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Meeting Eliza and Viva from Partos and Pike is like meeting Monika and myself in flesh. It’s unnerving how similar we are.

Eliza is much like myself: the organised, process driven one with an eye for clarity. Viva and Mon are our counterparts – the creative geniuses who can pull random ideas into physical beauty. And much like us, it takes the other person to highlight our strengths.

“Eliza is really good at clarifying things. She’s the clear thinker.”

The story of Partos and Pike begins four years ago, when Eliza had the idea to start a fashion range.

“I came up with the idea, told Viva and then had to wait two weeks for Viva to say yes.”

While poles apart in certain aspects, the similarities between the two are a clear driving force behind the brand. They both remark on their shared aesthetic tastes and how they can come together quite easily to create the end product.

They are currently up to their fourth summer range and when I take the chance to look at their online shop, I notice that everything is sold out.

“We have deliberately aimed for small, steady growth. Plus everything is made locally which has its advantages and disadvantages.”

It’s clear the quality control is incredibly important to the Partos + Pike team. They are able to control the quality of production by using local suppliers, plus they can limit any challenges that arise in production.

“We can simply go over there and see how it’s going. You can’t do that if you’re sourcing from China.”

This also suits their ‘slow and steady’ approach to growth.

“It’s better to make mistakes when you’re smaller!”

I couldn’t agree more.

Partos + Pike originally started by selling their range at local markets and pop-ups. Their original range launched in October 2014, which they celebrated with a small launch party. To top it off, they were featured in the popular local rag, The GT Magazine. For a brand that wanted a slow launch, they definitely got more than they bargained for!

“We were lucky, that’s for sure.”

They are definitely onto a winning formula, with demand for certain styles coming in year after year. It appears their shorts are a hot favourite, which Eliza attributes to the fact they are both fashionable and practical.

“They’re a great cut.”

But it’s their commitment to originality that sets them apart. Their trademark  prints are designed by Eliza and Viva and don’t expect any flamingos or palm tree prints any time soon.

“We don’t follow trends and for us, originality in everything is so important.”

Originality is a tough thing to achieve in the creative world, yet these two seemed to have nailed it with ease and grace. I was curious – where does the inspiration come from?

“From each other. The conversations we have.”

As for what’s next, it’s all about expanding and working on their publicity. 

There’s no plan to do a winter range. Instead, the focus is to expand geographically with Melbourne being the next focus. You’ll see them at the next Finders Keepers market in Melbourne this October. They’re looking forward to getting in front of their customers again:

“You learn so much when you’re with customers. They ask questions we don’t see coming and we can see how our clothes fit different body shapes. We always take that feedback and continually work to improve our range.”

Well, considering their sold out online shop and constant demand for certain styles, they’re clearly doing it right. 

Feature: Partos + Pike

Website: http://partosandpike.bigcartel.com/

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Author: Kate Toholka, House of Sage

Photography: Monika Berry, House of Sage

Geelong Creatives member