The most frequently made comment: “How did you come up with this…”
I am Waheeda, I have been “in fashion” for more than 24 years. I started as a sales assistent while studying Textile Management and worked up as store manager for one of the most renowned Italian fashion houses based in the Netherlands. When the position became free to become a buyer for this brand, I took the opportunity.
I was able to travel and my creative heart became very happy with this. I have met the most influential fashion people and have been allowed to collaborate and learn from them.
Enterprising and creative as I am I came up with an accessory for my own lifestyle, one that I could easily take with me on a trip, one that met all my wishes, which translated who I am and what I stand for. I even came up with a name.
It was only until I gave birth to my twin boys that I realized THAT was what I was going to do: no more working for a boss, but as a brand new mom organizing my own time and life…
I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, it was a crisis and everyone advised me against it. After all, I didn’t have a big investor behind me. But with a dose of common sense, my partner, my boundless passion and a wealth of experience in the industry… always follow your heart, it knows the way!
“Spicy Scarves … a brilliant name!”
This name of course says everything about my product, but even more about myself! Born and raised in the Netherlands, a western girl with an oriental spicy layer. I am a layered person, in my clothing, in my thoughts and in my philosophy. My designs consist of layers: different colors, materials and styles … and that’s where my philosophy comes in: I would like to show you how you can get a new creation by mixing layers.
“… & Action”
I just started, together with my partner Daniël with a home-made collection of 20 scarves at handmade markets and events. No tight business plan for us, but a year later I launched the webshop and from that moment I even stopped my permanent job. I received orders, was present at even more events, and received the first stores who believed in Spicy Scarves…
Through our own style we were able to distinguish ourselves and thereby create brand awareness on social media. A year later we opened our own Boutique Shop on the Pier in Scheveningen, to have a fixed point where customers can go, can fit and feel all scarves and sometimes put together their own scarf at one of our create your own events!
4 years later …
We still produce the scarves ourselves. We design our own fabrics, we still pack each scarf ourselves and deliver the service that you expect from us. We are also happy to contribute to nature and people and work together with suppliers who are certified for working in environmentally friendly ways and who ensure that their employees have a normal paid job. We cut our fabrics completely and try to ensure zero waste.
Our DNA is still the same as 4 years ago: unique, special, handmade scarves for all women, who love original and authentic, in small quantities… no mass production!
Because we keep everything close to home, we hold on to our identity and recognisability. It is such an honor to see that we have been able to build a large regular clientele and new fans are added every day. We want to remain unique and original for these women. Because of our price-quality ratio, we always stay sharp, we want to deliver a lot for this price. I do not want to make a cheap mass product, then I will do something else.
“If you want to be original, get ready to copied!”
How often we have heard: “I can do that myself” and of course we have sometimes seen a weak copy. We always try to stay ahead of the copycats. We know better than anyone where our original fabrics come from, how they are cut and what our customers love.
“If it doesn’t kill you, it will only make you stronger”
Doing business is gambling, fighting, daring and doing! Don’t be afraid to get caught up and take blows. And we have now become good at that. There have been times when I wanted to throw in the towel, when we were almost bankrupt and yet again found the courage and strength to continue. At those moments I long for a job with a salary and no fuss… for 15 minutes.
“4 years and counting”
I hope we are able to continue this beautiful brand for a long time. I often get the comment: “Things are going great, right?” And never really know what to answer back. My standard answer is: “work in progress” and that’s just how it is. We have come to a point where we are going to make important business decisions, so that we can continue to exist.
We are going to expand our product line and to take matters such as production in a different way, yet of course in a way that suits us. Beautiful collaborations are coming. As a small company I believe in working together with others, together you are stronger and more creative. It keeps you sharp. We are looking forward to a Spicy future.