It's the last day of 2020 and a perfect time to pen my thoughts and share my journey of KAIJUU.
Many did not know but KAIJUU started in 2018. Back then I was a confident and brave naive girl thinking I could break through the hand dyed market in Singapore, but it came with setbacks.
I struggled with brand identity. Back then KAIJUU didn’t know what she wanted. She only had one simple goal which was to share her colorful world with the world but the reality is not many appreciate bright colors and many would tell me it’s a young people color. I was very upset and i could not understand why my product didn’t sell well. I wasn’t in for the money, i feel happy if people see happiness in my color. However, a few who just got into hand dyed became my customers amongst them a handful stayed on to continue their support till today. I am very grateful for the support.
I took a year off from late 2018 til Dec 2019. I spoke to artists and designers on how they decided on they found their brand identity. I did my research and put in more of my time to try again. October 2019, I rented a mini studio inside a woodworking factory so I could focus on restarting; I relaunched in Dec 2019 with my new collection - Back to basic. I dyed mainly tonal solids as I needed to ground myself and listen to you before I could go wild again. I am a wild child with a yolo heart so the setback in 2018 was like a slap to my face to keep me grounded. Alas, Dec collection didn’t do well and I gave myself 6 more months to try again before I close it for good.
In Jan 2020, the people who really saved me and gave me my second chance would be folks from tinyrabbithole, craft atelier, and muta.wear. I was close to giving up but they were the one who unknowingly backed me.
I remember in March 2020, I was preparing for my first ever popup market to meet people to share my story but I was hit with the news of COVID and then lockdown happened and i had to move my studio because the lease was cut short. The factory wasn't part of essential services and that meant we could not go back during lockdown.
It was a frantic period looking for the next affordable place and that's where I met May who wanted to try a new place with me. Mind you, we met like only the third time and we both didn't know what to expect and if we could work it out. May opened up my world to more about fibre arts and that's when I realized I haven't fixed my root problem - brand identity. But, my closed friends told me to bite the bullet and make use of the chance to go ahead and dye more yarn because it gets people through this depressing period.
I'm glad I took the advice and made my first ever clear out sales and that was a big boost to my confidence. However, lockdown got me overly stressed and I seek solace in multiple test knits.
Came July 2020, I was even more bored of life as the lockdown took a toll on me. I picked up spinning and made my first batch of handspun yarn. I was ecstatic and it became a quick addiction.
August 2020 broke me for the first time in a long while. My boss passed away suddenly and we could not send him off because he's in Malaysia. I was lost and I didn't know what to do. i didn't even care about KAIJUU at this point because he was my only support at work. I seek solace in my fibre and that's where i tried to dye my first batch of fibre to get over my grief.
I dyed 14 braids to move on and I never knew how my mood could affect the colors. A customer came up to me and said she could feel the fibre being very sad so she avoided buying it.
In October 2020, when i could finally focus on work again, I took up weaving. Weaving saori style changed my perception of yarn. It was a new world that I have to relearn from scratch. The wonderful Natalia who taught me how to weave and Johanna who introduced me to more people, i am so thankful to have met all these fibre weaving folks. That's where I discovered KAIJUU have to cater to them because these pool of people don't need 100g yarn!
As I continue to focus more on KAIJUU in November, I was thinking of how I can push myself further and that's when I placed my first order for custom spun - 80% SW EF merino 20% Linen singles. It was nerve wrecking because i threw in a lot of money to make it work. It was a challenge to myself to be different and be myself. A slight twist of event also seen me having my first virtual fibre festival where I had the opportunity to speak to people in Canada.
It was also in the very same month, I decided to take a leap of faith and found a bigger space for KAIJUU. I made the impromptu decision without consulting anyone. Of course, my parents weren't very supportive but I know I needed the space. I needed a place to grow more and to have more conversations.
2020 is a shitstorm for everyone and for KAIJUU, it came with multiple backstabs. I was bruised and hurt multiple times throughout the year but that's what makes us stronger.
If 2019 was a year of self-discovery, 2020 was a year of resilience and I am very happy to say I did it! KAIJUU survived and became better!!
On the last day of 2020, I bid farewell to my previous place that brought me so much memories.
I begin my new Journey at Kampong Bahru Road.