KryptikRose™ is the brain child of, Mia, a fashion, design and Pop Art enthusiast who is a true millennial #girlboss. She has always found vibrant colours, patterns and textures absolutely fascinating. We admired her work ethic so much at House of Coco that we had to find out more about this girl who is making a name for herself in the fashion world.
Here, Mia tells us more about her hopes for the future and so much more…
Tell us a bit about Kryptik Rose and your journey to getting where you are today?
I officially established Kryptik Rose in 2014, however the journey up until this point was full of uncertainty. But the one thing I was always certain of was that I wanted to have my own fashion brand since I was a teenager!
I was always looking for the right opportunity but it just never seemed to present itself. For my Bachelors degree I studied Art, Design & Media which is where I was able to realise one of my biggest passions – Graphic Design. I had previously wanted to go into Fashion School, but it never panned out. I had actually given up on my dream of getting into fashion!
I was now solely focusing on Graphic Design, Photography and Video Production. But I suppose somewhere, in the back of my head, fashion wasn’t giving up. I started realising that maybe, just maybe there is still a chance. I knew for a fact that I wanted to blend my love for Art and Graphic Design with Fashion since 2009, but I still didn’t feel confident I had the business acumen for it nor did I understand how I’d actually achieve this! I always created fabric prints and designs, but I was had no idea how to run a successful business.
So for about 5 years, whilst I was doing my BA & consequent 2 Masters Degrees in Marketing as well as Management, I freelanced as a Graphic Designer. I worked in designing corporate branding for a number of international and UK based corporations. But, I was NOT loving it! The mundane briefs by corporations and the lack of creative freedom was absolutely frustrating for me. I was still looking for a way out of the monotony; to fulfil my dream of creating the PERFECT job for myself, and then, by the end of 2011, the opportunity finally presented itself to me!
Here I was, nearing the end of my second and final Masters Degree; wiser in business knowledge, but still feeling unfulfilled. It then came time for my final dissertation and it felt like it was all in God’s plan. We had the opportunity to either write a traditional researched dissertation on any given topic related to Management and Leadership OR write a Business Plan for a potential business idea. If you didn’t see it coming yet, OF COURSE I jumped at the chance to write a business plan! Of finally piecing together my ideas and dreams of running my very own business with my shiny new business knowledge! It really was the perfect opportunity and this is where I truly began to understand and appreciate the saying, “Everything happens for a reason”.
Through that Business Plan, I was able to gain confidence in my abilities as a budding entrepreneur and curate my ideal job into what is now one of UK’s emerging independent fashion brands – Kryptik Rose!
What has been your highlight since launching the brand?
Oh I’m lucky enough to say that there have been a few! From being a part of The Clothes Show in 2014, to being involved with Bloggers Fashion Week last year and also having the opportunity to be a part of some of the world’s biggest publications like Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Glamour and Company Magazine!
Describe the brand in 3 words?
Evolving, Vibrant, Youthful
Who is involved in the brand?
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Stylists, Photographers and Fashion Bloggers for various projects for the brand, but behind all aspects of the brand; from the logo, to the website, to the designs on clothing and accessories, fashion blogging on the site as well as curating and maintaining the brands social media presence, is all me!
We love to travel here at House of Coco. Where is your favourite place on the planet?
My favourite place on the planet is hands down Hawaii! The serene blue waters and the gorgeously laid back atmosphere definitely makes for the perfect get away! And it doesn’t hurt that the culture there is so warm and inviting!
Where did you develop your love for pop art?
It was back in my Art School days when I came across the works of several Pop Art artists whose works completely captivated me. I also used to read Archie Comics as a child and loved the illustrations, but I never realised that comic strips had emerged from a particular art movement. It was only until my Art Degree that I learned about my favourite artists in the movement; Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol.
What astonished me the most is that as an 8 year old child back in the internet-less days of the 90s, I had created a project that was eerily akin to Warhol’s pieces on Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson and the like. The same image repeated, but in different colour combinations! I had done the same with a stack of Donald Duck watermarked on letter paper I had from Disney. I coloured it in a number of different combinations and was awfully pleased with myself. I thought I had created something new; which child doesn’t think that? When I came across Warhol’s work in uni, I was gobsmacked! It really was at that time I realised how far back my love for Pop Art went and it consequently became my most favourite art movement of all time!
Tell us what a typical day in your life looks like?
Meals are always on the go, and your girl is ALWAYS plugged into the grid. I mean ALWAYS. My smartphone is definitely one of my most prized possessions solely due to the fact that it enables me to get so much work done on the run! Emails, Social Media and even a lot of design work!
There are very few days I get to work from home. Typically I’m running from meeting to meeting and working on some aspect of the business. Getting in touch with suppliers, manufacturers, distributors while also coming up with new product ideas and consequently designing them. I always want to bring designs and products out that I know my customer base would love. Multitasking is definitely a major key aspect of my entire day!
I’m one of those #GirlBoss entrepreneurs who has a really hard time switching off at night. I actually feel I work the best at night and secretly wished we had business NIGHTS instead of business days! Even if I’m tucked in bed, my fingers are tap tap tapping away with ideas. I’ll jot down in my design concepts in my notes, making tweaks on the brands website or even designing visuals for Social Media content.
I then grudgingly attempt a few hours of sleep. It’s rather painful thinking of sleep in particular when I have these moments of ideas not only for designs but ways in which I can improve on marketing the brand. Everything just comes flowing in right as I attempt to sleep! I know I’m not the only #GirlBoss with this issue!
Fortunately or unfortunately I can’t say “all-nighters” were left far behind during university days because I still have them! A lot!
Before Kryptik Rose, what did you do on the work front?
As I mentioned before I freelanced in Graphic Design for a good 5 years while I was doing my Bachelors and Masters Degrees. It was great because this is where I learnt that I definitely had the entrepreneur spirit and discipline in me. I learnt that I’m more than capable of working on my own and achieving good results. But I didn’t want to ever feel like I never tried my hand at every opportunity I could, so I also chose to do a handful of internships in various startups.
I was working in their Marketing departments, helping to establish their social media presence. This was back in 2010-2012 when Social Media Marketing was an emerging concept of marketing. It felt like literally every startup was looking for a Social Media Marketer. I met some great people along the way, but I was just not inspired. I always found myself saying, “I wish them the best, but I should be applying these skills for my OWN business!”
I loved the work environment and having colleagues that became fast friends. But I didn’t want to coast along working on someone else’s dream, when I knew mine was alive and kicking. Maintaining a steady income was the biggest reason I was attempting to secure a 9-5. But I took the plunge and went the entrepreneur route instead.
It can be hard to juggle life and business, what do you do to switch off from work?
It’s actually a massive struggle for me to switch off from work because, as I mentioned previously, my smartphone allows me to work literally ALL the time. But, when I’m starting to feel the pressure and my body, mind and soul are beginning to get tired and drained, I do take some time to disconnect.
Prayer and silent meditation are major stress relievers for me! Another stress reliever that I’ve started utilising is the “airplane mode” on my phone. It helps to quieten some of the noise.
I’ve also tried to increase the amount of time I spend with my family and friends. Sadly it isn’t as much as I would like, but something is better than nothing at all. Going out for a dinner or even Sunday brunch can do wonders for the mind! It’s all about focusing on wellness and I’m doing my best to incorporate this into my day-to-day life.
I’m also a film fanatic; so whenever I feel in need of a wind down, I go to either Netflix or Sky Movies and look for a film I haven’t seen before. It’s actually getting progressively harder! I love biopics and dramas, but I’ve found myself loving sci-fi and superhero films a lot lately! They are just so fun and captivating! And sometimes you just need a bit of fantasy and fiction to get away from the daily stresses of life and work in general.
Who/what inspires you?
My entire life I’ve been very inspired by my mother as she has been the best role model for me. She taught me perseverance and to always go after what I want to achieve in life. She’s always demonstrated these principles and is my biggest cheerleader even until today! I find her to not only be my mentor in my personal life, but also in my business. Sometimes when I don’t feel very confident in something, all I need to do is talk to her and I’m super recharged!
I too am very inspired by other hard working individuals who have an intense drive to achieve success. Whether they have it “all” or not doesn’t necessarily make a difference for me. It’s the fact they are constantly striving for that success and it keeps me motivated.
When I read biographies like those of Steve Jobs or Alan Sugar, they inspire me as well. Sometimes it’s really easy to feel dejected in the struggle and at times you think it isn’t worth it. But it’s really important to stay tapped in to the business scene, read books and biographies about those who have made it. Reading about their initial struggle and journey to success ends up feeling slightly reassuring. But besides reading success stories of the now rich and famous, it’s vital you’re also connected to those that are on the same journey as yourself. It’s amazing how much inspiration you can achieve by your peers; those on the same journey as you.
You are obviously very creative, what do you do to get inspired?
Nature and everyday objects really inspire me. Everything we use on a daily basis has had a product designer behind its creation. And one of the best designers is nature itself! So I’m always consciously or subconsciously scanning my environment and retaining design information in my brain for later! I also take pictures of places, colours or environments that have me particularly inspired.
Additionally, I love going to art museums and visiting retrospective exhibitions. I do dabble in fashion magazines and keep up with current trends on the catwalk and celebrity style but I try my best not to allow the “current trend” to cloud my creativity. I use some aspects of trends but make them entirely my own. Otherwise there really would be no difference between what I design and what other fast-fashion or indie brands are offering.
Are there any sources you go for support with running your business?
For the past few months I’ve started to join chats on Twitter that pertain to #GirlBoss’s and budding entrepreneurs. For the longest time I felt I had to go at it alone, but ever since I’ve joined these Twitter chats and business dedicated groups on Facebook, I’ve found comfort in the fact that not everyone knows EVERYTHING. And sometimes it’s okay to be confused.
Other than these, I haven’t been too successful in finding sources that target a fashion brand owner in particular. Makes me think that perhaps I need to spearhead something of this sort!
What are your plans for the brand in 2016?
I’m planning to attain more and more opportunities in bringing Kryptik Rose onto the shop floor. Whether it’s through an independent pop up shop or a shop share, 2016 is definitely the year where I’ll be focusing on the brick and mortar business model.
I’m also currently working on a gorgeously fun summer collection that I just know everyone is going to love! Very excited to be launching that in just a few weeks!
Other than that, I’m looking to grow the team. I think it’s definitely time Kryptik Rose gets a few permanent people who are all about the brand! It’s only up and onwards from here!
Did you always know that one day you would be a #GirlBoss?
I’ve always been 50/50 about it, if I’m honest! There was always a part of me while growing up that wanted to work for myself and never have to answer to any boss. Even the degrees I chose were out of the conscious decision that if I were to get married and have kids, whatever I chose to study had to be of use to me even from my home; even as a potential wife and mother. I was adamant on choosing a career path that allowed me to be a career woman; a business mom and wife! I didn’t want a career that was only possible if I worked in a company.
The wife and kids part hasn’t happened yet because I feel I’m only just beginning to discover who exactly I am! But at least I feel secure that I have all grounds covered! So I suppose the answer to this question is, yes!
Doubts definitely crept in when it came to finances. But the scale always weighed heavier on the #GirlBoss side!
If there’s one #GirlBoss activity you could get better at, what would it be?
Networking! Networking! Networking! I love meeting new people who are on a similar journey in life to myself. It is as equally exciting for me to meet people who have a different path than mine! The only issue is, I get so involved with work, I end up finding “physical networking” a bit of a chore. But this is definitely something I need to get better at!
If I’m honest, I do get a bit shy in person and don’t like talking about myself and what I’ve been able to accomplish. But, you live and you learn, right? It’s all about getting out of your comfort zone!
For women aspiring to run their own company, what advice would you give?
Don’t give up! Really. As cliché as this may sound, do not give up on your dreams. You’re definitely going to come across your fair share of naysayers and those who will give you a million and one reasons as to why choosing the #GirlBoss path is the wrong decision. Don’t let them distract you from your vision!
Having said that, I would also highly advise not to quit your day job without doing ample prep work like creating a business plan and sourcing funding for your business. It doesn’t matter how much you think you won’t need the money; YOU WILL NEED IT! Once you’ve got your business plan and funds in hand, even the sky isn’t the limit!
Just make sure you make sensible decisions, whilst knowing when to take the plunge. If you have mouths to feed, maybe try out your idea over the weekends whilst keeping your day job. 98% of being a #GirlBoss entrepreneur is about testing the market! If things kick off, you’re ready to roll! Just remember, don’t give up!
Follow Mia’s badass moves on her website and social media :