The Zulkifli sisters launched Mimpikita in 2008 in order to create functional and cosmopolitan fashion designs their heir ready-to-wear collections blend traditional styles, exquisite detailing and beautifully embellished fabrics with a modern interpretation. The Mimpikita brand will officially launch in the UK in September 2015.
Bound by passion and a constant pursuit of excellence, the Zulkifli sisters are three women with one aim, to ensure that when you become the Mimpikita woman, your dream becomes ‘our dream’. The Zulkifi sisters, Nurul Afidah Zulkifli, Amirah Hanis Zulkifli and Fatimah Ani Syahira Zulkifli, spent some time in answering our questions and gave us a real insight to entrepreneurship and fashion, as well as being sisters.
What inspired you to start Mimpikita?
‘Mimpikita’ when translated means ‘our dreams’ in our national language, Bahasa Malaysia. Running a fashion house is what we three sisters Nurul, Mira and Syera Zulkifli have aspired and dreamt of having.
Our family was defined by entrepreneurialism and creativity. Growing up with an architect for a dad has exposed us to the world of art and architecture when we were little. We love traveling, and we grew up spending countless holiday breaks on cultural, architecture travels.
Our mum was a seamstress, so naturally fashion was something that we’ve always been connected with. She would experiment with styles and outfits that we wouldn’t have otherwise. Our upbringing has most certainly molded our creativity and also our work ethics.
What is the greatest challenge and the greatest reward in being your own boss?
Not everyone has what it takes to launch and operate a successful business and for us three sisters, it’s not exception. We admit that with self-employment comes with significant challenges. The real reward is truly when we consistently perform well as a small, self-employed business owner and in return Mimpikita as a company gets to reap the benefits, and as a result we feel a much greater sense of satisfaction and fulfilment.
What motivational tips can you give to our members about goal setting and managing both successes and failures?
As cliché as it may sound, finding what you love to do is a substantial part of the receipt of success. For us sisters, the first obstacle is to uncover the purpose of ‘MImpikita’ as a brand; we focused on our vision and aim; to create clothing that would fit the various styles of women out there. Once you stick to your vision, everything else would fall in line. We’ve also allowed ourselves to fail so many times – we just dust our knees off, get up and try again
As a brand; we focused on our vision and aim; to create clothing that would fit the various styles of women out there.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced when launching your brand?
Now that our label is growing, and having been in the business for close to 7 years – the biggest challenge over the years it has taken us is: to master our style and keeping true to our brand identity regardless of our faith.
With the amount of new designers and brands coming up, the reality for us today is that there’s a very short window for us to develop what we are and convey what we’re about and we hope with our debut at London Fashion Week, we’ll be able to showcase what Mimpikita really is about – pushing boundaries and tradition.
How have you benefited from mentoring or coaching?
Having been in the business for close to 7 years, we’ve been lucky to meet so many incredible people along the way. When there’s someone that we meet, and we think we can learn from them, we’ll stay involved and get connected. Often times, we believe successful women want to help other women, and if you seek out and we work closely together – there is a possibility that we could cultivate our professional goals together.
What advice can you give about the benefits of networking?
Networking for us is all about building and forming relationships within the industry, so much of our success has to do with having a team that inspires us and takes an interest in our brand. Also, it’s best to remember that networking is not about making connections just for the sake of business. Coming from Kuala Lumpur, the fashion industry is so small – we consider most of the industry key players as dear friends. And because we’re so close, we can count of them for creative inspiration, business advice and important connections within the industry.
What are your tips for scaling a business and how do you plan for and manage growth?
When you’re pursuing an entrepreneurial path, you tend to become assertive with your investments and risks become inevitable. There’s something so special about running Mimpikita from scratch, we started off with 500 GBP back in 2008 and we get to pull the best of what we’ve learned in growing the company. It’s natural to fear failing, as we have had our share of challenges and setbacks but the trick. But you have to always ask yourself, what is best for the company? Finding the right high-performing team is also the key to growth and brand progression, we believe that we’ll only ever win as a team.
What are your future plans for the brand?
Mimpikita’s plan after its debut at London Fashion Week includes increasing its stockists and being stocked across other many other multi-label stores across London. We’re also looking at being stocked on conceptual e-commerce shopping sites. (ASOS / lyst / farfetch)
How did you feel your debut at LFW was received?
It’s tempting to think that success can happen overnight. We always feel like we’re in student mode, regardless of the stage in our brand, we’re still learning and believe we have to continue to learn so much from our debut at LFW. Now that we’ve officially debut at LFW, we’re looking forward to placing a mark in the UK and creating new opportunities for the brand here in this city we have now grown to love (Even your grey, wet days!).