Making a Dream a Reality
Fin+Zee’s debut collection
This post is about the journey of creating our debut collection –‘ A pleasant surprise’.
For most of us, there are few moments in life that really inspire us to go after something that we never thought we’d be able to achieve. I had one of those moments about 2 years ago. The journey of Fin+Zee started not too long after my son was born. I was hunting for something cute for my baby boy to wear. I found so many baby bloomers that I adored. Don’t they just look ridiculously cute on little humans?! Well, for me, I didn’t think they looked good on my little one. However, I didn’t want to compromise for any regular shorts - let’s just say my son has always been larger than life! Then that moment hit me.
My idea of designing a pair of kids’ shorts came up in the summer of 2017. I first started working with a friend’s fashion design studio in Bangkok. She had startup experience, and experience in the industry. But I found it really hard with the time difference and the distance - not being able to use all my senses to get a feel of the products didn’t do it for me. I needed to have everything right in front of me. I did enjoy working with my friend and her team’s knowledge really helped me to come up with concepts for my very first kidswear line.
By that stage, I knew what I wanted to do. I started working with a pattern cutting company based in London. It was a lot easier for me to travel to a London studio of course, and they have one of the best teams in England in my opinion. Another advantage of this is relationship building - I was always close by and I could travel to the studio pretty easily to meet the team and work with them.
A few weeks later I began to work with the studio’s design consultant. I got to see first-hand toils for the first time in my life - and they were my designs! The moment I received the toils and fitted them on my little one, I was bursting with pride and excitement. This is the moment things got real - this was no longer just an idea in my head. This was the beginning of something close to my heart.
The next step was sourcing fabrics. I started sourcing fabrics from around the world. I tried organic jersey cotton, but didn’t have much luck finding the right fabric. Then I came across some Japanese fabrics. I instantly fell in love with the quality and prints of Japanese fabrics, particularly their gauze fabric - it’s super soft and great for kids. And linen is another fabric I have always loved. Then the “ah-ha!” moment struck me - I decided to focus on designing clothes that would work well with these fabrics. Other raw material sourcing was pretty challenging and I spent an age looking for the right materials. I wanted to make sure the colour and quality of the materials were good enough for the designs, and what I wanted to create.
Finally, I was ready for sampling and production. This is by far the most difficult part of the journey. There was a time that I was torn between making the price of Fin+Zee’s clothes more affordable for a larger market, or keep the details I had worked so hard on and really position my creations at a level of premiumness that warranted a higher price point. In the end, I wanted my brand and products to be unique and premium - I had invested so much time and love into this range and I wanted that to be instantly recognisable by my customers. Because ultimately, it’s an investment for them too - something that would last and be loved! I also chose to run small production in London to be able to be more involved in the production process. After all, I want our customers to love Fin+Zee’s clothes as much as I do!
Emily (designer + founder of Fin+Zee) x