For anyone who has wanted to start a business, it’s their dreams and passions that have pushed them to achieve their goals. In Raeann’s case, it was the aspiration to start one of the best sustainable clothing brands for her kids that brought her to where she is today.
With Cheeky Feys, Raeann pursued her life’s creative passion of customising and tailoring while also sewing clothes and masks as well as reusable sandwich bags. So much so that she is one of the most successful sustainable clothing brands in Singapore.
To find out how she managed to get where she is now, theAsianparent reached out to Raeann to talk more about balancing one of the best sustainable clothing brands for kids with motherhood.
Best Sustainable Clothing Brands: Starting A Business As A Mother Of Two
Raeann is a mother of two girls, 5-year-old, Ava, and 2-year-old, Brianna. Her lovely girls are her main motivators for most of the things she does. Her husband is also a writer so they both run their own businesses.
Before starting her kids wear shop, Raeann used to work in the film industry. She mentions that she worked on “short films, commercials later on doing wardrobe styling for shows as well.” But after having her two kids, the long working hours just weren’t suitable for her anymore.
With her interest in sewing, Raeann’s husband and friends encouraged her to pursue “something related to that passion” instead. It was then that she decided to start Cheeky Feys.
Image source: Raeann
Combined with her love for coming up with ideas to reduce waste, her business started out hosting a kickstarter for reusable sandwich bags in 2021.
When asked how manages her many roles as a mother and a professional, Raeann says, “In the daytime, I’m a regular mum – bringing my kids to school, meal-preps, and taking note of their medical appointments.”
“When they are asleep, that’s when I take the time to focus on my business – scheduling social media posts, cutting, sewing, or researching new designs,” she adds.
When it’s “crunch time,” her husband also takes the responsibility to look after the kids. The mother of two notes how helpful it is that her husband is a “fellow creative” so they plan their deadlines together.
“Cheeky Feys is a big part of my life now and it isn’t easy for sure and aside from the struggles I want to say that it is totally worth it!” Raeann tells us.
Balancing Act: Juggling Best Sustainable Clothing Brand And Family
Challenges of motherhood
When asked about any parenting challenges she faced as a mother, Raeann shares that her biggest fear was lacking emotional closeness with her girls. But her daughters’ love and their desire to be more independent made her more confident as a mum.
So much so that they choose their own clothes and even request her to make something specially for them.
Raeann adds that she finds it fulfilling to see her own sewing and designing skills have “rubbed off on them.” “I do hope it will stay this way till adulthood,” she quips.
The mumpreneur also shares that scarcity of time also poses a challenge. She explains that as a mother running a business, she also has to work on giving extra care to one of her girls who has allergies and ptosis. This is a condition that causes droopy eyelids.
“So I juggle a lot with her medical appointments and my business. I am glad to run my online store with flexible work hours, to keep up with her appointments,” Raeann tells theAsianparent.
“Even though at times it feels like I’m having 20-hour workdays, I love what I do and it’s been an amazing journey running Cheeky Feys,” she adds.
Regarding the most significant barrier she has faced as a mother, Raeann says, “I think it is the societal pressure placed on mums everywhere that you have to work in addition to taking care of your children.”
“Mothers who stay at home full-time are working, just like mothers who work in an office or run a business,” she makes sure to add.
Challenges of starting a business
The initial challenge of starting her own business was the marketing and business aspect of the brand. While Raeann says she can sew and design, she is still getting used to the technical side of the business.
“But I am lucky to receive guidance and support from friends who are adept in those areas,” she says.
Another challenge was pricing. Raeann explains, “We source our fabric directly from local vendors rather than a sweatshop, so our prices justify not only our profits but their salaries as well.”
Awareness is also a vertical the mumpreneur brings up along with the ongoing process of introducing the brand to the public.
Image source: Raeann
Importance Of Making Sustainable Kidswear
The clothes that Raeann makes are aimed to “invoke comfort, smiles and joy in children when they wear them.”
“I want them to experience what sustainable fashion can be in hopes to inspire their future choices when they grow up and start buying clothes for themselves. So that they will remember that they used to wear sustainable clothes that are comfortable, stylish, and reduce harm against our planet,” she shares.
The mummy of two adds, “My efforts alone can only inspire them and I believe that a community effort is required for change to happen, therefore I’d love to start a conversation about reducing fashion waste.”
When we asked how her daughters feel wearing her designs, Raeann confirms that her girls “absolutely adore” them. They are even her “main testers” when it comes to the designs.
“If it’s comfortable on them, it should be comfortable on other children,” she says. Adding, “Since each piece is customisable, Cheeky Feys clothes can accommodate children of any shape and size!”
“My kids enjoy wearing Cheeky Feys pieces and participating in our fashion shoot. Ava loves being the face of the brand,” says the proud mum.
Image source: Raeann
Starting Cheeky Feys, One Of The Best Sustainable Clothing Brands In Singapore
For Raeann, Cheeky Feys gives her the opportunity to make sustainable clothing more accessible. The name was actually inspired by children’s “cheeky faces” and their fairy-like energy which explains the word “fey.”
“I was inspired by nature and the thought of leaving behind a healthier planet for my kids. I want my children to grow up with an appreciation for nature,” says the mumpreneur.
She continues to share, “Although I’ve lived in a city all my life, I remember when I was a child, visiting my grandparents in a kampong in Malaysia. There’s a sense of peace and tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I developed a greater interest in nature after reading my first Nat Geo magazine when I was 11.”
This is why at Cheeky Feys, the brand uses locally available resources with the belief that there are many fabrics available. There is no need to produce new fabrics which create more carbon emissions.
“We spend time sourcing and curating fun prints locally or shopping on the second-hand fabric market, this circularity helps create a loop in our local economy, and reduce textile wastes,” adds Raeann.
As one of the best sustainable clothing brands, Raeann makes sure to create comfortable designs to allow children to have an easier time enjoying the outdoors.
Inspiring Other Mums Who Want To Start Their Own Business
Image source: Raeann
“I always encourage people around me to chase their passions, because I believe it is a fulfilling part of one’s life that helps them feel whole and purposeful,” says Raeann.
She also advises, “Starting your own business is hard and definitely worth it, because at the end of the day, seeing an idea that you have actualised will help you feel complete, and gives you a sense of achievement.”
We also asked Raeann her secret to success. To which she responded by pointing that it is essentially time management, passion and a bonus secret!
“As a business owner and mother, every pocket of time for business is precious. Setting a specific time for work or play helps you get through the day more easily,” shares Raeann.
“Ultimately, passion is what keeps you committed to your craft, to stay creative in bringing your business to the next level. It’s the self-motivating factor that keeps me up late even after putting my children to sleep so that I can continue working on my business,” says the mumpreneur.
She adds, “It may be tiring and even though I am exhausted, the fulfilment and purpose give me [the] joy to keep going.”
Raeann also says, “A bonus secret is consistency. When I first started sewing, I got obsessed and made at least 1 dress a day for the girls!”
After the success of Cheeky Feys, Raeann has also joined the Renew Earth Sweatshop event, which offers the perfect opportunity to share her concepts and ideas.
The Renew Earth Sweat Shop pop-up showcase will be held at Temasek Shophouse until 31 October.
Opening hours: Monday – Friday – 12pm – 8pm, Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays – 11am – 5pm
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