5 Minutes With Emma Petterwood

We sit down with Emma Petterwood for the FWF Journal, founder of fashion boutique and FWF stockist After Eight. Shot within the 70's-inspired interior of her beautiful Tasmanian home, we chat about the story behind After Eight, hidden Hobart gems, her Winter '23 favourites and more.

Read our conversation to get to know Emma and her take on this season’s contemporary mood.

Introduce yourself to the FWF community; tell us a little about you, your background and what you do.
I’m Emma. I’m pretty new to the fashion industry, having only started my Hobart-based Fashion Boutique After Eight in 2020 with very little retail experience (I worked in a retail store in my late teens… which was 20 years ago! And, yes, you can call me crazy). I’ve loved fashion for as long as I can remember and always thought I’d follow my passion… eventually. I took the traditional pathway from school, to university then into a ‘safe career’, which for me, was marketing and communications. I fell into the banking sector and then into logistics where I spent the last eight years of my professional career. My husband, Josh, and I moved to Tasmania (his home state) eight years ago and set up a private orthopaedic practice. This is where I got my taste for business and absolutely loved the rush of it all. In 2020, I left our medical practice in the safe hands of our amazing team and set up After Eight, and more recently, my own label Romy… and the rest is history.

We have two boys, Charlie (8) and Leo (6), and an adorable sausage dog, Pepper. When I’m not working or spending time with my family, I love to run, a hobby that I love just as much as I love fashion.

What is the meaning behind the name 
of your boutique ‘After Eight’?
I asked a number of women what time they preferred to shop online
 – 95% said ‘after 8pm’… and so, After Eight was born.
What started as an online store, dropping collections at 8pm and offering customers genuine and tailored support via email and Instagram DM at that time of night, quickly grew into our physical in-store and online offering today. Sometimes I think about re-branding as we are no longer the online store that speaks to their customer after eight (pm), but I realise that it was all part of the journey to get to where we are today.

Your home has the most incredible interior. Talk to us about how working with David Flack from Flack Studio came about, and what your home means to you?
Thank you so much. After we purchased our home in 2016, I was on the hunt for a designer to transform it but retain the 70s feel. And, as we do, I turned to Instagram for inspiration and stumbled across Flack Studio; it was the work he did on his parents’ home renovation that drew me in. I emailed David and the next thing I knew he was down in Hobart for a site visit. We connected right away; I loved his energy and enthusiasm.
Working with Dave and his team was one of the greatest joys of my adult life. With Dave and Flack Studio based in Melbourne, I managed the project and immersed myself in it throughout the 12-month build. Dave taught me one valuable lesson along the way – buy once, buy well. We were buying forever pieces for our home from art to fixtures and furniture. It really shifted my thinking about quality and buying less. This concept started to flow into my style and wardrobe choices, and eventually, this desire for a more sustainable approach inspired the idea for After Eight.

How would you describe your personal style?
I gravitate towards the classics, but then in reality anyone would tell you 
I’m always the most dressed up person in the room.

What is your favourite look from 
the Winter ’23 collection?
I love the introduction of the silk story. The Willa Dress and Pants styled together is my favourite look.

What are some Hobart hidden gems that everyone who visits should explore?
After Eight (of course!). Mona – not a hidden gem, but a GEM nonetheless. The architecture is insane! We are so fortunate to have some of the best dining right here in Hobart, my go-tos are Ogee, Fico and Sonny.

Register for After Eight Up Late x Friends with Frank, a Dark Mofo shopping event hosted by After Eight in Hobart.

Photography by Olivia Sattler.

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