Story, Styling and Directing by: Brandon Chia and Melissa Mae
Photography by: Theodore Tan and Siti Nur Faisha
Model: Asyura Mohd Roslan
With a whopping 28.6 thousand followers on Instagram, Soda Gembira OS is the shop to go to for all your fashion needs and wants. This “insta-shop” has climbed its way to the top with the help of its founder, Shafiyani Safiee.
Shafiyani’s apparel is not classified into any particular style. However, she does love patterns, intricate details and embroidery, which is very much reflected in what she offers.
“I will survey and find out what the current popular trends are, and I will try to bring them in or incorporate them into my collection,” said Shafiyani.
You can find her personally designed pieces under her ‘SGOS Self Manufactured’ caption on the official Soda Gembira OS Instagram account. She also takes a lot of pride in the materials and prints used in her own collection, as she handpicks all of them from the manufacturers herself.
Shafiyani also emphasized how tough it was in the beginning – when no one knew about her online store yet. In fact, she had experienced more loss than profits and to salvage the situation, she tried her hardest to raise the shop’s exposure.
Her clothing business is exactly that, hers. Soda Gembira OS is Shafiyani’s solo project, though she does have help from time to time.
“My husband would help me with packing and mailing. I still handle all the stock takes and dealings with customers,” said Shafiyani.
Shafiyani literally has a passion for fashion, which is also her biggest motivational force that pushes her to pursue the business. To her, it is not about the money, it is something that keeps her occupied and satisfied at the same time.
“Even when I’m not profiting, I am still enjoying every little step of it. The stock takes, the studio shoots, the dealing with customers and etc,” said Shafiyani.
Shafiyani also shares that the best part of this business is seeing her customers dawning on the clothes that they had purchased from her, especially her self manufactured pieces. “When you see them outside wearing them, you can’t help but smile,” said Shafiyani.
Her advice to young and aspiring entreprenuers is to just enjoy and love what you are truly passionate about, then continue to work with it.
“It might be tempting and easy to give up when failure looms over but you will never know, it might just be your next turning point to something even bigger and better,” said Shafiyani.