Iman Montayre, Luxury Design Entrepreneurs Story
But when adversity arrived it initiated the process whereby all of the employees left because they believed her company could not recover under the strains of global recession which had left a trail of devastation across economies.
While she had a pending order from a Singaporean client who had booked through her website, with only six days left before the scheduled delivery, she tried to persuade her employees to stay but to no avail. Grounded by a crucial schedule, she took the pattern paper, shears and rulers, and cut her first bridal gown.
But the problem did not end there because then she still had to learn how to run the hi-speed sewing machine- a task she would abhor. After a few tries, she managed to familiarize herself with the inner workings of the machine and had to learn new techniques over night. Traversing adversity she sewed her first bridal gown and delivered the order adhering to the schedule and a persistence to her luxury design standards. After receiving positive feedback from that client, Bridals by Iman was born.
Bridals by Iman is a wedding hub operating in Cebu, Philippines. It is owned and operated by Iman Montayre, an Investigative Journalism- graduate turned fashion designer. She started designing gowns at the age of 18 as a protegé to a New York- based designer while attending college at the same time. She also ventured into other fields such as designing furniture, home decors, accessories, bags and shoes and RTW, before deciding to open her own clothing manufacturing factory in 2007. The factory exported RTW to several countries until the global recession forced her to temporarily close it in 2012. In the same year, she launched an on-line boutique specializing in wedding ware.
The luxury boutique caters for brides-to-be, entourage attire- seekers and party-goers. Currently 98% of her clients are non- Muslims, who are mostly referrals from fellow clients who appreciate her workmanship, quality, style, aesthetics and flexibility. Bridals by Iman is not only customizing gowns locally (in Philippines) but also abroad. She has had clients now from various parts of the world. With her clients growing, she aims to extend her reach to the Muslim population, and the modest fashion market around the world.
When asked why she to chose this profession, she said “As a Muslim, mainly, it would be for freedom. It’s hard to be a designer while you’re a journalist at the same time, it’s easier the other way around. I love hearing bride stories and to be part of their journey. I have made good friends working with my clients. It’s partly dawah too. I’m able to express myself and educate others about my beliefs and Islamic faith. Also, it gives me a good platform to study the psychology of people especially of women which has helped me to shape my philosophy as a designer and entrepreneur encompassing the realm of business.”
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