  4. The oldest isn’t always the wisest. “I’m still the youngest person on the RT team, but I’m confident that I know what’s best for my brand. The girls that I work with are like family, and there’s nothing more important than those relationships.”
  5. You don’t have to be pro to go pro. “A lot of people don’t know this but I’ve never actually had any formal fashion training. I have no degree in fashion, but have sold to the likes of Fred Segal and Calypso Celle in the States. Street smarts are always just as important.”
  6. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. “I’m not married, but I have known my partner since I was 18 years old. We have a beautiful 4 year old boy together, and I wouldn’t change our happy little family for the world.”
  7. To travel is to live. “When I finished year 12 I moved to Japan to teach English, instead of going on schoolies. Now, whenever I need to go to India for work, I stay with a beautiful Indian family who constantly feel the need to cook for me (hence the 5 : 2 diet)!”
  8. You’re never too young or too old. “I started the Rebecca Thompson brand when I was 26, working for someone else during the day and RT during the night. My local fruit shop accepted my imports on my behalf!”
  9. It’s okay to have other hobbies. “If I wasn’t a designer, I’d be a pyrotechnic or a makeup artist.”
  10. Your first job is never your last. “My very first job in fashion design was to create an NZ gothic wedding dress. Enough said.”