For some women, after having their first kid, their wardrobe goes through a major makeover. Between parenting, working and trying to keep it all together, some mothers also worry about not having the perfect clothes to highlight a new body shape. So, imagine our delight when we discovered that one of our newly-liked fashion brands FORMASIAN LABEL was helmed by Mumpreneur, Debra. What always impresses me most is Debra’s positivity and “can-do” attitude – traits that help entrepreneurs thrive in the competitive fashion industry.
My partner, Jo and I initially wanted to create a common platform for Asian Designers to showcase their unique designs under one umbrella. That was our first idea in July 2014.
However, an opportunity came for me when Jo got to know about the“Attachables” I had drawn, during a very challenging period in my life. I had kept them in my cupboard for a long time. Together, we started to source for a manufacturer that could deal with the intense work of creating this. It was not easy. The manufacturer that I thought had the least potential was the one who was most committed to my designs and creation.
Tell us about your business.
We are in the business of empowering women through fashion and beauty. We design clothes to cater to the different body shapes. We also empower women with skills and coach them how to contour their face and eyes shapes.
Through my creation in this new concept of removable collars, cuffs, hemlines, known as “Attachables” and being an exclusive distributor of Da Vinci Cosmetics, Formasian Label tries to give women the best options. We teach them how to do it. Knowledge is power!
I came up with this new concept to offer women the ability to create different looks using the same basic outfit, simply by changing out or adding on various “Attachables” – removable collars, cuffs and hemlines. It takes just minutes to transform a basic outfit from minimal work wear to glamorous evening togs. Instant sophistication with no fuss! In this upcoming new collection, we will be launching something new! Attachable dresses and jackets!
2 things: – MY MOM: When she loves a dress, she wears it all the time. I told her she should wear a different dress especially when attending weddings believing that her friends would have seen it before. She said that she likes to wear her black dress because it’s comfortable and fits her perfectly ! This got me thinking, so I came up with the idea of creating a basic dress that could transform into different looks!
– MY OWN WARDROBE: Like many women, I constantly feel that I have insufficient clothes. I wanted more options, more pieces that I can change.
Where did you get your ideas for your brand: biz name, logo, ‘look’ etc.?
We are Jo and Debra. We are as different as chalk and cheese, just like the north pole and the south pole. Two contrasting personalities: One, a classic stylista who loves simple touches and fine details and the other, an avant-garde, colourful trendsetter. Like an eclectic blend of individual styles, we have come together to promote our love for fashion and to pursue a shared dream. Together, we have translated our passion, experiences and aspirations into Formasian Label.
Formasian Label is a world built on the vision to encourage, empower and equip women to be beautiful, to boost their confidence, and to discover their brand of uniqueness. Initials of form and asian, the F and A share the same dot. Which also represents the center of inspiration. It’s a platform where both Formasian Label and designers unite together to create originality and creativity . It is also a brand that centers around individuals that want to express themselves. It is a place to share ideas and it empowers lives, forming an experience for every individual.
What is the thing about your biz that makes it stand out from the competition?
- Unique designs of the basic and attachables is one of its kind in the market
- Attachables that suit different body shapes
- Attractive pricing
- Good Customer service
What aspect of building your little biz do you like working on the most?
Beside designing and coaching women how to makeup, I love working with Jo. We are very different but she is patient with my weaknesses and yet believes in my dreams. I am a loud designer and fashionista. The furs and blings are my style. However, Jo balances me. She helps me to appreciate the simplicity of fashion. Although I draw and design the clothes, the simpler designs are ideas from her. She also manages the back-end work and helps me to see what I cannot see.
How do you balance running your business and being a mother?
Honestly, I don’t call it – balance. I just do my best. My son is 14 and I make sure I am still a part of his life. No matter how busy I am, I will make an effort not to miss any of his inter-school soccer matches and be there to cheer him. I try to have one-to-one dinners with him (whenever I can) and I watch soccer with him on Saturdays. Sometimes we talk about life and God and even discuss political issues and world news. Now we are discussing about what he wants to do when he grows up.
My 2 girls are younger, aged 8 and 9. After sending them to school in the morning , I will start working as early as 7:30am. I will try to finish my work before they return home from school so that I could spend time with them in between meals and ferrying them for classes. I will do my work in cafes or run errands while waiting for them to finish classes.
I will continue to work again when the kids go to bed at 8:30pm. On the days when I draw my designs, I choose to do so, after 12am and sometimes I can draw till 3am. Inspiration comes in the stillness of the night when I am not distracted. I sleep more in the day during those periods.
What advice do you have for other mums who are thinking of or trying to build their own little biz from home?
I will first ask them: “If you have all the money in the world, what is the one thing you will do?” The reason why I take money out of the equation is because in Singapore everyone is only thinking about earning more money. However, when you believe in your talent and work on it, money will come eventually.
We have to try; after all we only live life once.
Are there any upcoming events/ promotions/ activities that your business will be running in the next 6 months?
We will be launching our new collection this mid December! The clothes comes in various options to transform one simple dress into many different looks by using different attachments at the waist and sleeves. We have also lined up limited edition attachables (collars and sleeves) during Christmas and Chinese New Year period.
Business Name: Formasian Label
Instagram : Formasianlabel
Like this story?
To read more featured stories about mumpreneurs, click here to read more.