Swapping a lucrative corporate job in the coalfields of Queensland’s mining industry for a fashion designer’s studio, Chiquita Searle, or Chi for short, has certainly experienced life on both sides of the career spectrum.
Taking the path-less-trodden, in 2011, after a successful eight-year long stint in HR and Recruitment for the construction and mining industries, Chi felt a strong pull in another direction and so followed her heart to France where she studied at the Paris Fashion Institute before launching her own fashion label “Chi the Label” (rebranded “Chiquita”) the following year.
Hand-picked from dozens of wishful candidates to launch the League’s first Queensland branch as their QLD Crusader in August 2012, within twelve months Chi was offered the opportunity to relocate to Melbourne and take on the role as the League’s General Manager to oversee the group’s national growth. Now in 9 locations within Australia, the League of Extraordinary Women is Australia’s largest and fastest growing movement of driven and dynamic female entrepreneurs.
The League, under Chi’s guidance, has also made history by launching Australia’s first ever all female entrepreneur one day conference, ‘Run the World’. Now in its 3rd year, this flagship event attracts in excess of 500 women per event and has been the platform for some of Australia’s most high profile and successful female entrepreneurs share their stories of success.
Also an avid writer, Chi is a regular blogger and contributor to major publications on all things entrepreneurship, feminism, fashion and style. Chiquita launched her own, self-titled blog ‘Chiquita‘in 2014.