YHP Interviews Mrs VeeCi, the Talented Designer, the Brains and Mind behind the Upcoming and Exciting Line-VeeCi Clothing
Hello, Mrs VeeCi, like You're called, we’re finally doing this long, awaited interview, how are you doing today?
I'm fine just tired, currently working on some new stuff.
Can you briefly give us some background information about yourself, I’m sure everyone will want to know some information behind the great minds and design of VeeCi clothing?
My name is Florence but every1 calls me Flo or Mz VeeCi, which was a name given to me by some guy and i thought ohhhh i like that and been using it ever since (Laughter), i'm 22 originally from Manchester but living in Leicester now cause i go DMU.
I can see your designs are hand sewn, which i must is rare, this is “pure talent ”, i love the whole hand sewn concept, especially "the speciallymade for you feel", and also the exclusivity feeling. So How when did you start sewing and how long did it take you to learn it?
Thank you, I actually learnt how to use a sewing machine when i was in college, before that i didn't know how to sew, when i made things i used to literally hand sew everything i even still have some stuff at home, i learnt pretty quick though, practice makes perfec right and the technique i use, was to put pictures, logos, words basically anything onto my clothes from t-shirts to dresses which i also learnt from college, but again with alot of practice and risk taking, i taught myself to do alot more with that technique but you have to have a lot of patience.
So do you actually hand sewn all your clothes? Is it just you or do you have anyone that helps you out?
yeah i do and i had a lil help from my friend Gloria from time to time when i'm with her, but 95% of the time, i do it all myself which gets soooooooooo tiring, but the final outcomes are usually worth it, because i knew i worked hard to get that outcome.
You know what, I’m going to ask you something controversial, What do you think of these hand print line coming out, because you’re there busting your butt off sewing these clothes and you see people designing clothes so easily?
(Laughter), well, i'm not even going to lie at one point, i was going take the lazy option of printing, but a friend Vescoe Blake advised me not to do so and that sewing makes me different, and i thought truuuuuue so i stuck with it. which i do thank him for, because that advise at that moment made me get to where i am now
That's nice to hear, you always need good friends, especially the ones that give good advices at crucial stages in decision making.
Yes Indeed, what i think though is that all of those that print are all in the same category where as im in a category of my own , put it like this if me and someone else who prints went for the same interview i would have a advantage over them because i've brought something a lil different to the table, anyone can print, I'm not knocking printing though, because a lot of bigger fashion designers print but, because there are sooooooo many up and coming *clothing lines* out there you have to make yourself stand out which i have done and if your are going to print then make it different don't just print an image or some words in the middle of a t-shirt, think outside the box and use printing differently, gosh lol a lil advise there *wink*.
So where does your inspiration come from? Your business? Your designs?
Babyphat & RocaWear because casual wear is the route i want to take but also have those dresses and outfits that you could wear on a night out or on a special occasion i want to do a bit of everything.
Vivian westwood because i love her rebellious style and her use of different fabrics did you see her wedding dress on sex n the city movie , beautiful but different
Sorry, Not a sex n the city fan, i think i watched half an episode though, i think so...
Teddybear club because in my opinion they are on top of the up and coming clothing line game because they have a proppa business going and that's something to look at and take note from, also p.diddy, straight up business man who should be an inspiration to all (Laughter) i love him
Umm, I'm going to keep my mouth shut.
I love patterned fabrics there my main inspiration for my designs i went to one shop and ended up coming out with most of the fabrics in there(Laughter) and that is what VeeCi will be known for the mix and use of funky patterned material.
What are your best qualities and weakness?
i would say that my best quality is that i'm kind & caring but at the same time it's a weakness if that makes sense?? because some people take advantage of that.
What made you start a business?
Ive been about since last year summer but i've started to take it alot more seriously now
When was VeeCi clothing born?
The 1st I.Y.I fashion show (Inspiring your imagination fashion show) which was in January 08 which was just a line of t-shirts
What fabrics do you mostly deal with?
anything with patterns
Describe your collection in ten words?
Do you make your collection to season?
not at all, well it kinda influences the colors i use sometimes
What was the most important lesson you have learnt so far?
You have to put your foot down in many situations especially in this kinda business or people will take the piss and also it is hardddddd (Laughter) i thought ok make clothes, sell and whatever, but its not an easy business you have to work hard to get out there, then to be No.1, even harddddder to stay there.
Who are your competitors?
I don't think anyone is and i don't mean that in a bigheaded way (Laughter), until i find another designer who's similar to me and hand sews then i'll say wow ok i have some competition here, and not only that but i think most clothing lines actually support eachother even though we're all in the same boat as most of us/them are friends.
How did you raise money for your business?
By working and money i make from selling stuff.
How do you promote your brand? And how effective has it been?
Really at the moment just facebook and other peoples who have helped by sending outmessages via there facebook groups and word of mouth.
Who are your target market?
Right now 15-25/30
but i'm considering going lower than 15 because someone asked me if i do kids wear because she wanted something for her son, so that made me think.
How many hours do you spend on your clothes daily?
wow it depends, there's been a few times were i've pulled all nighters doing stuff
and other times where i've spent a lot less time, it varies and really depends on orders, i know one time i made like 7 t-shirts in like 4 hours.
Four hours on 7 t-shirt, I guess it is just easy on the eye, but the hard work is a lot, keep working hard(Laughter)
Do you have any favorite young entrepreneur out there at the moment?
Teddy Bear Club as i mentioned before, A friend called ADE he's so business minded, his future is bright i could see him on The Apprentice and actually winning, another friend called Kayode who's starting a company called Aim2Gain which does alot of things in one and Double M Productions, there are a lot and are doing a lot, that's someone else i think are going to go so far, i think you should interview them next (Laughter).
Definitely, will do.
Do you read any books that you would to recommend to all the entrepreneurs out there?
i don't even knwo you know,(Laughter) i do read a lot of fashion mags though.
So what do you do for fun?
lazying around with my girls, i did go raving a lot but i'm trying to stop now, the raving scene is becoming same old, smae old, just jamming really and catching jokes, cooking food i'm a great cook (Laughter) and just doing my clothing.
That's nice, what a way to balance everything out, Maybe you can help me with some cooking tips.
So what are your advices to young entrepreneurs trying to start up their own business?
You don't get anywhere without Passion, Determination and talent.
if you've got the talent never give up.
Great advice, these are some vital ingredients that makes up an entrepreneur success.
What is the one best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don't give up! because there has been times when i've thought this is too much, but because i'm so passionate about being a fashion designer, because i've wanted to do this from a very young age so when things move slowly at times you just think, is there a point, but friends that know me advice me to just keep doing it, hard work pays off and God will bless you when the time is right.
What Do you like/dislike the most about having a business?
i like well love seeing people wearing my clothes i get so excited its sad(Laughter of excitement) i just over smile because that's when you know your doing something good, when your randomly go out and see that someone chose to wear your clothes that day or to that rave
I dislike the fact people expect freebies especially those that know me, if i'm always giving away freebies i wont make any money.
What is your favorite quote?
Everything Happens For A Reason
Have you ever encountered any setbacks? How did you overcome it?
Yes at first, it was money, but then i did the obvious and got a job (Laughter) at the moment i'm looking for a better paid job though or another job.
Good luck on your job hunt.
How has the journey been so far?
Up's and downs but i guess everything can't just run smoothly.
Up's and downs makes you appreciate things even more when things start running smoothly.
How is it, Combining business and university?
We had a long discussion about this already joe (Laughter),
O yeah(Laughter), i just kind of wanted an update you know.
so far i've not really clashed because i am currently on a year out
Do you have any plans (personal or business) that you can share with us about your future plans?
I want to get into the shops, FootLocker is my no.1, it's footlocker that got me into t-shirt design. i've been interested in t-shirt design for ages, i used to buy t-shirts from there religiously so to see my stuff in there would mean a lot.
My plans are just to promote and work harder get into more fashion shows uni 1's and out of uni ones, London Fashion Week would be a serious achievement!! and just try and sell more, save a lot of money so i can buy more stuff in bulk regarding materials and plane t's/hoodies/jumpers and so on...To also get a website put together and get into shops and move a lot more on my shoes, so far i can only do basic stuff but once i get the right links i can put my bigger ideas into production.
Yes, Florence, I wish you luck in the business, i do hope you get the right links and partnerships necessary to take your company to the next level because i feel you have a good thing going on there.
Don't forget to leave comments and feedbacks on the interview. thanks.