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Brisbane’s Tragic Beautiful makes $5m from goth culture and witchcraft

Melanie Cramond has always been a part of the goth scene, with a love for its alternative clothing and hair, yet she was working in a job selling photocopiers.

But then a “horrible” pregnancy over a decade ago, which made her incredibly sick and forced her to stop work early, changed her life.

She was bored out of her brain waiting to give birth and couldn’t find a hair dye she wanted.

So she decided to launch her business Tragic Beautiful from her Brisbane loungeroom with just $

The mum-of-two imported hair dyes putting them up on eBay where they went “crazy” as well as some alternative fashion.

After her daughter was born, she would then wait for her to fall asleep, package up the orders and fill her car with parcels, even modelling the clothes herself to advertise them including goth platform boots with big chunky buckles.

But randomly it was fluffy leg warmers, which gave her business its “big break” around five years ago.

“It sounds bizarre but back then there was a cyber goth vibe with people wearing fluffy leg warmers around overseas. So I went to Spotlight and got a bunch of coloured fur and made them. At one point my mum bought a demountable office for her yard and we were importing fur in rolls of metres at a time to make little fluffy leg warmers,” she told news.com.au.

“We then made bras and tops for the rave scene and continued for five years and then established enough of a customer base and bought on a lot of alternative indy brands.”

Tragic Beautiful took off so much her family even moved house so there would be more room and the business launched its own website.

Since then she has created some spooky additions to the brand’s range, including coffin shelves and witchy homewares.

The coffin-shaped bookshelves, designed by Ms Cramond, include a smaller one that sells for $ and a bigger one for $

Plus a “haunted mansion collection” which includes things to “decorate your crypt” such as tablecloths, placemats, fright night pillow slips, hanging bats and lunar shelves in the shape of a crescent moon.

“These are popular for those who do not want to step into the whole of dark side but want a bit of a quirk in their home,” she said.

“A lot of customer might not be per cent of an alternative bent, but like a couple of alternative wardrobe items or quirky shoes to complete a going out outfit or to jazz it up.”

For pampering, there’s a luxe vegan bath and body range including black bath bombs and body wash made by another Brisbane local.

“We even found a young blacksmith and woodworker to handcraft our bath trays,” she added. “It feels great to be able to contribute to Australian businesses rather than just importing.”

Aussies would be surprised to know the goth community is big, she added, estimating that a million Aussies embrace the lifestyle at any one time.

“Goth is the sub culture which never went away. Almost 40 years after its genesis, the movement continues and to some people’s surprise, Australia has a vibrant community of active engaged goths and other fans of alternative subcultures.

This is reflected in our social media audience of over , and a special VIP group of over members,” she said.

“It really appealed to me as it gives you the sheer ability to express yourself creatively without any barriers.”

A few years ago the year-old was introduced to witchcraft, which “really intrigued” her.

“Witchcraft is such a positive spiritual outlet, its really looked upon something very different to reality,” she explained.

“It’s looked upon as witches with bent noises and casting evil spells and hexes and the majority of witches don’t believe in casting out anything negative as you will get it coming back to you.

“I love that it offers something spiritual but without constraints and you’re not bound by any laws or regulations, you can follow it according to what you believe.”

It’s an area she has seen explode since Covid hit as people looked to explore new things while locked up, with everything from beginner witchcraft items such as blends to burn, to spell books and even cleansing kits gaining popularity.

“We have witchcraft supplies, little cauldrons, herbs related to witchcraft, wands, crystals and we have found that’s huge, especially since Covid, it’s been a massive seller for us,” she said.

At start of the pandemic, the business “tripled overnight” as online took off and Ms Cramond said she hasn’t stopped since. It means Tragic Beautiful is on target to make $5 million this year.

The entrepreneur said it’s been insane scaling up a business from a million dollars in just the space of a year, but there will never be a corporate uniform in sight.

“It’s absolutely surreal, its like a whirlwind this year. I feel so lucky to come to work and do what I love which is dreaming up weird, quirkily, unusual products,” she said.

“I do not look or dress my age. I wear exactly the same thing, so I constantly wear my six inch platform boots from Demonia, probably some velvet flares from Killstar and one of any kind of crop tops with a witchy design or slogan such as ‘sinner’ on the front – that’s a standard work day outfit.”

One of the biggest products for Tragic Beautiful is the mystery boxes released quarterly, which include all their signature items such as bath and body products, homewares and other pieces.

“People get really excited and we release between and boxes and they get sold out within a minute. We are doing that again on Black Friday with a black box for $ and we are introducing a new mega box for $,” she revealed.

“People wait and stalk the page and take days off work to get them.”

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Tragic Beautiful now employs 12 staff and an intern and has moved into an sq m black warehouse in Meadowbrook, shipping out thousands of order a month.

New products coming up include a coffin-shaped ouija board to help with spirit communication, coffin suitcases, trays in the shape of bats and more quirky homewares and clothing.

Read related topics:Australian Small BusinessBrisbane

Sours: https://www.news.com.au/finance/small-business/brisbanes-tragic-beautiful-makes-5m-from-goth-culture-and-witchcraft/news-story/a9decd94dc8a1de07ffd7
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Sanford style: What people are wearing on the mall

Grabbing your Crossroads order from the Grubhub shelf and bolting to your next class as you answer one of the five texts from your mom, you pass the eno jungle, preacher’s paradise and frisbee tournament arena that is Sanford Mall. 

Sanford is an App State student’s destination for studying in the sun and unintentionally showcasing their outfits on the way to their next class. Here’s what students are wearing this fall on the biggest and beloved quad. 

Thrifting specialist Jocelyn Cardona sports a fiery tie-dye baby tee dawning a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina logo. Worn atop light wash, distressed, mom jeans and Harley Davidson combat boots, Cardona keeps it casual yet edgy in her Sanford attire.

Fashion sustainability is important to senior student Cardona, as seen by her “Sustain App State” tote bag, reusable water bottle and her summer internship.

Cardona spent her summer at Amy&#;s Closet Boutique, a nonprofit that helps domestic violence victims with its proceeds and donated items, according to their website. Inspired by the store, Cardona says her closet is about 90% thrifted. 

Her process for getting dressed each morning is simple. She places future outfits for the week on a small clothing rack on the floor of her bedroom, while the rest of her pieces stay in her closet, or as she likes to call it, “inventory.”

App State also serves as an inspiration for the senior student, who said the fashion scene in Boone is motivating for dressing to impress. 

“A lot of people do dress nicer here, and people have unique styles here, but for me, it&#;s more of like the confidence to go about my day,” Cardona said. “I want to make sure when I get in class I feel confident in myself both on an intellectual level but also on a physical with clothes on my body that make me feel like I can do what I want.”

With evil eyes, peace signs and crystal beads adorned across her neck, freshman Angeluz Murillo takes to the sidewalk in almost knee-high Demonia-styled shoes, the goth platform boots.

She said she bought them on the popular selling app Depop. Murillo said she decided to buy the shoes from an online seller because they were $10 cheaper on the platform.

Past the straps, belt buckles, studs and zippers, Murillo rocks a cream skater skirt tied to her waist with an attached corset belt. Over her black top is a dark flannel that sits right under her curly cut with purple bangs. 

Though her outfit may be a statement, Murillo said she used to feel too insecure to show her true style. 

“My sister, she kind of inspired me,” Murillo said. “She started dressing however she wanted to. She didn’t care what people thought. And honestly I was like, ‘Dude, that’s so cool.’”

Murillo’s style icons come from others in history who she said also dressed freely, like artists David Bowie and Freddie Mercury. 

As she let go of these insecurities, Murillo also began to dye and cut her hair. From pink to now purple bangs, Murillo said that a year ago, we would’ve seen her with a long, undyed do.

Sipping on her smoothie that almost matches the pink on her skirt, Hallie McGee steps onto Sanford Mall in her mother&#;s low-top sneakers that almost resemble Golden Goose’s, the luxury Italian leather shoes. 

Above that is McGee’s pink miniskirt paired with a black slouchy sweater. Layered under her sweater is a white top just below several gold necklaces that compliment the neon skirt.

For her hair, McGee puts it up with a claw clip. Inspired by the fashion of the 90s, claw clips have been a way to place your hair away from your face without having to “dent” it like a hair tie would. And since it’s been seen on models like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber, the clips have made their way into the fall trends as well.  

But no matter the trend cycle, Sanford is still home to glimpses of App State’s best dressed students. Just like there’s endless amounts of ways to enjoy your time in the green grass, there’s endless combinations of outfits that cross the center of campus, every season. 

Sours: https://theappalachianonline.com/sanford-style-what-people-are-wearing-on-the-mall/

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