Folklaw always knew you lawyers were a talented, over-achieving lot, but a construction lawyer who runs a fashion company on the side? This is really taking things to a new level.
Brisbane-based Holding Redlich construction lawyer Laura Chong (pictured right) went online with her corporate fashion store The 400 Co in March this year.
“The 400 Co for me was really what I can wear to work,” the multi-talented Brisbanite told Folklaw.
“As a female lawyer there are limited places to shop and I sort of got a bit bored of the typical brands ... I really do feel it’s important to personally brand in the workplace and wear clothes that are creative and different but still corporate.”
Chong designs many of the clothes on the site, including the site’s latest range, the Black & White Collection.
“I’ve always been designing,” Chong revealed. “Through school I’d make my own dresses for the weekend; when I got to university and [started] going to law balls I’d always design my own dresses.
“Once I started as a lawyer I stopped having the time to make [clothes] myself ... but then I just realised I can’t stop that sort of thing; it’s my creative outlet and that’s how I achieve a work-life balance.”
Chong still works full-time and does all her designing and puts orders together when she clocks off in the evening. She praises her supervising partner, Janelle Kerrisk, as “amazing”.
“That has been how I’ve been able to make it really happen; having people like that around me to really support and get behind what I do.”
Kerrisk even modelled some of Chong’s first collection for her, and another lawyer pal, Wylie Nunn (pictured below), who works at Crown Law in Brisbane, donned Chong’s latest collection.
Despite her busy schedule, Chong says she has no plans to throw in the lawyer towel just yet.
“I would really like to stay [working as a lawyer] as long as possible, because that’s where I get to wear my clothes,” Chong laughed.
She added: “[I really do want] to stay as long as I possibly can at work because being a lawyer is still part of me and I don’t want to give that up right now anyway.”
Chong will combine her construction and fashion expertise by having a pop-up stall in place at the Brisbane Valley Markets on 7 July.