Owner: Wei Tsay
Location: New York City, New York
Embrace the Unknown
While both Wei and Gina climbed the career ladder in the finance industry, the desire to explore their personal talents in the fashion industry were becoming increasingly undeniable. Before embarking on a new adventure, both Wei and Gina took time to research the fashion industry. These new fashion designer wanted a clothing brand that would reflect who they are as individuals and the way they live their lives. Wei said “Our brand name Avantūr, stems from what we were both experiencing at this time in our lives. We both were at a point in our lives that we were complacent with life… bored. We both were not feeling challenged with and knew that we needed and wanted something more. Avantūr is symbolic of adventure and a willingness to change… it’s really my mantra for the way we live life.”
Started from the bottom
Neither business partners had any background in the fashion industry. Equipped with other business experience and the desire to learn, they have been able to build a solid business model that has proven to work. Avantūr was launched in January of 2014 and is rapidly gaining exposure in the Fashion industry. Gina said, “I have experience in financial planning, business modeling and strategy and Wei my business partner has experience in marketing, social media and branding. The two of us handle everything from business planning, web design, social media, photography, design, etc. Our hope is to create timeless pieces that will become part of someone’s journey, as they think and do things differently than before.”
Avantūr is specifically tailored to women with a chic mindset and an appreciation for American constructed timeless apparel. When asked how they stay above their competition in the industry, Wei informed us that they are unlike any other brand right now. He said, “We aren’t focused on releasing a full collection like others in the community. We start with one piece, and perfect it over time. Gradually, we add more and more to our collection. In addition, there aren’t many fashion entrepreneurs who hold a full-time job in finance or media – we have a different perspective.”
Save, Save, Save!
It is not secret that in order to own a successful fashion business, you first need capital. Wei and Gina both specialize in the finance industry. They were smart about the funding process and know that it would take time. Instead of waiting to start their dream career they mapped out a solid plan to fund their dream as they learned. When asked what they would do differently prior to launching their successful fashion brand, Wei said, “We would have saved more money! When we started, we didn’t have a ton of savings, but we didn’t want to wait to launch our business. or go in debt so we’ve been investing and building our brand slowly. We pay where we have to (i.e. sample making), but in general, we keep it scrappy and we do things ourselves. Both of us have experience with sewing. Everything else? We’ve learned on the fly… if we don’t know something, we’ll find someone who does, or we’ll teach ourselves.”
Hard-work results in rewards.
With the fashion market crowded and the hefty overhead costs, it can seem impossible to stand out. Avantūr have experienced the struggle first hand at the beginning to obtain endorsements from bloggers and PR outlets. During the hard times they have remembered that first sale they ever made a sale. This remind them why they started their business in the first place. Enduring through the hard times will certainly pay off. They are proving themselves and it’s only a matter of time before Avantūr brand is a well known must have throughout the fashion industry. Wei said, “We didn’t start our business to make money… we started it out of a desire to become creators, and inspire people around us.”