- CHAPTER 1 -
We are opening a new chapter in the history of STORY OF MINE - the chapter of powerful stories. We want to write stories. Stories about and from people who are part of STORY OF MINE. People who stand behind our clothes. People who design, make and wear our clothes. People who make up STORY OF MINE and fill it with life. Stories about the clothes we love. Stories that enlighten, inspire and create awareness. Stories about us...
Which story would be better suited to start our powerful stories chapter than my own? The story of Lisa, founder of STORY OF MINE. Where did the idea of founding a sustainable fashion label between established brands and numerous new and individual designers come from? How did the idea become a true story?
Back to the beginning, how it all started:
I'm Lisa Marie Weidling and I come from beautiful Münster. I've always been considered the creative head of the family and started designing, drawing and crafting fashion at an early age. Since creativity should also accompany me in my professional life, after my A-levels I decided to train as a product manager for fashion design and clothing at the school for fashion designers in Münster and at the same time completed my training as a tailor. In the world between needles and fabric, I discovered a previously unknown talent of mine - sewing - and shared my enthusiasm and what I had learned with refugees while working at a fashion start-up. This employed refugees to provide them with secure jobs and a secure life. After my apprenticeship, however, it was clear to me that I wanted to realize my dream of my own fashion label, and so in the summer of 2018 STORY OF MINE, a sustainable fashion label, was born.
Why a fair fashion label?
In a world of textile excess and fast fashion, in which clothes are thrown away after far too short a time and huge amounts of waste are produced - an average of 15 kilograms per person per year - I had the desire to change something. I wanted to take a first step towards change for a better textile industry. Today we have more sustainable resources available to us every day that can be used for the production of clothing. There is so much potential that can be tapped. For me, fair fashion means a sustainable interaction of all sides. In addition to the garment, which consists exclusively of natural or recycled materials, the entire production process should also be resource-saving and innovative, such as the water cycle during dyeing or the use of solar energy. Fair working conditions, fair wages and sustainable sales. Fair fashion means being transparent, giving insights into the manufacture and origin of the clothes, sharing the story behind a single piece of clothing. This is exactly what STORY OF MINE should stand for.
After my idea was put on paper and recorded in a business plan, I dedicated myself to my first collection with a focus on timeless designs. Favorite pieces that accompany us for a lifetime. This was followed by the selection of the fabrics and of course the choice of the production companies - the biggest challenge, as it turned out. At the Munich Fabric Start I hoped to find suitable companies that would support me in realizing my collection. However, the response was anything but positive. I was repeatedly advised to leave it at my idea, since the vision behind STORY OF MINE was smiled at rather than received any encouragement. Despite or precisely because of this lack of inspiration and support from others, I believed in myself and my fashion label all the more. With the help of very good contacts, I finally got to know Mürvet and her aunt Selma and received the support I needed to get started. Selma has worked in the textile industry for over 40 years and lives in Istanbul like her niece. Together we visited many different producers on site. Of course, there was one or the other production facility that didn't suit us and didn't meet our standards. After all, the topic of sustainability should be taken into account at every point from the very beginning. After we had found suitable companies, we could finally get started: the first SOM production. In the first year I spent a lot of time with Mürvet and Selma at our producers to follow the entire production. When the production was done, i.e. pants and pullovers, I could devote myself to the other things that were still pending in addition to the collection. I set up my own online shop, planned the first social media campaigns and looked for office and storage space where I could continue writing the SOM story. I had to start all over again and relearn everything: presenting and packaging goods, printing shipping labels, sending packages and much, much more.
After many challenges, hard work, encouraging but also demotivating words and moments, the time had finally come in February 2019: My first own collection had arrived in Münster, the online shop was in the starting blocks and STORY OF MINE could finally get started. Probably the most exciting and scariest day was the day the first collection was launched. What would happen? When would the first orders come in? Would anyone even order? But the first orders came in and I was extremely happy, relieved and above all proud! I had made it. I actually founded my own fashion label and got my first collection off the ground. And that at the age of 23. As a young woman who was ridiculed for her project and not taken seriously. Now I'm standing here in the SOM showroom with my team, my SOM family, which is growing every year. I look back on what I have already achieved and am grateful for the support of my family and friends who have had my back and motivated me to keep going. Grateful for how STORY OF MINE has developed in recent years. The will and the belief to be able to change and move something has only grown.
With my label, I want to raise awareness of what we consume and wear. I want to relieve nature and the environment with my clothes and explain the poor production and working conditions. I want to sensitize people to these issues. But I also want to promote equal opportunities. Women in various poor countries should be given the chance for self-realization and independence. Our production has already created jobs, but my long-term goal is to set up my own production and organization that will help women in particular to achieve their own goals. I want to create something sustainable, support people and inspire them at the same time.
So let's change something together, continue writing the story of STORY OF MINE.