Made to Fit - Mesh Clothing
By Sadira Sittampalam
Imesha Ruwanpura was someone who never really had any interest in sewing. While her mother was gifted with this skill from a young age, Imesha had avoided learning it for most of her life. However, during the first COVID-19 lockdown, struck with boredom and with a lot of free time on her hands, she asked her mother to instruct her on how to sew a blouse. She instantly realised that she was also quite gifted with this talent and soon began sewing garments for herself. Over time, she decided to use this knowledge to start her own clothing brand, Mesh Clothing, bringing a new exciting addition to the apparel market. Ceylon Today spoke to Imesha as to how she started the brand and what her journey was like.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am Imesha Ruwanpura, I am a girl who juggles a full-time job, studies and her own business all at the same time. I am a past student of Musaeus College, I hold a First Class Degree in International Business from Plymouth University, UK, and a Postgraduate Diploma from CIM, UK. Currently, I work full time at MAS Holdings in the Business Development Unit while also running my own clothing line ‘MESH Clothing’.
Why did you decide to start Mesh Clothing - were you inspired by anyone?
My mother works at a leading Bank full time and also runs her brand. I have always been inspired by her and I thought why can’t I do the same? I wanted to bring a unique addition to the apparel market. So, I started MESH Clothing on 1 July, 2020.
Did you have any previous experience in running a business?
Back when I was in school, I used to run a clothing store called ‘The Vogue Clothing’ with a business partner. We used to get garments from Thailand and sell them online. We had a very successful Instagram page. A few years later we decided to go on separate ways with regard to the business, and one day when I tried to log into the account, the password was changed and was taken over by my partner. It broke me so much to let go of something I had put my heart and soul into. It took me several years to gather the courage to start a new business from scratch, but today, I am thankful for the experience.
What makes Mesh Clothing stand out?
You can find hundreds of clothing stores offering beautiful designs at a standard UK size range. The speciality in my brand is that I offer my customers the flexibility to customise each design I put out for their exact measurements. Also, customers can provide their own design and get it tailor-made to fit them. So we have two major services:
- Fully customised orders – This is when the client sends us the design she wants, and then we create the block according to the design and source the exact fabric she needs from Pettah.
- Semi customised orders – This is when the client selects a design from our page and gets it made to fit her measurements and requirements.
What are some of the biggest milestones in your journey with Mesh?
I would say being able to do over 100 fully customised orders in less than a year is one of the biggest milestones of MESH Clothing!
How have your customers responded?
I’m happy to say 99% of the feedback so far has been amazing. My clients love how I create the exact design provided as they expect. One of the main challenges in customised clothing is that I do not get to see the client in person and there is no fit on. Therefore, there are rare instances where the measurements provided by the client won’t fit exactly. In such cases, I offer them to drop by at our location in Rajagiriya and get it adjusted free of charge!
Do you have any exciting plans for the future of MESH?
I will launch several other labels, specified to areas such as men’s wear and wedding guest wear. And everything under my labels will be customisable. However, my dream is to have my own garment factory one day