Today we’d like to introduce you to Natty Wong.
Natty, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand. When I was younger, I always had a love for fashion, art, crafting, and sewing. I wanted to pursue a college degree in Fashion Design, but unfortunately my family was not very supportive of this. So instead, I obtained a degree in Business. In 2010, I came to the United States to continue my education, and I ended up meeting my future husband. We got married, and in 2013 we had our daughter Arianna (we call her Ari for short). My life was busy as a full-time mom. In 2015, I had the opportunity to enroll in a Fashion Design course at Massachusetts College of Art. It was there where I learned to perfect my craft.
One day, I opened Ari’s closet and could not find an outfit that I liked. So I decided to design and create my own clothes for her! Ari always wanted to help out, so she became my little model by wearing my new creations. Whenever we went out, people would ask, “Where did you get that cute outfit?” This is how the Aribella Collection was born. I founded the business in 2016, and named it after our daughter Ari.
It has always been a dream of mine to start my own clothing line, and I can hardly believe that it has come true.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Prior to starting Aribella Collection, my husband had left his job. Money was tight and we were living off of our savings. I started the business with only $3,000 and had to closely monitor every penny. Due to my limited budget, I had to be extra diligent in making any business decisions, such as what to design and which items to produce.
In the beginning, I thought it was going to be easy selling online. How hard could it be? I assumed that all I needed to do was describe the items, take some photos, and upload them. I was wrong. We first started selling on Etsy, an online marketplace for handmade products. It took three months before I received my first order, and I was starting to get discouraged. I was creating high quality, uniquely designed products but was unable to reach customers. Then I learned that there was more to selling online than just listing items for sale. I tried searching my own items on Etsy, and discovered that they were showing up near the end of the search results. I did some research and started implementing ways to more effectively list and promote my items, such as search engine optimization, using keywords/tags, better photos, paid listings, and social media. This has led to increased visibility for customers.
As a full-time mom, time management has always been a challenge. I have to balance raising our daughter while running the business. My work time basically begins after Ari goes to bed.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Aribella Collection story. Tell us more about the business.
Aribella Collection is a line of kids clothing and accessories. We are known for our high quality mermaid swimsuits, leggings, and birthday outfits. We specialize in mermaid-themed clothing and personalized custom bodysuits/t-shirts. Our products can be purchased directly through our website: www.aribellacollection.com, Etsy shop: aribellacollections.etsy.com, and Amazon: goo.gl/dxXS5j. We also offer items at local craft fairs in Massachusetts throughout the year.
I am most proud of starting the business with such a limited budget, and to see how far it has come is amazing. I love hearing from our customers that our outfits were a hit at their daughter’s birthday party, or on a Disney vacation trip. It’s wonderful to know that I played a small part in their special day.
At Aribella Collection, my husband now helps out with packing/shipping and the back office, while I take care of design and production. I sketch the designs, create the sewing patterns, and make samples to test it on kids for fit and comfort. We source only the highest quality materials. Our products are created with love, and made as if they were for our own daughter.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I had planned on coming to the United States for my education only. I feel so lucky to have found my husband and also the opportunity to have our own business. Having this business together is extremely rewarding.
- Mermaid Swimsuits = $22 – $26
- Mermaid Leggings = $16 – $22
- Mermaid Skirt = $27 – $30
- Personalized Bodysuits/T-Shirts = $13.99 – $16.99
- Hair Accessories = $5 – $15
- Address: 1005 Boylston St #275
Newton Highlands, MA 02461
- Website: https://www.aribellacollection.com/
- Phone: 617-903-0909
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org