Case Study | iDA Australia & Helen Kaminski



iDA Australia & Helen Kaminski

World Mode Holdings (WMH) group is a total solutions company for the fashion and cosmetics industry in Japan, and has the largest market share of fashion and cosmetics retail job placements in Japan.

In 2018, WMH established a subsidiary in Australia called ‘iDA Australia’ to focus on recruitment in the Australian fashion market. iDA provides high quality, well-trained and hard-working staff to Australian fashion businesses.

Read about iDA’s successful work with the Helen Kaminski brand below…


“Here is our candidate Yuri who has been working at Helen Kaminski since October 2018, after being introduced through iDA.

Yuri had been working at clothing store in Japan for 9 years before she came to Australia. She was an area manager, and she loved where she was. But she also wanted to challenge herself with something new, so she decided to move to the Gold Coast to study English in 2017. After completing an 8 month English course, she wasn’t completely satisfied with the life in Australia, as she couldn’t seem to get any retail jobs on the Gold Coast. There were no chances to apply her skills and the study she had completed in her real life.  

After receiving an email from iDA Japan, who were looking for candidates to work in Australia, Yuri applied for the program. Once she passed an English test checked by iDA, Yuri had a Skype interview with the manager at the Helen Kaminski Sydney store. She researched in advance and practiced a lot. Due to her effort, she got the job! She received positive reviews from the manager in terms of her experience, her attitude and her English level. She was really excited to join the project to build her career in Australia.

Once she started working at Helen Kaminski in Sydney, she was surprised that the Australian customer service was completely different from the Japanese way. She witnessed many Japanese tourists at the store, so she applied Japanese hospitality when she served Japanese customers and applied Australian way to other customers. Her attitude is always Japanese style such as punctual, hard-working and polite. After a few months, she has been highly evaluated by the store manager and all of other staff members, which lead them to extending her contract for 3 more months!

The following is Yuri’s interview, where she talked about her experience;

“Firstly thank you so much for giving me such a great opportunity. The whole experience has allowed me to grow a lot. I couldn’t be happier that I work at Helen Kaminski in Sydney!

I became confident around dealing with customers from all over the world. And now I know Australian culture and fashion. I would like to contribute to both the Japanese fashion industry and the Australian fashion industry in the future by making use of this experience. To begin with, I want to learn more about fashion management. I am especially interested in staff education and trainings for growing high skilled global talents!

My plan after going back to Japan is to get a manager job through iDA Japan, and build my career in the fashion industry!”


To find out more about IDA’s recruitment project and whether you can be involved as a retailer, reach out to Sayoko Hiruma (Manager at iDA Australia) at

In Review | AFC Finance & Business Plans Seminar

In Review | AFC Finance & Business Plans Seminar

Words: Alexandra Briscoe

The Business Planning and Finance Seminar took place in July at the AMP Capital Towers overlooking a beautiful morning. With speakers Gabrielle Manning, Lizzie Renkert, Jim Softis and Alicia Kemp from AMP Capital facilitating the event, the knowledge and experience was well rounded and covered a lot of ground.

Gabrielle Manning of Manning Cartell shared with the audience the experience which comes from running a successful fashion business in Australia (and soon to launch in the US) for twelve years. Lizzie Renkert comes from the very different approach of an emerging business of three years in a very different retail climate. The two compared the differences between operating their businesses and their approach to business planning and financing in Australia and the massive change the internet and shopping online has made to running a fashion business. Financial consultant Jim Softsis of Crowe Horwarth gave the valuable outside perspective on fashion financing and his experience in working with Australian fashion businesses  in an international financial consultancy firm.

Lizzie Renkert spoke about understanding the importance of experience - you can’t have enough of it. She and her sister, Georgie both worked different industries before starting their own label We Are Kindred. Renkert reminded the audience to remember that the biggest weakness is not acknowledging your own weaknesses and being too proud - or too unaware - to seek help from professionals.

Says Manning: “You can never have too much experience”. Running your own business is one of the biggest undertakings one will ever go through and it doesn’t get easier faster. It’s a full time job, round the clock career and having a business plan is essential. Jim Softsis advised  what a financial consultant is looking for in a business, potential or otherwise. A business plan is the number one way to assess the best way to approach financing. Do you get a loan, an investor or do you self fund? Sitting down and dedicating the time to getting the planning right saves you time and money (and heartache) in the long run. The time old adage ‘measure twice, cut once’ applies to fashion in more way than one.

The three agree retailing has changed in the last decade. Traditional retailing is already a term used to refer to the of bricks-and-mortar retailing as the main delivery to customer method, and online sales are a disjointed, unconnected entity of the business. Traditional retail is becoming a marketing cost to many savvy business operators. Most people prefer to shop online, especially those of the under thirty age bracket, however the value of a face-to-face and bricks-and-mortar presence can’t be undervalued.

Manning spoke of how important retail locations have been for growth in the business and choosing the right location is everything. Getting the balance of foot traffic,demographic and the surrounding retailers. Manning Cartell has always understood the importance of being able to interact directly with their customers while We Are Kindred operates on a very different model. Predominantly an online label, they have only recently dipped their toe into the world of bricks-and-mortar retailing with a pop-up location. Renkert acknowledges they may not get the sales directly from the pop-up store to think it was a profitable location, but it has helped build brand loyalty, with their online sales soaring.

Knowing which method of retailing suits your business is part instinct and part planning. Jim Softsis advised instinct plays an important role of business planning, knowing your product and knowing your customer are the best ways to succeed and has seen first hand fashion businesses go under because the planning just wasn’t there to support the business. He points out that it’s much easier to get your plan right in the beginning then to try and go back and change everything later once the business is up and running. The same way it’s better to invest in a good pair of shoes you know will last you the distance, it’s better to get your system and plan right in the beginning. Invest now for payoff later.

Softsis reminds everyone before they leave: “Don’t forget why you got into fashion. If you think you have the right product and the right business model start getting out there and getting that advice to get you off the ground. Talk to everyone you can.”

TIPS: Invest now, reap rewards later! Investing in good systems from the beginning, whether that’s your distribution method or your computer operating system, take the time and money to get it right from the beginning.

Ask for advice in and out of the fashion industry. Financial consultants can offer invaluable advice to emerging designers and budding businesses, but so can other small business owners and the head pattern maker from a big brand. Always be on the lookout for ways to learn, and people to learn from.

Spend time in planning out your business plan. It may take months or even a year. There’s no right or wrong way or time to spend on your plan.

Getting the right team is as important as having a business plan. Knowing you can trust people to do it well and do it right is one of the most important parts of a business, and learning how to let go and delegate is essential.

Export News | Updates from ECA

Export News | Updates from ECA

The Export Council of Australia (ECA) has had a number of exciting new developments, including the launch of their accredited program the Advanced Diploma of International Business Management and the 21st Edition of the Australian Export Handbook. Whether you are competing with the world’s best to win international contracts or facing increasing global competition at home, it is critical for business leaders to understand the skills and competencies needed to go global...

Export Council of Australia | Going Global Workshops

Export Council of Australia | Going Global Workshops

The Export Council of Australia (ECA) talks going global, the implications for businesses and the opportunities for development via their upcoming Public Workshops. Whether you are competing with the world’s best to win international contracts or facing increasing global competition at home, it is critical for business leaders to understand the skills and competencies needed to go global...

Integral-T | Introduction Session to New Product Development Tools

Integral-T | Introduction Session to New Product Development Tools

Our friends over at Integral-T & Architects in Apparel are holding an Introduction Session to New Product Development Tools!

NSW Business Chamber | Manufacturing Workshops

NSW Business Chamber | Manufacturing Workshops

Are you a manufacturing business and wanting to grow your business in 2016? The TFIA would like to invite you to the NSW Business Chamber's Manufacturing Workshops!

TFIA Guest Blogger | Trusted Clothes

TFIA Guest Blogger | Trusted Clothes

The TFIA would like you to meet Trusted Clothes, who will be guest blogging over the coming months to keep you updated on all things ethical and sustainable across the global Fashion and Textile industry! This week Trusted Clothes founder, Shannon, tells us what the company is all about and what brought Trusted Clothes to life...

Industry Update | Ban on In-bound Air-freight From Bangladesh

Industry Update | Ban on In-bound Air-freight From Bangladesh

The Australian Government has imposed prohibitions on all air cargo that has arisen from Bangladesh. This came into force on the 19th Dec 2015 and will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

Business Improvement Workshop


The Victorian State Government has a Program called ‘Grow Your Business’ that allows eligible organisations to deliver valuable, targeted and tailored training aimed at helping companies grow their business and improve their profitability.

The TFIA is therefore keen to deliver a series under this program specifically for those in the TCF sector.

As part of the process, the TFIA is keen to gauge the industry's interest in participating in the series which is set to take place later in the year. Therefore, we would like to invite established businesses in the Textile, Clothing and Footwear sector to our Launch Workshop. The workshop will touch on the training series' overall content and provide some practical tools that can be used immediately to improve your business.

The planned Program would be delivered in collaboration with leadership trainers - ‘Practical Workplace Strategies’, and would include information about a number of ways to improve the profitability of your business, including  the internationally acclaimed ‘Investors in People’ Framework.

Details for the event are as follows;


Attendance at the free introductory launch workshop does not commit you to participating in the whole program; however we will be collecting Expressions of Interest from attendees which will go towards our application to then roll out the overall Series.

Email to get involved and improve your business profitability!

Thanks for reading!


Happy new year to our members and readers!

The TFIA aims to support and advocate the Textile, Clothing and Fashion industries, both nationally and globally. We are an independent, not for profit association that represents the interests of Australia's Textile, Clothing and Footwear (TCF) sector to governments, the Australian public and the global market place.

Our mission is to provide leadership, representation and membership services so as to assist excellence and innovation in the local and international TCF markets. In order to deliver on this mission our activities include:

  • Advocacy and lobbying to government
  • Policy development and assistance in accessing governments and their funding programs
  • Industry relevant education and training activity
  • Creating industry relationships amongst members, stakeholders, governments and non TCF companies
  • Developing projects that focus on achieving increased industry capability, capacity and business opportunities

As we move well into 2015 and are working firmly toward outcomes for the year, we thought it valuable to take a look back at all that we were able to achieve in 2014.

Our efforts resulted in a range of projects, consultancy, advocacy, submissions and industry representation specifically tailored to our industry.

We took on secretariat and facilitator roles throughout the year including the TCF National Sector Manager role for the Industry Capability Network (ICN), the Australian Made Clothing and Textile Hubs for the Manufacturing Excellence Taskforce of Australia (META) and SmartTex as part of the Swinburne Design Factory. Our contributions saw numerous linkages made between TCF businesses, the government and R&D institutions; as well as other cross sector opportunities developed.

In the area of advocacy, we were able to meet with various government ministers and departments at all levels, to articulate and push the challenges and opportunities of Australia’s TCF sector. Some of these included the Minister for Industry - Minister Ian MacFarlane, Minister for Employment - Senator Eric Abetz, Shadow Industry Minister - Senator Kim Carr and the Greens’ Adam Bandt.

2014 also saw a number of response submissions from us including the Post Implementation Review of the Fair Work Amendment (TCF Industry) Act 2012, the Entrepreneurs Infrastructure Programme, Industry Skills fund, Defence White Paper 2015 and Competition Policy Review.

Last but certainly not least, we continued our representation on a number of committees and associations, including Standards Australia (TFIA Standards & Product Safety Committee), Manufacturing Skills Australia, Australian Design Alliance, International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) and the International Apparel Federation (IAF).

What an enormous year! Thank you to all who were involved through membership and collaboration. We couldn't do it without your ongoing support and participation.

Looking forward, what can you expect from TFIA in 2015?
  • Our website's events page is regularly updated with upcoming workshops/seminars and special deals from our industry partners
  • This month will mark the launch of our E-newsletter which aims to keep you informed on all things ‘TCF’ including; TFIA news, relevant local and national government information, opportunities for grants and funding, business support and mentoring opportunities, spotlight articles on our members so you can get to know each other, and more. Join the mailing list here to make sure you’re informed.
  • We will be rolling out new member packages to ensure you receive the best service and support for your business. Part of this will include the opportunity to be involved in three industry forum groups that will focus on the sustainable growth of the Australian TCF industry. The forums will be broken down as Government, Clothing and Footwear and Textiles Forums. Furth details on how to get involved will be provided soon.
  • The Textile & Fashion Hub based in Richmond at the Kangan Institute will continue its role of supporting the industry with a range of workshops and manufacture support – stay tuned as more is announced in the coming weeks
  • Our Common Threads project, supported by Austrade, will kick off in April with Export Ready Workshops and continue through until August. This project aims to equip suitable businesses with the knowledge, tools and connections they need to create global business by accessing new markets in Asia, focusing specifically on Hong Kong. All details will be included on our website.

We really look forward to continuing work with our members and industry this year, and to forming new relationships along the way.

Here’s to a productive 2015!