Courtenay Tyrrell

Courtenay Tyrrell is the Founder of MAUDE Studio, which produces a range of unique and eclectic fashion accessories.


Where did you get the idea for your business?

I always knew that I wanted to start my own brand. After graduating from RMIT's Bachelor of Design, Fashion program, I moved overseas and spent as much time as possible travelling. The inspiration and experiences that I collected along the way have formed the basis of the MAUDE Studio aesthetic, and has established the drive and motivation I have to run the label.


How did you get your business started?

I left my previous role as a Product Designer in Europe and moved back to Melbourne in 2014 with a clear idea of the brand that I wanted to create. I’d just completed a five-piece capsule collection called Glittermare in my spare time, which involved excessively embellishing shoes and clutch bags. I’d never made a handbag before, but accessories felt like a good place to start. I began designing, developing, toiling and refining until I had a collection that became the first commercial range under the brand MAUDE Studio. I sourced all of the fabrics, trims and hardware, which came from both local and offshore suppliers. I then enrolled in the RMIT Certificate IV in Small Business Management program, and after two months of learning the basics of setting up a small business, I launched the MAUDE Studio brand through my website.


DISCO LIZARDS Campaign, featuring the Diamond Bag in Iridescent Green and the Iridescent Spike Sunnies.


What lessons have you learned so far on your business journey?

Celebrate the wins and enjoy the ride!


How important is it to have a business mentor?

It’s really great to have someone to bounce ideas off and to ask for advice about issues or plans as I have with MAUDE Studio. Having someone to check in with every so often is really valuable to gain a different perspective as well as to advise from an external point of view. Mentors are often such knowledgeable people willing to share their experiences and support you where possible, which is so important, especially when you're just starting out.


What are your top 3 tips for starting a business?

1 – Be patient!

2 – Have inspiration.

3 – Be good at what you do.


Courtenay Tyrrell is a graduate of the RMIT Bachelor of Design, Fashion (2008) and the RMIT Certificate IV in Small Business Management (2014). 

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"Mentors are often such knowledgeable people willing to share their experiences and support you where possible." - Courtenay Tyrrell
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