Jakarta – Starting har career as a makeup artist , Meike Rompas today is known as an expert fashion designer, with diverse lines of distinctive clothing favorited by fashion enthusiasts.
Meike Rompas started her own clothing line, called “Kabuki-Sewing House” back in 2011. Before decisively entering the fashion design industry, Mieke completed her journey as a makeup artist and fashion stylist maestro. “Everything started from my career as a makeup artist; then I pursued a career as a fashion stylist consultant. I often found myself in a difficult situation, as certain clients had no idea of what was a suitable [outfit] for them. Sometimes, I sensed there was a lack of ready-to-wear garments available in the market; therefore, the idea of crafting my own occured to me; surprisingly, my customers always accepted my proposed design concept. Later, this costume spread among friends and colleagues, thus consistently keeping up with the market,” Meike told Independent Observer in Plaza Indonesia, Central Jakarta.
Starting the business
Spotting wide market oppurtunities ahead, Meike decided to quit her current job as a makeup artist and merely focus on fashion designer industries. “I managed to teach myself skills of clothing styles and expertise as it had always been my pure passion. All the sewing is carried out by my employees. As for makeup mastery, I learned it from Martha Tilaar,” Meike remarked.
It all started in a rented house when she opened her store seven years ago, a home-based workshop center in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta. Today, within a three-year span, she no longer needs to pay rent following the purchase of a decent workshop spot within Senen Perimeter, Central Jakarta. Prior to the first stage of the operational run, she could not recallwhat her initial expenses had been. But after running for two years, her revenue stream from successful sales allowed an investments of Rp. 55 milion for sewing machine supplies to provide wider variety of product development.
“At the start, I only provided rough sketches; afterwards they would be tailored by private merchant partners. When I found out that one of my friends wanted to sell some sewing machine, I took a chance and purchased them; right now I have my own employees to translate my sketches into costumes,” she added. Various products are available in Kabuki Sewinghouse-shirts, blazers, dresses, and kaftans. Initially consumers were merely friends or colleagues. But right now, she has connected to a wider market, because of her social media presence, particulary Instagaram. “Potential costumers often catch a glimpse of my design in Instagram, then ask for price and are willing to order,” she smiled. “I also mingle on occasion, online or offline, because that’s where potential customers are often lurking.”
Meike claims that at first she made only ready-to-wear products available for purchase. As a matter of ongoing demand, right now she is only focusing on customized products. “Initially, I always managed to produce cutomized clothes for specific customers, as well as putting them in stores at the same time; but I think it was ineffective and I was overwhelmed. Just so you know, ready-to-wear fashion styles must be updated on a weekly basis; I could not make things happen because of circumstances. I felt overwhelmed, then I decided to stop. Thus, after that I only fulfilled customized demands.’
Kabuki Sewinghouse has been able to produce 60-70 pieces to date, with prices ranging from Rp. 300 thousand – Rp. 6 million. “For only 300 thousand rupiahs you can get a simple batik dress,” she stated.
Unique Value of the Product
In securing the public’s attention, Meike always aimed to develop high-quality products for her store. ‘Well-tailored products are the best promotional tools. I always pushed myself to originate flawless work. When customers are satisfied, they will brandish the product at its best. For instance, when their circle finds out that the outfit is good, it is common for them to ask where it was sold. Sutomers often post a pose wearing the outfits and mention our brand in the caption, hence it will be seen by their peers. In that case, a number of new followers will be coming in,” she said.
Undoubtedly, the competitiveness of the industry is tight. Jowever, Kabuki Sewinghouse can be proud of having its own market pool. “My characteristic products have developed well along the way, resulting in a unique and distinctive style among others, our very own signature. My outfits possess simplicity, elegant looks, firm linrs, are finely sewn, and more obviously made from the best textiles available.’
Meike is even able to manufacture clothes within a short period of time.
“That is the advantage of appointing employees. For instance, if customer places and order today, in just one or two following days it would be ready to pick up. Customers can rest assured that they are going to get a good deal.”
With her business appearing promising, meike keeps upgrading through particular fashion design courses. “I have a plan to take a special [fashion] course in away of advancing my professional abilities in this industry, so I could create and cut patterns on my own. Because in some cases, my employees are often confused about sketched patterns. It is indeed frustrating,” said Meike, showing her dimples.