Our Practice

Rowena, Juliana & Angela Foong

Meet the women behind High Tea with Mrs Woo - a proud, Australian-made, small-run clothing label. It is the collaboration of three sisters designing eloquent, timeful clothing and accessories with natural fibre fabrics.

 

Rowena, Juliana & Angela Foong Image 1
Rowena, Juliana & Angela Foong Image 2
High Tea with Mrs Woo workshop, 2017

Story & Philosophy

High Tea with Mrs Woo is the creative collaboration of sisters, Rowena, Juliana and Angela Foong. They design and manufacture their clothing range in-house, with a flagship retail store in the city of Newcastle - established in 2004.

Truth be told, we really love working with each other - 15 years in business and still going strong! We collaborate in life and work, and dip into our shared experiences to create our styles and designs.

Fascinated with the memory of clothing, they explore the ability of fashion to unfold a great yarn. They describe each piece of garment they make from a moment in time - like Stuck in Ueno, Irreversible, We're All Mad Here, Waiting for Jack to name a few.

Traditional tailoring methods are used in developing unique shapes from conventional dress forms to make High Tea with Mrs Woo. The sisters appreciate and practice the time-honoured qualities of dressmaking. They practice Slow Fashion values - using materials and creating designs that are appreciated for their craftsmanship, wearability and materiality; maintaining a small and sustainable scale of production to make clothing that is worthy of care and enjoyment for a long and useful life.

We love a little drama in our styling and in the details of our designs but we are ultimately focused on producing highly wearable, long-lasting styles. We work with fabrics with not just one season in mind. We produce garment styles that can be worn across seasons rather than just being seasonal.

Sustainability and Ethics

High Tea with Mrs Woo practices to work and live consciously, to create a sustainable business that supports their families and grows in healthy ways into the future - from day-to-day practices such as recycling and packaging supplies, to establishing good workplaces and relationships with customers and suppliers.

By the very nature of slow and small, our business is innately doing good... but it's not nearly enough. We're honing in on designs, processes and systems that move towards circularity in use of resources - from the way we power our business to the materials that we choose.

Mrs Woo Lifecycle

To help extend the life of Mrs Woo garments, the sisters have created High Tea with Mrs Woo Lifecycle Facebook Group - a marketplace for buying and selling pre-loved Mrs Woo garments of good to excellent condition. This community space is a respectful and thoughtful way for customers to pass on their Mrs Woo garments for others to enjoy when its time in their wardrobe is up. To encourage recirculation, the seller is gifted with a $10 Voucher per garment listed and sold, that can be used on-line or in-store towards the next Mrs Woo investment garment.

Slow Wearing Well

Slow Wearing Well is a community initiative that the sisters started as a way to inform and inspire their customers, friends, family and greater community on ways to have a healthy, workable approach to their wardrobes and lives.

The sisters use this program to host LIVE Wardrobe Edit sessions, walking city trails, events and gatherings to share skills, stories and knowledge so that they can promote and converse about clothing and fashion sustainability.

Join the conversation on Instagram on the @slowwearingwell feed.

 

 

Heritage & History

Our parents brought us here to Australia in 1988. We grew up in Malaysia and have strong childhood memories of our grandparent's 100 year old gold-smithing and clock shop which was also the family home. Worn wood, rusty tools, age-old materials and textures still resonate with us today. We also grew up with many strong women in our lives – our mother, grandmothers and many aunts. Mrs Woo is the synergy of women who inspire us.

Trained in Graphic Design and Visual Communication, Rowena and Juliana draw on their diverse design skills whilst Angela brings her Economics and Commerce background to form their dynamic and wonderful sisterly team. With a strong penchant for making and sewing skills cultured from young, they continue to work with a small production team from their Newcastle workshop to create High Tea with Mrs Woo.

Flagship Retail Store

High Tea with Mrs Woo store was established in 2004 and is located in the prominent, leafy inner city suburb of Cooks Hill. The sisters collaborated with long-time creative partner Benjamin Gallagher to create a dream interior space and shopping sanctuary that is their beautiful Newcastle store.           

Here, the sisters present their clothing ranges and a small, curated selection of jewellery, accessories and shoes, as well as hand-crafted tableware, textiles and objects for gifts and home. They gather and cultivate high quality, small-run artisanal products by makers and designers from near and far - regularly featuring and supporting Australian-made creatives.

We bring the clothes we make and these goods to our local market - celebrating sustainable practices and small business, long-lasting and slow-wearing ways, thoughtful and well-made designs.

 

 

Come dream with us – leave the street and step into a different time. Slow up. Come to a place where you hold things in your hands – a thought, a moment, a scent, a light – beautiful, useful things – from skilled hands to your hands.

 


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