Q&A with Jackie O & Gemma
We chat with besties founders, Jackie O and Gemma O'Neill. Besties is the brainchild of real life BFFs Jackie O and Gemma O'Neill, best friends for the past 20 years.
What inspired you to start your business together?

We have worked together a few times in the past and always enjoyed it and we long had talked about “one day” doing a business together that was ours. For years we spoke about it and never did anything! Then early 2023 we thought enough procrastinating and time to give it a go. We felt there was a gap in the market for celebrating the best friend relationship, which we think is such an important relationship in your life!

What's the most unexpected thing you've learned about each other while working together?

We really know each other so well after 20+ years of friendship and working together so we really respect each others role in the business (Jackie is the interviewer and creative director and Gemma is the business and production person!) In saying that, I (Gemma) discovered Jackie has an attention to detail and design eye that I’ve never known about her before and discovered during the collab with Papinelle. When we would look at each sample I would think it looked great and Jackie would pick up on tiny things like adjusting the v neck by 3 mm etc and I had no idea she had that in her and I love it!

What's your guilty pleasure?

Day to day Jackie’s is coffee and Gemma’s is weekend wine time! Gemma – I really look forward to a Friday night wine to relax at the end of the week! But our biggest guilty please is without doubt holidays. We are both natural very curious and adventurous so we love exploring new cultures and trying new experiences.

What’s on your bucket list?

We tend to have different bucket lists which is good as we will drag the other! Although both of us are yet to go to Uluru and are each going on trips later this year with our kids.

What's your favourite travel destination, and why do you love it? Its Fiji, particularly a place called Kokomo.

Jackie – I have gone to Fiji time and time again because I just love the Fijian people, they are so welcoming and happy. I find Fiji is definitely my happy place and it’s close to Australia and so great for kids.

Gemma – Jackie got me into Kokomo and every time we go I cry when I get there and when I leave! I feel so grateful to be somewhere so extraordinarily beautiful and the same team have been there for years so the kids run up and hug them and I love that sense of family. Plus there is a sea trampoline that Jackie and I go on more than the kids because we love any opportunity to be like a big kid.

What's your favourite piece from the collection?

Jackie – the cream shorts and top – I just think they are so stylish and perfect for summer. I also wear mine outside the house, we really wanted something that women wouldn’t feel like they had to get changed out of.

Gemma – mine is the navy set, I think its really classic and elegant but a bit sexy with the low v neck.

Coffee or tea?

Gemma – Jackie drinks coffee all day, it doesn’t give her a caffeine hit because I think she’s so immune to it now haha! What has always baffled me is she will reheat the same cup of coffee over and over! I always say just make a new one!

Jackie – Gemma loves her tea, English breakfast with milk. I’m always stressed when I’m low on milk as I know Gem will be over most days.

What's your favourite way to unwind after a long day?

Gemma - We both live by the ocean so we both like getting in a quick dip in summer after work. Nothing better than a swim in the ocean to wash the day away. Or I’ll take the dog for a walk with the kids as I can find I’m inside all day and I just need a hit of fresh air to unwind and disconnect from work mode and shift into mum mode.

Jackie – I also love a bath so I will have one most evenings to relax and I’ll pop some music on.

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