In celebration of International Women's Day 2021, themed "ChooseToChallenge”, we are excited to have embroidery artist, Inez Tan from Inez Designs sharing her creative journey with us.
Inez left the fashion industry as a seasoned fashion merchandiser and buyer to become a full-time mother to two children. As she embarked on the journey of motherhood, she discovered an outlet for her creativity. Her passion for jewellery making and embroidery grew and that was how her business started.
Inez’s work has since gained wide acclaim, and has been featured internationally in The New York Times Style Magazine and MarthaStewart.com.
Below is the interview:
Why do you choose to do what you do?
Since young, I have always embraced new ideas. I loved creating new things, it is my passion and it runs in my blood. :) Embroidery provides a meditative outlet for me as it is calming and soothing. It also helps on improving my mental health.
What were the challenges you faced when starting out in your field?
I started with no expectations, creating what I liked. It is sometimes challenging as I have to juggle between work and motherhood, especially when the demand increases through collaborations and commission work. Embroidery is a slow process and I have to rush the work to meet deadlines, often late at night as being a full-time Mum does take up a lot of time.
What challenges do you continue to face right now as a woman in your field?
I am a one woman show, definitely it was challenging to do everything myself - from marketing to making to meeting with customers. My skills are also self taught so that can be challenging too. I had to learn new skills like social media, updating my website, new business models and lots of trials and errors in embroidery. Pricing can be an issue too. My handmade embroidery are not mass produced as it take a lot of time and effort to achieve them. However, some people are not receptive about paying a higher price for such work.
What is ONE thing you’d like to share with women in your field, or women in general?
I think allowing yourself to make mistakes is really helpful. You will gain more experience and knowledge. I agree with this quote “If there is no struggle, there is no progress." by Frederick Douglass. I think right now in my creative field, women are pretty much well respected. Women in small business are coming up and getting recognised a lot too. The biggest challenges are time management and learning new skill sets.