Sometimes I have to pinch myself.  I still can't quite believe that I have launched an online clothing store - I have no experience in the fashion industry and I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into when I started this venture.  But I've got this far by following my dreams and not giving up.  I'm hoping that this blog will inspire at least one person to follow their dreams, be brave and not give up - if I can do it, anyone can!

I can't even remember when I started dreaming about having a clothing business - I think it may have crept up on me slowly - starting off as a daydream, then moving on to thinking how on earth do you do it, to then actually making the first steps to doing it.  It was the death of my sister that really propelled me forward.  I had a "nothing to lose" attitude after she died.

Me & Sewing 

Initially I had the absurd idea that I could learn to sew - at the grand old age of forty something - so that I could make clothes that I loved, and eventually get so good at it that I could start selling.  It didn't take too long to realise that I will never be good with a needle and thread and that I would have to get someone else to do the making.

I had a boxful of vintage silk saris that I had been collecting over the years.  I used to sit in front of my laptop for hours and hours looking at all the amazing colours and designs - and then occasionally there would be one so irresistible that it ended up in my shopping basket!

Made in New Zealand

I was dead set on getting my clothes made in New Zealand and so started asking around to find a dressmaker.  I found one in Auckland and we spent about a year making samples.  I penciled in a photoshoot, but there was a niggling feeling in the pit of a stomach that things were not quite right.  I postponed the photoshoot and decided to find another dressmaker as the samples were sadly not up to standard.  I think I was so excited about following my dreams that I neglected to look at the details and just marched straight ahead like a bull in a china shop!  I'm so grateful that I stopped in time before wasting lots of money going into production with a sub-standard product.

Photo: First Samples 2019

[Photo: First Samples - 2019]

I found another dressmaker who did some great samples - however, the problem was the cost - by the time I covered all my overheads, the pricing of the clothing would be crazy high.  I thought maybe I should give up the vintage sari idea and work with new material which would bring the cost down.  The problem was, I couldn't find anything as beautiful as the silk sari fabric.  It was at that point I almost gave up.

 and then.....

Made in India

I put a little post up on Instagram about my plight - saying that I had a boxful of beautiful sari and couldn't do anything with them, By chance a boutique manufacturer in India saw the post and said they could make the saris into clothing. It kind of threw me a bit as my vision was to have a New Zealand made product, BUT, I thought long and hard about it and did a fair bit of research on the company and whether taking my manufacturing to India was ethical and sustainable.

Turns out it is! (I will be doing a blog about manufacturing in India soon)

Indian manafacturer

[Photo: Manufacturers in India working with recycled sari - 2022]

Things started to happen really quickly after that but I had so many set backs - cyclones, stock not arriving in time, a logo I couldn't use due to copyright issues, a sub standard website by a con artist (not this website of course - this was done by an amazing company in the UK called Nerida Digital) - you name it, it happened!

But...I'm still here.  I just kept going.  And I'll keep going until I'm exactly where I want to be.

If you have a dream,  I urge you to follow it.  I'll leave you with the wise words of Phil Knight, the creator of Nike:-

"Just keep going.  Don't stop. Don't even think about stopping until you get there, and don't give much thought to where "there" is. Whatever comes, just don't stop"

Stay Gold

Luan xx






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