Jenna Thomson

The Perfect Work Dress


Business name?

The Perfect Work Dress – an online store for professional women working in a corporate office environment. My dress label is called Wade which is a tribute to my mum and all of my dress styles are named after breeds of horse.

Where did you grow up and where are you based now?

I grew up on a small island off of the west coast of Scotland, called the Isle of Arran. I relocated to Sydney three years ago.

What did you want to be when you ‘grew up’? 

I think I changed my mind everytime someone asked me this when I was young! But I think the main ones were Interior Designer, Detective and owner of my own company.

When and how did you transition from working for someone else to working for yourself?

I still do both – I’m a Forensic Accountant and also run my online store during evenings, early mornings and weekends.

What’s your why?

Because the market offering for women is totally inadequate – the streets are lined with tailors and suit shops for men but hardly anything for women offering flattering, cost effective, professional work wear for corporate women.

What do you love about what you do?

I love the creativity of designing my own dresses and seeing the designs become a reality!

What’s challenged you most since being in business?

Time and competing with the big brands in the advertising space.

What are your greatest achievements to date?

Launching my second range this year.

What are some of the lessons you’ve learned along the way?

Being an accountant and starting a business in the fashion industry resulted in a massive learning curve for me. I’ve had to teach myself so many things in relation to websites, domain names, payment options, advertising, fabrics, pattern making, packaging, social media, networking…you name it!    

What advice would you give someone wanting to start their own business or change jobs to an industry/role that they’d love?

Never underestimate how hard starting your own business is going to be and don’t enter into it lightly. Do something you know inside and out, or find your gap in the market and fill it in style.

What’s something most people wouldn’t know about you?

I ticked off the top of my bucket list last year by completing the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

What does your ideal day look like?

My ideal day starts with an early gym session, followed by addressing my emails over a flat white, a meeting with my production house, shopping for new fabrics and packaging the day’s orders.

What’s one of your favourite quotes?

“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.” Coco Chanel