Widening the Horizons of Malaysian Fashion

 

Harmini Asokumar, Owner & Founder – Deeper Than Fashion

Born from a rainbow spectrum of light, peace, love & stardust, this Indian mermaid is one who paints magic wherever she goes. Filling the world with happy vibes & a smattering of glitter, she truly believes that the world is a better place with a touch of colour. Free-spirited, wanderlust, Jane-of-all-trades & crafty being, her dream is to gift everyone their own little rainbow to have & keep for always.

Harmini quit her job to concentrate on her own business because she had thought she was already doing that full-time! She was a Communications Executive doing online marketing for a company. Before that, she tried her hands at being a fashion and home products buyer, content writing as well as being a fashion and lifestyle writer. And all the while, she consistently ran her own online business for the rest of her time other than her 9-6 office hours.

She always had an interest in anything arts and crafts related, so she would consider that her passion. She started creating since she was a kid, throwback to when she used sweet wrappers to dress her Barbies even when they had a large selection of clothes she could’ve used. Her parents also encouraged her creativity and it’s something she will truly be thankful for a constant. From buying her art supplies to encouraging selling the jewellery she made, she owes the start her brand and passion to them. Besides jewelry making, she enjoy watercolor painting, photography and makeup.

In school, Harmini was known as the “crafty” one who was skilled at making accessories, like friendship bracelets, for her friends. “It was not until 2008 when I started selling the stuff that I made because I wanted money to go to a concert. My parents had told me that I needed to figure out my own expenses, and so I did,” says Harmini.

Purely from word-of-mouth, the popularity of Harmini’s work spread like wildfire – friends and friends of friends began snapping up her handmade necklaces and earrings sporting unicorn charms, mermaid pendants and personalized dream catchers with rainbow-dyed feathers.

Today, Harmini makes weekly sales and her Facebook page of two years has already garnered over 7,790 likes. Read the interview below to know more about the entrepreneurial journey Harmini.

Tell us what led you to setup “Deeper than Fashion”
I wanted tickets to a concert and my parents refused to give me money for it, instead told me to work for it which is how Deeper than Fashion was born. I created an online blog (blogstores were so big back then!) to sell my Jewellery and it picked up and took off from there. I never stopped since then. That was about 8 years ago.

Who is your inspiration and why?
Beyonce. How can she not be? She’s hardworking, beautiful inside out and does it all so professionally, flawlessly. I watched a concert where her hair got stuck in a fan and she continued to sing, if that’s not commitment to her craft and inspiring, I don’t know what is.

What was the biggest challenge faced so far? How did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge will always be people replicating my work. It used to really get me down but I realized that creativity has no limitations and by people copying my work it only pushed me harder to create newer and better designs. I guess I consider it a blessing in disguise. Also, it’s always great to be able to say I did it first 🙂

What are your views on the current digital wave that is influencing every profession and our lives?
Like everything there are pros and cons but I’d like to focus on the pros. I love that I can share my work with the word within minutes and being able to inspire people through my art and thoughts.

Do you feel privileged as a Woman Entrepreneur?
I feel privileged to be an entrepreneur, full stop. I don’t believe that gender is important in terms of how hard I work or what my aspirations are. I also feel privileged to be a woman. We’re fantastic at multi-tasking and taking on many roles to accomplish what we have to.

What was the one milestone that you are most proud of?
My biggest achievement to me is being financially independent on my own. It may seem like something so basic, but I can live my life the way I want to and be happy about it.

What is your future road map?
My roadmap is wherever happiness leads me. I tend to work hard, create and become a better version of myself on a daily.