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.

Winter 2016, Fin was a couple weeks old.

Winter 2016, Fin was a couple weeks old.

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.

Summer 2017, our Fin’s shirt first toil.

Summer 2017, our Fin’s shirt first toil.

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