Chatkeo Srisuwan (Moss), Mosstories

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 “I have a degree in applied arts and majored in drama. Originally I planned to write scripts and work in performance but after a stint as a creative for an event company I realized that I was more interested in fashion. I also wanted to do something that I would want to wake up to every day, that didn’t feel like work. I started creating my own custom-made jewelry as a hobby in 2005. I sourced differential materials, mixed and matched, and created a story for every accessory. At that time there was no social media and not many professional or networking events in Bangkok like you have today. So I tested my jewelry by selling on a busy street in Sala Daeng (Bangkok) at lunchtime. I would go there for an hour, 2-3 times a week and sell to office workers. The feedback was very positive. People started noticing my work and within 6 months I made several regular customers. I gain enough confidence and opened a very small shop at the night market and one at the weekend market in Chatuchak in 2006. The following year I opened a store in Siam square I was able to turn my passion into a business.”
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  • “In 2007 I went to London to study fashion for a couple of years. My jewelry line was getting a lot of traction but I wanted to expand into footwear and I needed to learn how to do it. Every 2-3 months I flew back to design a new collection. When I came back to Bangkok, I decided to also add a line of women’s clothes to build Mosstories into a stronger fashion brand and expand my clientele. Around that time, I was invited to be part of a program of the Department of International Trade and Promotion to promote young Thai designers internationally. From that platform I got selected to showcase my creations at the Vienna Fashion Week two years in a row, in 2011 and 2012. This gave me a lot of exposure locally and internationally; I got many new customers, and a big boost in sales. The following year I went to a trade show in Singapore and presented my geometric collection, which has been my best seller so far. Customers like that my accessories are unique but at the same time easy to wear and affordable.”
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  • “You have to believe in yourself and listen to your gut feeling but you also have to learn to listen to others. If you are too proud and don’t listen to anyone, you might go in the wrong direction. If you listen too much to others, you can lose your brand identity. You have to find the right balance because to stay in business, you need to make enough sales. Make sure you keep your old customers but that you also get new ones. You always have to ask yourself ‘If it was me, would I pay this much for it?’”
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  “Originally we wanted to sell everywhere around the world. Now that we have sold internationally, we saw another side of it and we decided to focus on making it more exclusive and unique for our customers in Bangkok. This is our priority. All our products are hand-made and every month I design a new collection of women’s wear, footwear, or accessories. We want to be part of people’s lives so we need to be very fast in coming up with new products all the time because fashion trends change so quickly. Our customers are people that love fashion and art; some are teenagers and some are over 60. They are people that really appreciate unique pieces so we need to make our products different and exclusive, not something that you can find everywhere.”
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  • “Over the years the biggest challenge for me has been to strike the right balance between the creative and business sides of Mosstories. If I make my pieces too ultra-modern or artistic, some customers might feel they are hard to wear. If I make them too commercial, customers might feel they are not unique enough. I want my label to be easy to wear so I create simple designs with a twist, something that is really different. And I make them affordable. So Mosstories is all about creating good-quality pieces that are unique, wearable, and affordable.”
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“I started small and I would recommend to others starting their own business to do the same. It doesn’t have to be perfect at the beginning. You can start small and learn as you go along because there is no way that you can know everything from the beginning. If you fall, you fall small. You learn from your mistakes and you come back stronger and savvier.”  

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