My Connection Statement

My name is Julia and my business is Sample Room. I help people starting a fashion labels with no prior knowledge or experience learn about the ins and outs of developing and launching a fashion label through our online Mentoring program the Fashion Label Launchpad combined with our full in house Australian made end to end design, development and manufacturing service.

About Me - My Biography

Hello, my name is Julia Van Der Sommen and I am the Queen of local, ethical product development and manufacturing of fashion and textile products. I help fashion labels, both established and start up with the pattern making, sample making, grading and product development and manufacturing of their product through our business Sample Room.

For established labels, we take the hassle out of developing your product. As a one stop shop, we are the development team you don’t have in house. We are there to take the responsibility of developing your product through to a manufacturing ready package, and beyond onto manufacturing.

For start ups, we demystify and bring clarity to the mysterious product development and manufacturing industry by educating and supporting them through the process whilst working on their pattern making, sample making and grading through to manufacturing through industry leading Fashion Label Launchpad program. We also offer small run production for our mentees to assist them in starting out without overcommitting and spending all their money without testing the market first.

The Fashion (clothing) industry is far more complex than anyone would imagine. It is also a difficult market to break into if you don’t know how to brief pattern makers or manufacturers. Education and support is key.

I love helping designers find a more efficient way to develop and manufacture and to educate new designers or re-educate established fashion labels on local manufacturing to help people take back control and thrive in the current market

If you are interested in knowing more, please join me in our weekly Manufacturing Discovery Masterclass. A live Q&A where you can learn what it takes to be a designer, what your responsibilities are, how to choose a manufacturer and the costs and timelines involved. 

Start Up Launching Point – Sample Room



My Expertise

With 27yrs experience in the local and overseas fashion industry, my core expertise is in the area of Pattern making, sample making and grading with many years of experience in working with designers both experienced and startups in development and manufacturing across all areas of fashion, clothing and other textile products. This includes women’s men’s and kids fashion, sportswear, swimwear, lingerie, (except underwire bras).

We develop product for local and overseas production although we have specialty knowledge in local development and production. We also offer small run specialty production in house in Melbourne.


As an experienced mentor, I love helping start ups learn the ropes of the industry as well as experienced designers looking to move back to local development or manufacturing and looking for an easier way.


My Passions

In business I am passionate about reducing landfill by reducing badly made and fitted garment in the world.

Personally I am a snow lover (skier and snowboarder) and you will find me in the mountains as much as I can be in winter.

I am also a new and passionate fur mum of a beautiful Russian blue kitten, Max (Maximillian Alexander)

My Interests

When I have time I love exploring my creative time, whilst I am a great collector or art supplies, I hope to spend more time exploring my art (Once the to do list is done).

How I Can Help Other Members

If you are in business but have always dreamt of starting a fashion line, or you have a great idea for a product that is made from fabric, please reach out for a chat.

We work with many people who are still in full time careers or have other main businesses but are looking to follow this passion and are looking for guidance to successfully develop and launch. 

Why I Became a HerBusiness Member

I joined Her Business in 2020 when I was looking for more peer support and a different way of working on my business. Working for yourself is often lonely and due to lockdown I was unable to catch up with my usual business support.