A young entrepreneur from Lake Munmorah is preparing to farewell what was likely an Australian first, when she retires her Lingerie Truck at the end of the year.
Alana Becker is the founder, CEO, designer and seamstress for her handmade lingerie and pyjama brand, Desvalido.
Becker grew up with a love of sewing which quickly developed into a passion for design and one fateful day in Year 9 Textiles someone trusted her with a sewing machine.
The rest is history.
She spent her high school days designing, creating and honing her skills, before she launched Desvalido in 2014 whilst finishing up a fashion and design course at TAFE Newcastle.
Since then, Becker’s been building her brand and seen Desvalido grow from her bedroom to a six machine studio in Newcastle.
It was during a particularly turbulent growth spurt that she came up with the idea for the Lingerie Truck, a simple yet elegant solution to transporting her range of handmade brassieres and knickers to vendors, fashion shows, photoshoots and wherever else she needed them to be; and after a lot of planning she launched the truck in 2018.
But as many entrepreneurs soon learn, not every idea, no matter how unique or exciting, is destined to succeed.
Despite initial interest being positive from event organisers, Becker quickly discovered that the paperwork involved in getting a truck setup at markets and events around the Coast and Hunter was daunting, as were the restrictions imposed upon her for operating what was essentially a mobile store.
After a year the interest dipped and with limited options for venues and events that would allow the truck, Becker decided to call time on the project.
She’s now planning to retire it with a special event, The Lingerie Truck Funeral, happening at Maitland in December.
While she wouldn’t give much away about the funeral, Becker said she was glad for the experience, with failure being just as important to business growth as success.
“It (the truck) was a big idea that no one was ready for and that’s just a part of life,” Becker said.
“It may have been short, but it was also sweet and I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to do this on my terms,” she added.
The truck will be making several more appearances before its retirement, including a stint at ChromeFest, but it’s funeral signals a new chapter for Becker who’ll be throwing all of her energy into developing Desvalido’s online store.
She’s also looking at expanding her reach as she looks to increase the number of retailers that stock her range.
Becker had these parting words of wisdom for any Central Coast locals thinking about launching their own business.
“As a solo entrepreneur you’re going to need to learn it all.
“You’re going to need to get involved in all parts of the business, even the ones you’re not sure of and that can be scary.
“It’s that or outsource and that means putting a lot of trust into other people,” she said.
Becker said it was also important to take risks, even if they don’t work out in the long run.
“Getting your name and business on the map is so important, especially in this social media age.
“That’s why you need to take risks.
“You need to get noticed.”
But she also cautioned the need to be prepared.
“While it’s important to be proactive that doesn’t mean you go into things blind.
“Do your research and always have a Plan B.”
Interview, Oct 21
Alana Becker, Desvalido AU
Dilon Luke, Journalist