De Lew Designs since 2003
( Donna Lewis )
De Lew Designs arose from Donna’s participation in and successful completion of three years of nationally recognised Tertiary training within Millinery ( Headwear ) at TAFE NSW, Riverina Institute, Wagga Wagga Campus. During Donna’s training she was encouraged to enter her Millinery into numerous competitions and achieved much success, which in turn, due to word of mouth, began the demand for Donnas Millinery pieces for various race meetings and special events. With the encouragement of her TAFE teacher and family, Donna registered De Lew Designs Australia as a business on the 23rd February 2003.
As demand for De Lew Designs grew the need to source Millinery Supplies was not always an easy task. There were three major Millinery suppliers within Australia, one based in Sydney the other based in Melbourne and one in QLD. Due to Wagga Wagga’s geographical isolation, access to such supplies proved to be quite expensive requiring overnight trips to personally visit suppliers as no suppliers at this stage had a website. Dealings over the phone to order supplies proved unsatisfactory due to difficulty-choosing colours etc, fellow milliners were having to make trips to the city to access supplies as well which is about a 5hr drive.
It was obvious that rural Australia required a Millinery Supplier also. Two years of intensive worldwide researching, resourcing and liaising resulted in De Lew Designs Australia offering not only affordable handmade Millinery but also affordable and accessible Millinery Supplies providing an alternative, for, at that stage, regional NSW milliners. Every effort was made to source Australian products however the majority of our supplies must be imported. De Lew Designs now imports and maintains solid business relationships with many manufacturers worldwide.
To minimise the frustrations associated with ordering supplies,De Lew Designs (Donna) developed an e-commerce website in which sells their Millinery and Millinery Supplies online. The website was launched in 2004 and was the first FULL e-commerce Millinery site in Australia. All products are accompanied with a description and photograph so that customers know exactly what they are getting when they place an order. De Lew Designs Australia goes a step further to please their customers and also offers custom dying of many of their products and go out of their way to source supplies not currently offered on the website.
Attention to detail, (as evidenced by the hand blocking and meticulous hand stitching by Donna of all De Lew Designs Millinery pieces.), exceptional customer service, dedication to the craft of Millinery, enthusiasm, passion and a genuine love for creativity is what has contributed to the rapid growth of De Lew Designs Australia. De Lew Designs Australia now ships Millinery and Millinery supplies all over the world and to every state and Territory within Australia.
De Lew Designs has a new co-owner.
My gorgeous daughter Courtney is now co owner as of Dec 2015. Courtney brings youth, new ideas and directions for De Lew.
Courtney and her gorgeous little sister Madie have teamed up and are bringing streetwear and boho fashion to the world under their label "Midnight Crew" under parent business De Lew Designs.
2016 brings a brand new modern website with new life and enthusiasm as two of my daughters join the De Lew team ... specifically managing and designing for our new fashion label 'Midnight Crew' ~ Urban wear / boho / streetwear.
De Lew Designs happily refers customers to other suppliers / contacts if they are not able to assist the customer for some reason.
De Lew Designs ( Donna Lewis ) have won numerous awards being:
2003 Vision ~ Winner ~ High Fashion Award
2003 Vision ~ Winner ~ Race Wear Award
2004 Vision ~ Winner ~ Bridal Headwear Award
2004 Vision ~ Winner ~ Fashion Daywear Award
2004 Vision ~ Runner up ~ Fascinator Award
2005 Roseleigh Manor Millinery Luncheon ~ Millinery Award
2006 Roseleigh Manor Millinery Luncheon MC by Waltraud Reiner ~ Millinery Award
2006 Prestigious Wagga Wagga Gold Cup ~ WINNER ~ Millinery Award
2006 Wagga Wagga Chamber of Commerce & Industry ~ Winner of Outstanding Business Award
2006 Wagga Wagga Chamber of Commerce & Industry ~ Finalist of Best New Business Award
2006 Wagga Wagga Chamber of Commerce & Industry ~ Finalist of Excellence in product and service Business Award
2007 Carnarvon Ladies day Races Western Australia ~ Winner ~ Millinery Award
Like most Milliners it is difficult to be a fulltime Milliner particularly with our current economic climate. Many Milliners / millinery businesses find it a trying time and find themselves putting more time into their "day Job" ~ secretary, accountant, nursing, teaching, sales assistant etc........Like most milliners Donna "wears several hats !" so to speak. Donna who is also a Registered Nurse leads a very hectic life, being a mother to three gorgeous daughters, a busy Milliner, a business women running De Lew Designs, a TAFE teacher teaching and coordinating Nursing Programmes at Riverina Institute, Wagga Wagga campus and, in her "spare time" assisting her daughters and husband run 'BRICOUMA' their Arabian Horse Stud and compete in Endurance Riding events with their eighteen horses. Donna's roll is of foal midwife and baby(foal) whisperer/handler :) .
De Lew Designs and Midnight Crew are now located
in a spacious retail and workshop space on the grounds of 'BRICOUMA'.
Donnas' motto clearly is:
love and enjoy life, learn all you can and live life to the fullest !
Be proud of the many hats you wear they tell of your lifes journey.