It’s noontime at the OWNMUSE store located at Parco Millenium and Shu Juang, one half of the design duo for ownmuse, is hanging up new stock that came in for the Autumn/Winter collection. A few minutes later Johanna joins the little pow wow and the interview begins!
The first thing I notice immediately is that both girls dress extremely comfy. If you ask me, for most working girls, comfort is crucial and yet you don’t want to do it without style. The two of them manage to find that perfect balance of style and comfort, which I think, is strongly reflected in their designs.
The theme for their Autumn/Winter collection is called “down to earth”. What I would describe as a dessert sand storm hitting the black concrete of city dwellers. In earth tones, dusty pinks and blacks made in comfortable and luxurious fabrics such as chiffon and suede, their pieces really form the sand in your cement wardrobe…ok, excuse the weird analogy of clothes haha.
Inspiration behind “Down to Earth, by ownmuse”
Johanna: We were actually very much inspired by fabrics, like this gauze like material that we found in hong kong.
ShuJuang: Ya, we really liked how it was quite translucent and you can add two layers (in different shapes) and play with the transparency of it.
There’s nothing like being able to work together with a good friend on something that you are both passionate about and Johanna and Shu Juang have this great working relationship for ownmuse. When I first met them and asked if it was difficult having two designers for one label, their response was a simple “No! haha”. But what I didn’t know was that they had been friends since primary school! In primary 5 at Methodist Girls School they became classmates and were inseparable since. They both then graduated from Temasek Polytechnic design school together and went off into a new business and partnership.
But being your own boss or running your own show is tough! And the pair has their fair share of struggles.
Shu Juang: Both of us are design trained not business trained. So the business side of stuff is something that we’re quite weak at. It’s difficult to handle all the business side of stuff like marketing on top of the design work.
Johanna: Yeah and then, there are all the company documents, legal stuff and the accounts!
Shu Juang: But sometimes our moms help us with the accounting. Which is great! We also have business and creative mentors, Ann Wu and Thomas Tan, who guide us so that helps us a bit.
Johanna: The manufacturing process has become smoother but we have to pay a lot more for cost because of the small quantity per design.
But it is never short of happy moments!
Johanna: When the collection comes out well, it’s a victory! It’s actually quite a big difference when we started out. Our first few samples were like horrible! But now we’re getting the hang of things so the process is getting smoother.”
Shu Juang: Also just seeing people appreciating and enjoying our designs, that’s really worth it. A lot of Singaporeans have been quite supportive of local talents. So that’s good for us!
Johanna: Ya, it’s really nice to suddenly spot someone wearing designs from ownmuse and you’re like “yay”. That quite exciting!
Johanna: Haha not really, more like just don’t up ;)
# Do go check out their jewelry too! Hand made, one of a kind, totally whimsical and vintage inspired. It’s really beautiful
## They’re located on the 2nd level of Parco@Millenia and online soon too…you’ll be the first to hear the news when you can shop with them online!
### Check out our top picks from the collection on our facebook page (click)