If you've ever been in search of less than conventional sunglasses, then you've likely heard of Carla Color. The eyewear brand has been revolutionizing minimalist frames with bright, vibrant colors since 2014, garnering the attention of celebrities like Tegan & Sara to fashion muses like Garance More. We spoke with Carla Robertson, Brisbane native and founder behind the brand about what she's learned, and where she's planning to take her colorful empire next.
What initially motivated you to launch your own business?
I'd always dreamed of creating my own product... and then I becameÂ pregnant with twins and realized that if I didn't launch my brand before the babies arrived, I'd never get around to doing it! So I harnessed my second trimester hormones and made it happen. My husband also played a huge role, inspiring me to let go of my fear and take the leap.
Why did you choose to specifically focus on eyewear?
Interesting eyewear has always been a fetish of mine. Contacts never felt comfortable and I was always disappointed with the standard (dull) eyewear options on the market. So I decided to make my own.
I wanted to create an "exciting daily basic," something you could wear with everything but that also had some spunk. From there, I landed on classic unisex minimalist forms in rich bold colours.
What have you learned from running your own business?
It's more than a full-time job! You get out what you put in. You must set boundaries, but aim for the stars! I feel very fortunate to be able to run my own business. It really is a dream come true.
What are some things you do to stay balanced and centered?
I love to cook... it's a form of mediation for me. Thrift stores are also my natural habitat. The thrill of the thrift chase is my ultimate relaxation activity. We have a property out in the woods in upstate New York so we like to escape up there on the weekends to slow down and get our fix of nature and flea markets.
What inspires you and how do you think that ultimately inspires your collections?
I am really designing for myself. I guess that's my way of keeping authenticity in my brand aesthetic. I also believe that self expression in style should be a daily adventure... and so I want to always create with that in mind.
How would you describe your own personal style?
Individuality is extremely important to me in my style. I am an avid vintage hunter for that very reason. My style changes quite a lot. I guess it goes through chapters. At the moment I'm into glam androgyny, a little bit of punk, and a little bit of the 80s. My favourite piece right now is a late 80s fully sequined jacket with oversized shoulder pads and a Miro-inspired design in cream, pale lavender, and orange. It is beyond incredible!
What's next for Carla Colour?
We're looking at introducing some other fun accessories into the mix. Hats, scarves... standby! It's all in development right now!
Photos: Soraya Zaman