Startup Fashion Week is always proud to support fashion startups in Canada, especially when these startups have a mission to bring positive social change to the world. Cynthia and Mary-Jo are the talented minds behind the fashion brand, MAISON CYMA; a fashion brand that seeks to honor the life of animals by raising awareness on recycling fur. MAISON CYMA will be part of Startup Fashion Week’s The Future of Runway fashion show on October 9th. Don’t miss out on this amazing show! Tickets are available for sale now, you can purchase your tickets here: https://goo.gl/fx12Hk. In the meantime, enjoy Startup Fashion Weeks exclusive interview with the talented designers of MAISON CYMA.
What inspired you to start your company?
We have known each other, like forever. We started playing dress up when we were about 10 years old. We had our own mini clothing line that we made from old curtains and fabrics. We also had lots of concepts for photoshoots and at that time, we called this creative union CYMA designs (CY for Cynthia and MA for Mary-Jo). So it was only natural that older, the passion that united us in our childhood would bring us to realize this dream of creating our own ‘grown up’ high-end ready-to-wear company.
What is your company all about?
The heart of the company is really our mission, which is to honor, glorify and pay respect to animals by offering them a second life recycling their fur. We want to raise social awareness about this sustainable approach of reutilization while offering fashionable and empowering garment.
We offer a line that is marked also by the use of fish leather, hand smock texture and by our very own invisible magnet system that allows the fur to be remove easily to create different looks with the garment and make it wearable four seasons.
Who is your target audience?
We always have our customers in mind while designing and we understand the importance of feeling comfortable with what you wear. We want our customers to proudly wear our garments and support our vision. Our clientele is a woman who feels good in her own skin, she is fashion forward, she loves original designs and she seeks quality product. She is conscious of her ecological footprint and strives to consume ethical products.
What advice can you pass on to other entrepreneurs?
Don’t listen to your fears, be patient and persevere.
We know sometimes it can be overwhelming, but if you have a dream, you should aim for it by sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone and by working really hard. Never lose sight of your goals, always remember that great things takes time.
What has been your biggest struggle so far? Success?
Time management has been a struggle for us so far. Since we are a startup and we do everything by ourselves, between the design, the sampling, the production, the administration and PR, we need to work a lot of hours to make it happen. Each time we feel tired or a little overwhelmed, we take a minute to realize that we are living our dream, and after, all those effort seems worth it.
For the success part, when we create our collection, we really do it from the heart. We create what we like and when you do that you never know what the public response would be. So far, the people response is super positive. We have a lot of encouragement and for us this is priceless.
Do you have any mentors / advisers?
We currently do not have a mentor but are in the process of having one shortly; we believe in the importance of being guided through this adventure by an experienced entrepreneur who shares similar values as we do. We are inspired by others entrepreneurs or brands like Stella McCartney who’s conscious of her ecological footprint as a designer and Frank & Oak for their different approach of the retail industry.
What exciting things can we expect to see for you and your Startup this year?
For now we are focusing on launching the brand in major urban cities in North America and Europe. We are full of creative ideas so be ready to see lots of exciting projects and collaborations. Product wise, you can expect to see an accessory line soon and other unique designs. We are super excited of what is to come and hope you will follow us in this journey.
How did starting this company change your life?
We both have a strong entrepreneur profile, so being our own boss is kind of awesome! We really are living our dream so it makes life so much fun.
What are you most looking forward to at Startup Fashion Week this year?
We are really excited to step out of our workshop and take our collection on stage to present it to the industry and public. Meeting new people, is always exciting for us and we can’t wait to hear the public feedback! We feel privileged to be part of this event.
How / where can our audience connect with you and your Brand?
You can always see what’s happening about our brand and us on our social media platforms. We also have our website where you can purchase the current collection and see novelty items.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn: @MAISONCYMA