This week we talked to Miranda Kinkead of MIRA Apparel! We love how her apparel line came about, as she set a challenge for herself and then went on to achieve it. We also believe that you should find a way to incorporate what you love to do into your work/profession, and Miranda was able to take her passion of creating art and make it into a business. Read on to hear more about MIRA Apparel!
: Tell us about yourself.
: I have a passion for all things pertaining to the arts. I’m an avid moviegoer, a traveller, music lover, collector, jack-of-all-trades, master of none. And I am a second year Creative Industries student at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.
: How did your business get started? What made you decide to create t-shirts?
: Every year I like to set new goals and challenges for myself. At the beginning of 2014, I wanted to find a way to work doing something that I am passionate about. I have always thought of selling artwork but instead I decided to combine my love of visual art and fashion to create “wearable designs.” I worked all summer towards launching the Mira brand and then I received a grant through a program called Summer Company. Now Mira Apparel is running independently online.
: All of your packages come with a handwritten note in a bottle. What kind of messages do you like to send to your customers?
: Not many people receive handwritten letters any more so I thought it would be a sweet idea to write little notes to those who purchase from Mira Apparel. They are random messages so they can range from inspirational quotes, quotes from people, books, music suggestions, interesting words, dares. Some things I find and others I make up: all of which are carefully chosen and resonate with me or that I have some connection to. I really like the idea of spreading kind words positivity, and uplifting things (paying it forward). Hopefully I write something that gives the reader a little bit of happiness that day, and then I’m happy.
: How would you describe the type of person who wears (or should wear) MIRA Apparel?
: Mira Apparel can be worn by anyone. It is a brand for both men and women. The graphic designs will appeal to someone who appreciates art and something a little different. My sketches may attract individuals who prefer a twist to a staple piece like the t-shirt; and are looking for something a little different in their wardrobe.
: What are some of the challenging aspects of having your own business?
: The main challenge would have to be being an independent owner. I do everything myself when it comes to the designing, social media correspondence, management, accounting shipping and so on. Keeping on top of all those responsibilities while being a student and maintaining a social life can be difficult at times.
: Where do you see MIRA Apparel going in the long-term future? Do you have any plans for the expansion of MIRA Apparel’s merchandise line?
: Future collections will be released featuring new sketches and designs. I have also considered expanding the line to include either accessories or trinkets for some sort, even posters, but we will have to wait and see. 😉
: What is the process for designing and producing your shirts?
: It all starts with a sketch that I create in my sketchbook. I think of a concept that relates to the Mira theme and then a draw it out. Afterward, I scan the sketch to turn it into a computer graphic and then I may manipulate some elements to make the sketch fit for a t-shirt. This is the longest part. After the designing is finished I take the graphics to a local printing company in Toronto and they screen print the designs onto 100% white cotton tees.
: What’s your favorite part about what you do?
: I love being the “boss”. It is quite the learning experience to be able to create your own business from the ground up and run it independently, especially at my age. I feel like I will gain a lot of vital knowledge, experience and insight from this venture and I’m excited about the future of this brand. It is also really awesome that I get to put my artistic passion into a lucrative pursuit. And being passionate about what I do always makes it worthwhile. Also doing this while being a full-time student affords me the opportunity to make mistakes and learn as I go along.
: Name three things that you can’t live without.
: This is actually really difficult! There are many things I can’t live without so 3 out of several would be:
-Sunlight & Late Nights
-Positivity & Contentment
(sorry, kinda cheated ^ :P)
: Do you have any mentors that helped you get where you are today?
: I have always had my parents along side me and through out my life they have been my biggest supporters. I can go to them for an opinion or advice for a plan of action and I am really grateful for that.
: What advice would you give young entrepreneurs?
: You have to have a clear motive in mind. Know exactly why you are pursuing your business venture because a clear objective will drive you. You should also be passionate about the endeavor because it will help to maintain your motivation. And it always helps to constantly set goals to stay on track, focused and organized.
See more from MIRA Apparel!: