Fashion festival to pay off for dedicated volunteer team

SMALL businesses in Townsville will benefit from North Queensland’s biggest fashion festival.

The Carmichael Motors Mercedes Benz Townsville Fashion Festival begins on October 24 and while the economic benefits are difficult to measure, local businesses are volunteering for the cause in the belief it will boost their sector in the long term.

Organisers believe the festival will create exposure for associated businesses and renew consumer enthusiasm.

Festival president Madonna Simmons said the businesses and freelancers participating would otherwise have to travel south to find recognition for their talents.

“I would like designers from our region recognised for designing to our elements,” Ms Simmons said.

“I would like to see fashion wholesale buyers and retailers stocking these designs.

“I would like to see design offered as a course locally, to have photography exhibitions and workshops for fashion shoots.

“We as a committee have set goals to foster the design and fashion industry so as to create sustainability for buying locally.”

Townsville Enterprise tourism general manager Patricia O’Callaghan said the fashion festival was a “perfect example” of how an event can help small businesses.

“We know the retail industry has taken a massive hit in the last couple of years,” she said.

“The vision is really to stimulate and grow the industry.”

While there is always plenty of talk about Townsville’s diverse economy, Ms O’Callaghan said it was important to foster new opportunities.

“I think we need to look at new industries, especially ones that market Townsville to other places,” she said.

The non-profit festival has a budget of just over $100,000, which organisers say will trickle into the economy.

One of the most incredible aspects of the event is that it is created entirely by volunteers  professionals from a range of backgrounds who believe the long term benefits will repay their hard work.

Freelance makeup artist Rebecca Dainer, who operates Beccy Jean Make Up, is volunteering as organiser of the festival’s makeup team.

She said exposure gained through the festival could lead to more business for volunteers or their employers.

“Our main reason for doing it is because we love it,” she said.

“But it does give you quite a lot of exposure.”

TOWNSVILLE BULLETIN

OCTOBER 18, 2013

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