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Tailored takes a boutique approach to marketing; a studio built by co-founders Diana Marshall and Chenae Davies, who believe that digital marketing can be beautiful.

Having collaborated with Tailored over the past couple of years on Laing’s marketing direction, we wanted to sit down with her and discuss running a boutique business, and what the key to a successful outfit is.


Tell us about your career journey and what led you to starting Tailored. What made you want to work for yourself?

I have had an incredible near-20 year career in marketing for retail brands including Deadly Ponies, Overland Footwear Group (where I met my business partner, Chenae), and Number One Shoes (where I met my husband, Stuart). Before that I was deeply rooted in comms, events and digital marketing roles as well as an overseas stint, and a few life lessons along the way.

Tailored began as a feeling during Covid of wanting to take control of something during an uncontrollable time. I’ve long wanted to work for myself and I was frustrated with the lack of digital marketing support available to brands that actually prioritise their ‘brand’ - everything had become commercially focused and lost sight of storytelling. Chenae and I saw an opportunity to share our knowledge and create an offering that could support a brand-first approach. Digital marketing should be beautiful; and that’s our mission at its core.


What's the most important piece of advice you've been given that has actually been useful?

‘If you do nothing, nothing happens. If you do something, something happens.’

Basically, the first step is always the hardest - but if you just start somewhere, then the rest will come.


What are the best bits about running your own business? How does each day differ and how do you stay motivated?

So many things! I’m passionate about collaborating with women, working in fashion, and supporting up-and-coming brands, which has become the centre of what we do at Tailored. We work with people that we genuinely care about, and care about us.

I love that I get to work with one of my dearest friends, who also happens to be my business partner.

The flexibility of running my own business means that I can shape what my own role looks like; my days are often at home at my desk, learning and ideating, on video calls to my team or clients, out meeting people for coffee, or travelling back and forth between Auckland and Melbourne.

When I think about the alternatives to running a business, nothing feels as rewarding or motivating to me. I’m motivated because I just genuinely love what I do. Everything about what I do inspires me and I am so immersed in this world that it just feels like a part of my every waking moment.

If I happen to be having a day where I’m lacking motivation, there are two things that can usually turn this around. One is ‘idle time.’ Stopping, sitting, and doing as little as possible for a moment, or an hour (however long it takes) tends to spark creative ideas. Usually I’m taking a long shower or on the couch with a book and it’ll come back to me.

The other motivator for me is podcasts - listening to someone else talking about business or challenges that I can identify with sparks the fire again.


You run your business in a very modern way, in that all the team are in different locations. Talk to us about the challenges and successes of this model.

The traditional 9-5 office workplace model is, quite frankly, outdated. It wasn’t designed for a woman's body and puts us all under a lot of unnecessary stress. When we started Tailored we saw an opportunity to create positive change with a flexible work environment that allows space for inspiration and self-motivation whilst delivering a better work-life balance. We all work from home everyday, and across three different cities.

 We trust our team to produce the work that is required, and don’t believe in presenteeism for the sake of it. What we do believe in is hiring the right people and understanding what motivates them.

A lot of hesitancy for business owners with this model is the ‘culture’ challenges it can bring.

But honestly, we haven’t seen any of these challenges. Our team are so happy with the  model we run and when we do get together, they absolutely love and cherish that time.

It’s not to say we don’t see each other either - we have daily video calls,  in-person meetings monthly (at an absolute  minimum), dedicated team days where we’re all together to ideate, and we catch up for lunch whenever we can.

All of these things mean that we have a happier team, with better work-life balance and a higher productivity level.


How would you describe your personal style  and what is the key to a successful outfit for you?

I think I can summarise in three words - minimalist, androgynous, black. In general, I’m excited by change so I enjoy that fashion gives me something ‘new’ everyday. By ‘new’ I mean new to me, so that could be a seasonal product release, or it could be finding an exciting thrifted piece.

Fashion is my hobby - it’s what I like to spend my time and money on so you could say my personal style has been crafted over a lifetime.


What are some of the most treasured pieces in your wardrobe?

My mum’s blue denim waistcoat circa 1985 that still feels relevant today.

My engagement ring that was my Grandmother’s, the sapphire sourced by my Grandfather in the 1950s from the mines in India

My red Wynn Hamlyn suit; I absolutely love suiting for women (and have my eye on Laing’s new suit!)

My black denim Acne jacket purchased in LA a few years ago that I still wear almost daily.


What do you most admire about Laing as a brand?

Anna’s approach to design is so interesting to me - as a business woman she considers the practicality of a garment alongside design. She leads with a focus on the wearer; where they’ll wear the piece as well as how it feels from a fabrication standpoint.

And as someone who appreciates minimalism, I love the simplicity of Laing’s designs and that they fit so seamlessly with my personal style and existing wardrobe.

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