Fern Chua, FERN, The Story ExchangeYour Name: Fern Chua

Business Name: FERN, a contemporary women’s clothing line

Type of Business: Arts & Entertainment/Clothing & Accessories

Business Location: Malaysia

Facebook www.facebook.com/ferncollection
Pinterest http://pinterest.com/ferncollection/

Reason for starting
An unfortunate event which changed my life that I would consider it as a blessing in disguise. I met a car accident about 3 years back which led me to almost paralyzed of my left arm. It was that moment, I reflect about my life. I could not work for 6 months and all I can do was to go for physio so it would recover. I decided to take up learning to sew to improve my hand movements and skills. Little did I know that I discover a treasure of the combination learning how to sew and my fascination on fashion. I quit my job and start up my fashion line with a twist using batik. Batik, a technique used in our country’s art tradition to create wax resistance of patterns to dye fabrics. It is my challenge to modernize this form of art that I called it as ‘wearable art’ as the whole process requests artisan to design, draw and paint on the fabric then making it into a piece of art to wear.

How do you define success?
I guess in the world of fashion, success would mean to see people appreciating what you have created, the satisfactory on their faces wearing your creations, people to trust and believe in what you do. To add to it, it is a journey that I embark on with courage and determination and believing in what you do. Also having an ethical approach into business to have a clear conscience.

Biggest Success
To step out and starting this business and see it grows and unfolds with new exciting and surprising challenges ahead. Recently with no experiences and running my first collection fashion show smoothly at an event with great positive feedbacks and excitement on people’s faces were definitely the highlights for my success.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Being an entrepreneur with limited knowledge and not coming from a prestigious fashion school like most of these big fashion designer stars. I had to self studied everything from books, doing research, advises from entrepreneurs that I know, having the eye on aesthetics, magazines, online and little help of here and there on technical skills from tailors and pattern makers. Always be humble and ask for assistance if you needed any.

Who is your most important role model?
My father, though he is not an entrepreneur, my life teaching of morals and attitude comes from him. To be a tough cookie, humble, have courage, and the determination. Without his push, I would have been nowhere.