Brand aesthetics is key to success
By Sadira Sittampalam
Flamingo SL is an online clothing store that started as a passion project between two friends, Dhananjaya and Prashakthi. The fashion designer and pattern maker, respectively, both dreamed of starting their own brand - finally putting that dream into action in December of 2020 when they first opened for business with Flamingo SL. They told us in an interview about their new brand and how it has been going so far.
As a brand, what makes you stand out from the others in this pretty saturated market?
We pay close attention to detail, quality, minimalism, and most importantly maintaining our brand aesthetics. We’re working to build our aesthetic signature. Meaning, you take one look at one of our pieces and instantly recognise it to be an authentic Flamingo SL product.
What are some of the biggest milestones in your journey with Flamingo?
Since we’re online-based and don’t own a physical location yet, our online presence and our Instagram followers count play a crucial role in marketing and sales. Hitting 4K followers on Instagram was one of our biggest milestones! This might sound very cliche but for a startup that’s been in the field for only a few months - this is huge.
Do you run your own Instagram feed? And if so, do you have any tips or tricks for us?
Yes! We run our own feed! Our brand is built around minimalism and we’ve worked hard in building our DNA from the start. Our feed mirrors the colour scheme and elements of collections we’ve launched so far. We like to maintain a specific signature on all our artworks so that it’s instantly recognisable. As for a tip, consistency is key. Highlighting the products as much as possible will secure a definite purchase!
As small business owners, how do you define success - is it money, freedom, influence, creative expression, or something else?
It’s personally freedom for us. Waking up and starting work on your own terms. Striving and working hard for what’s yours, the strain and all the blood, sweat, and tears behind the grind makes everything so worth it! To own something that’s 100% your hustle is pure satisfaction!
COVID-19 has not been kind to small businesses, what was your experience with it?
We kick-started just as the pandemic hit our country. We battled obstacles that any small-scale business faced with an ongoing pandemic. Production delays were our worst nightmare and it was a huge responsibility to keep our community safe in the process of running this business.
Sustainability has become a really important topic in the fashion industry; does Flamingo have any sustainable practices that they follow?
As two avid nature lovers and conservatives sustainability always resides in the back of our heads. We use bags and hang tags made out of recycled cardboard and paper. All excess fabric from our production is reused to make scrunchies and rugs so it doesn’t end up in landfills. While it may look like a small step in practising sustainability we believe we’re headed in the right direction. And we’re actively looking at cultivating other practices, like introducing E-Invoices instead of prints.
As a whole, how has the customer feedback been?
Customer feedback has been brilliant! From compliments about the fit, style, and fabrics our customers have been our biggest motivation!
If you had one piece of advice to someone with a similar dream, what would it be?
This might sound pretty obvious but do not give up. This is sound advice coming from a duo who has no background in business! It may seem impossible and you may invest a lot more than you receive at first. But the more passionate you’re about what you do, the sooner you reap your harvest.
To wrap up, how do you plan on evolving the business in the future?
We›re working on launching a website soon to ease our customers into the online shopping experience that has taken the world by storm. With the current pandemic, online shopping is the safest and most popular way of shopping. So we plan to expand and cater to our customer base and ultimately to open up our physical location.