November 04, 2019
When I first started telling my friends that I would be starting a business designing and manufacturing fashion for teenage girls, their first response would often be, "Oh, that's great! Do you have a background in sewing or fashion?"
My answer was always, "Err....no....".
Growing up, I had always wanted to be an architect. I'd diligently spend my weekends drawing up my bedroom to scale, cutting out outlines of my bedroom furniture (again, to scale, of course) and then playing around with different arrangements. I loved going to display homes and checking out all the different houses and I also loved the time my parents did a home renovation with dad as the owner builder. I spent my year 10 work experience in an architect's office, and loved every minute of it, from font practice through to drawing out plans.
Fast forward a few years on, and I hear stories about how being an architect is not it's all cut out to be, that it's not a female's world, and that you need to do physics at uni. So shy little me, quietly put that dream aside.
With my dreams of being an architect shattered, I didn't really know where else to go, so like a good Asian daughter, I signed up to study business. I enjoyed parts of it (marketing) and hated others (business law). By the end of one year, I really felt that it just wasn't the path for me, though in hindsight, had I been brave enough to ask more questions and find the guidance I needed, I should have pursued marketing and I think I would have loved it.
So what next?
I headed into primary school teaching, which was the perfect outlet for my creativity. I loved teaching the kids and seeing the sparkle in their eye when a concept they were grappling with finally clicks. I also loved decorating the classroom, whether it was giant Greek columns for the Olympics, a 3D bird's eye view streetscape to study position in maths or making a giant octopus from stockings, scrap fabric and newspaper in our 'Under the Sea' theme.
Having kids myself, changed the direction of my path once again. I used the opportunity of being at home with them to dabble in a few different side hustles from my short-lived scrapbooking days to owning an online party store and an event styling business. Every day, I would wake up with ideas of new businesses I could start.
So why fashion for teenage girls?
Firstly, I felt there was an obvious need. My girls just couldn't find age appropriate clothes to wear after they hit the age of about 10. Everything was either too babyish, too frilly or flowery, or just way too grown up and down right inappropriate. After having been able to dress them in beautiful clothes when they were little girls, it was frustrating to have nothing but leggings and t-shirts for them day in and day out. Don't get me wrong, I have no issues with leggings and t-shirts but this is what they were wearing all the time, no matter where we were going or what the occasion. Simply put, there was just no other choice.
And so began this journey into the world of teenage fashion and manufacturing.
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