It's no secret that juggling schoolwork and a biz is no easy feat. And while we're sure this young entrepreneur had his own ups and downs, he manages to make juggling academics and work look like a total breeze and totally cool, too. So read on as Fed Pua shares with us how he started his cool biz Factory in this week's "How I Started."
How it started. "Factory was started primarily because I needed more clothes. Majority of my wardrobe is vintage because I love how one piece of clothing can hold up so much stories. You don't really get that from fast-fashion retailers."
Why Factory? "I wanted to recreate the feeling that I get whenever I buy vintage apparel, which later on compelled me to create my own brand. It's not a blatant copy of the clothes from yesteryear, rather, a fresh take on them infused with things that inspire me around Manila and my travels."
Young entrepreneur. "Being a young entrepreneur has its ups and downs. On one hand, it's a challenge to juggle schoolwork with business because being young is not an excuse for mediocrity. Being overworked is such a small price to pay when you become a part of something bigger than you. On the other hand, it's a great feeling to be a young entrepreneur—being so idealistic and curious. You learn from your mistakes, get new inspirations, and at the end of it all, produce something fresh."
Drawing inspiration. "The brand is an extension of myself and everything that I love from cheap thrifted clothes to vintage travel posters to girly French pop music. I'm currently hoarding a lot of 1940's self-help guides because of hand-painted graphics in them. Besides that, I draw inspiration from people that I'm friends with, people that I work with, and people I dream of meeting."
Flying solo. "I sometimes commission some people to help with the different projects of Factory because they're just too good not to collaborate with. Besides that, I have my graphic designer Wendy who pretty much does everything digitally. I couldn't have launched Factory without her."
Little challenges. "Deadlines. I love working at my own pace. Getting inspired, designing, and finding the right suppliers is a tedious process, but at the end of the day, it's important to work smart and know when to release the right things. As a creative director and owner of Factory, I always have to wear the hat of leader. It's a new experience, but I try to stay grounded and try not to fluster."
Staying original. "I don't think I try to make a conscious effort to differentiate myself from other brands. I love the local RTW scene right now, and I think that most of the local RTW brands have a great distinct style. It's the same with Factory. The creative process is different per designer. Authentic designs come from an experience and all of our experiences are different."
What's next? Right now, I just aim to keep on producing my dream wardrobe."
"If you wanted to do something, you'd do it."
To young budding entrepreneurs. "Don't be discouraged by rejection because it's inevitable. When one door closes, there's always another way to get in. It's also important to keep your word and actively work hard for the things you want to achieve."
Know any young entrepreneurs? Leave a comment below and you just might see them on the site next week!