How do you choose between starting a family and starting a new brand? *You Dont* – Lisa Hsieh founder of Mien Studios pushed through her fears and she hasnt looked back.
Mien creates limited edition, season-less clothing and accessories from high quality textiles at prices that are within reach.
There are no more than 50 pieces made in each style colorway with a focus on small scale productions – Made in the USA
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I cut my professional teeth working in the cutthroat fashion industry for many years. I worked my way up from getting coffee for people to becoming a designer working on new collections and attending fashion week shows.
My experiences, combined with all the trials and tribulations through the years, became the foundation to help me start my own line. I already knew how to build a collection from hand sketch to production, it took hitting a creative roadblock and the desire to have complete creative control over my work for me to take the plunge and start my line, Mien Studios. I created my own dream job by starting Mien.
I built this company so I can make sophisticated, beautiful quality, American-made clothing for other kindred people with the same aesthetic as mine.
WHAT IS THE INSPIRATION FOR THE BRAND NAME?
Not many people know how to pronounce my company name, Mien (/mēn/) . Myself included when I first came across it. But the word Mien just stuck with me, I love the way it looks, what it meant, which is a person’s air or bearing, it was just the perfect word for my clothing line.
We wear what we feel best represents our personality and demeanor as a human being. The way we dress is the first impression we create for others who don’t know us to see. Our clothes speak for us; in other words, our clothes speak to our individual Mien.
I want to make clothes that reflect my customer’s unique expression of personality, their one of a kind Mien.
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST HURDLE YOU HAD TO OVERCOME TO GET STARTED?
Timing was the biggest hurdle I had to overcome. Perhaps unlike most other entrepreneurs, I wasn’t thinking of starting a business on my own anytime soon. Life was good and steady and I could very well just go on with it.
However, life also throws curve-balls when one least expects it. The decision to start having a family brought up questions of how I needed a business that supported my desire of becoming a parent. Soon to be on the cusp of 40 also meant taking a good look at my fulfillment level as an artist and designer.
That’s when I realized maybe it was time to take reins of my professional career and create work that spoke to my perspective as a designer. Now I juggle a baby and a new business – the definition of bad timing might just be starting a business from the ground up while being pregnant, but I did it. And you know what, I am okay.
My business is growing and I love the work I was able to create since its inception. Timing will never be on any business owner’s side, but I take it as motivation to do-better with what little of time we all have. Some of my best work comes from doing just that.
WHAT WAS THAT “JUST DO IT” MOMENT FOR YOU TO GET STARTED?
I’ve had an insatiable desire to create since I was a child. I went to art school, and after I graduated I chose to work in the design field so I can make a living being creative. I pursued fashion design, which was a childhood dream job.
After nearly a decade designing, I took the plunge to go solo with my own brand in 2015 so I can create a collection that really speak to who I am as a designer. I was 34 when I was in the process of developing my first collection, while heavily pregnant with my first child.
I was thinking of the future when I started this company. I wanted a business that will give me creative freedom while allowing me to grow it in a way that will help me support the family I wanted to have. The timing for big decisions like starting a business will never seem right and the process will always be arduous.
The year I started my business was the hardest so far in my life, all the circumstances in my personal life was not pointing in the direction of tackling of a startup but I pushed through. I take this process one day at a time. It’s not easy, but I have never been happier.