Editor’s Note: We have featured Anita Cynthia on WomanBizlife (now Eunoia Women) in 2011 for her fashion design business. This female entrepreneur has been able to expand her business after she set up her own business in 2009. We are pleased to present her business story again.
Can you tell us about your business? What are you doing exactly?
“Anita Cynthia Couture” was established in 2009. We do fashion design for Bridal Gown, Evening/ Party Gown and Kebaya. Our clients could request custom design for their gowns or choose from the ready stock collections. I also make arm candy bracelet, necklace, headpiece and laces phone case from similar beads and laces with the gowns, so they can be matched with the outfit and accessories.
Instagram| anitacynthia_id / anitacynthia / anitacynthia_jewel
Fan Page| Anita Cynthia Couture
How did you come up with your business idea?
It started with my passion in fashion since I was a little girl. I love to design my own clothes since senior high school and send it to dressmaker. When I came to my friend’s sweet 17th party, I always made my own design and awarded “Best Dress” in every party. It has inspired me to follow my passion and to pursue what I love to do the most. I took “Fashion and Retail Design” subject in Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Malaysia. After graduated in 2008, I started my business with limited resources and had no business experience at all. I have learned a lot over the years. Now, I am grateful to be able to grow my business.
How did you raise money to fund your business?
I used my own savings. Just start with small projects; making custom design for my friends’ pre-wedding photo shoot, doing catalogue photo shoot with some of my friends as photographer and models. Over the last 6 years, Anita Cynthia Couture has been expanded beyond what I expected during the start-up period. When I started my business, I had no workshop at all. I sent my pattern to tailor and beading works to beaders outside, etc. Now, I’m having my own workshop and studio. “Praying and Working” is my number one formula.
How do you promote your products? What makes you stand out from the crowd?
When I started my business in 2009, I used below the line method; word-of-mouth advertisement, referral from friends and family. I set up online shopping so that my customers from other city or country can easily buy the collection. I also promote my business via social media (facebook, twitter, instagram). I’m a very open person for mutual beneficial business cooperation. I handle my custom-made clients’ order with care, and sell ready-to-wear products with exact measurement and materials as photos at website. In addition, I actively join several Exhibition, Fashion Design Competition, and Fashion Show.
What do you see yourself and the business in a 3 years’ time?
Expanding my business and finding suitable business partner. I realize the bigger the business, more resources will be required to manage some major tasks.
What advice do you have for someone looking to start their own business?
Just do it! Planning is important, and you need to be brave enough to execute your plan. Sometimes you don’t need to see the whole stairs, just start it with small steps. Start with what you have and take every success or failure as a good lesson learn and “Never give up!