A Life in Design with Rayna Hooper

Rayna Hooper, creative director of Adelaide-based fashion house The Holiday Collective, on global exploration, inspiration and South Australian dedication.

Running one of Adelaide’s largest fashion houses from their operational headquarters in Hindmarsh, no two days are the same for founder and director of The Holiday Collective, Rayna Hooper. Beginning with a successful design career in homewares and textiles, Rayna’s wanderlust has taken her around the globe, where she has found endless inspiration for The Holiday Collective’s eight labels, Holiday, The Shanty Corporation, Brave+True, Talisman, Daisy Says, Home Love, Holiday Home and Holiday Life. But, despite her love of travel and the creativeness it inspires, she still calls South Australia – and now Adelaide – home, relocating from the company’s original base in Robe to the city outskirts at the beginning of 2020.

“Having the resources and infrastructure of a capital city has allowed us to grow,” says Rayna, who, along with the 60-strongteam, is currently operating out an historic presbytery on Port Road in Hindmarsh.“It has also enabled us to access talent and skill on a much broader scale, and to streamline logistics.”

Rayna, who is a self-confessed “achievement junkie”, opts for a hands-on approach and is subsequently involved in every aspect of the business. “I’m across all of the business functions, including finance, sales, marketing, warehousing and distribution. Making sure I’m across everything and giving projects the best chance of success is very important to me.”

This means a constant merry-go-round of daily meetings and communication with the local and internationally-based team. “It’s a never-ending juggling act,” she laughs. “Some days it really does feel like the circus. However, I am driven by making things come together and seeing the pieces of the puzzle fit. Collaboration with my team is a constant work in progress.”

That collaboration is set to become a little easier as The Holiday Collective’s showrooms, design space and marketing operations gets set to make its second move in just one year, this time to the neighbouring Hindmarsh Memorial Hall –right next door to their current offices.

“For the last four years our Adelaide operation has been run out of a beautiful church building, however, now that our entire team is here we have outgrown it and need a more contemporary and functional workspace,” she says.

With the functionality of the new workspace resolved, Rayna can once again turn her attention to the growth of her burgeoning Collective – although she’s quick to affirm that the travel restrictions forced upon her during 2020–2021 weren’t all bad, and in actual fact presented a unique opportunity for her to explore opportunities closer to home.

“When we couldn’t travel, I decided to promote the wonders of our beautiful state through our sales and marketing,” she explains. “Our photo shoots were all done in SA, using home-grown models, and our styles were named after local locations or people. We made SA the hero, and it built ongoing pride in our entire team for what we could achieve here.”

From meetings with designers, finance or marketing to photoshoots and fittings, everyday brings a different adventure. However, while the unpredictability is a guarantee, there’s one certainty – the dedication of her growing team of local talents, and, of course, her family. “I feel very, very grateful.”