Best friends turn their love of vintage fashion into a million dollar business: Nine Lives Bazaar


The best friends turn their love of vintage fashion into a million-dollar business with newborn babies in tow — and celebs like Nina Dobrev are fans

  • Vanessa Cave and Rose Madden are the proud owners of Nine Lives Bazaar
  • It is known for its eclectic prints and sustainable fabric choices
  • The moms first started an Etsy shop before deciding to launch the brand
  • Now the million dollar business is preparing to launch swimwear and bridal wear

The best friends-turned-entrepreneurs have described how their love of vintage fashion has turned into a million-dollar business with their outfits worn by Alessandra Ambrosio and Nina Dobrev.

Vanessa Cave, 34, and Rose Madden, 32, are the proud owners of northern NSW store Nine Lives Bazaar, known for its eclectic prints and sustainable fabric choices.

After collecting vintage for years and years without any real purpose, Vanessa and Rose decided to set up an Etsy shop and sell some of their favorite pieces at local village markets in Burleigh and Byron Bay.

Vanessa Cave, 34, and Rose Madden, 32, are the proud owners of northern NSW store Nine Lives Bazaar (both pictured with tag)

Nina Dobrev

Alessandra Ambrosio

A number of famous faces including Nina Dobrev (left) and Alessandra Ambrosio (right) have worn the brand

“Our friend, who had an established brand at the time, mentioned that we should launch our own brand and that he would give us his contacts if in return we styled his office,” Vanessa told FEMAIL.

“What started as designs made from fabric sourced from markets in Bali evolved into us working closely with textile designers to create our custom printed garments, first manufacturing them in Bali and now in China.”

The name Nine Lives Bazaar is inspired by the colorful lives of the generations that came before us, said the mother of two.

The name comes from the notion that collectibles are watches and talismans that will fall into nine (or more) hands.

The name Nine Lives Bazaar is inspired by the colorful lives of the generations that came before us, said the mother of two.

The name Nine Lives Bazaar is inspired by the colorful lives of the generations that came before us, said the mother of two.

The name comes from the notion that collectibles are watches and talismans that will fall into nine (or more) hands

The name comes from the notion that collectibles are watches and talismans that will fall into nine (or more) hands

“We like to dream about who this property will be passed on to?” How many dating and wedding nights will it dazzle? On what ground will the festival be based?’ She said.

The pair launched their first print-to-order range in 2016 and in 2020, during the Covid pandemic, became a fully-fledged company.

“We’ve always created statement pieces that we want to own with our mantra in mind, ‘more is more, less is boring,’” said Vanessa.

“We’re very inspired by vintage pieces – but this time they’re designed to fit and feel a lot better on the body.

“When we started the brand, we were in our early 20s, so skirts were a lot shorter, tops more cropped, our suits were a favorite and a lot of bell sleeves were the heroes of our collections.

“These days you’ll find a lot more dresses, palazzo pants and button-down shirts to accommodate our busy mom lives.”

The pair launched their first print-to-order range in 2016 and in 2020, during the Covid pandemic, became a full company.

The pair launched their first print-to-order range in 2016 and in 2020, during the Covid pandemic, became a full company.

Incredibly, as the brand has grown, so has their ability to cater to a comprehensive size range from six to 20 and represent those who have not catered to other similar brands.

“From our humble beginnings, we’ve grown a seriously engaged community of fellow go-getters, daring wearers and unapologetic expressions – who just absolutely love what we do,” said Vanessa.

“Each collection launch gets an even more amazing response and feel than the last and they’re always as excited as we are about what’s coming next.”

Their best-selling collection was Land of the Sun in 2020.

Their best-selling collection was Land of the Sun in 2020

Their best-selling collection was Land of the Sun in 2020

“It was just me and Rose, with newborn babies in tow, working from home and we basically fell off our chairs when a whole color sold out in five minutes,” she said.

“We put it back on order that afternoon and again it sold out in five minutes.”

With a growth rate approaching 200 percent in the past two years, Nine Lives Bazaar is gearing up for a busy quarter ahead with the launch of swimwear made from recycled fishing nets, bridal accessories as well as unique accessories.



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