It was during at trip to Mexico in 2010 that designer Heidi Semetka and her partner Angus Plate, a photographer, walked through the leather markets and an idea was sparked. The thick leather goods they saw, using traditional carving techniques, weren’t available in Australia - yet. A couple of years later the duo quit their jobs and travelled around the world - visiting India, Sri Lanka, Mexico and Indonesia - sourcing materials for a range of leather accessories that was to become Sancia. “I come from quite a creative family,” Heidi says. “Design, colour, creativity and travel were a big part of my life growing up.” When she finished school she started a business degree though and then changed courses half-way through to enroll in the Fashion Design Studio at East Sydney Tech. After working across a range of brands such as Portmans and General Pants, Heidi and Angus launched the the first collection of bags just over a year ago. Since then Sancia is stocked in more than 17 boutiques worldwide. The duo have recently relocated from Sydney to Indonesia, where the leather goods are made.
Which five words best describe you? Creative, intuitive, perfectionist, focused, traveller.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? After graduating from college, I worked in design/development for numerous Australian fashion retailers. My partner and I went on a round-the-world trip in 2013 and that’s when our label began.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? You never know what’s waiting for you around the corner.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Launching Sancia in 2013. Since then it has been a whirlwind of amazing highs and lows, travel and adventures. We have connected with some of the most talented people. Fortunately, our first collection was picked up by a number of stores throughout Australia and worldwide and the overall support we have received from boutiques and bloggers gave us the confidence that we were on the right track.
What’s been your best decision? To quit our full time jobs and start Sancia.
Who inspires you? People who follow their dreams.
What are you passionate about? Travelling, spending time with my loved ones and getting in the ocean regularly.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I am actually very fulfilled right now; we have just relocated to Indonesia, which is exciting. Having the opportunity to live and work overseas is a bit of a dream come true. As long as I have the time to travel, spend time with my family and friends, eat delicious food, explore new places, my life will be fulfilled.
What are you reading? At the moment all I am reading is Excel spread sheets. We are right in the middle of production orders and costing our new collection.
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