Growing up as an only child, my parents didn’t have the benefit of shaking my hand to adapt to my growth phases.
Instead, they had to buy new clothes of different sizes every time. Luckily, I was never a picky kid (read: I had no sense of fashion), so I wore whatever I had, even though my mom liked to dress me up.
When Jueenn was a mother of two, she was raising her children, clothes were a problem that often came to her mind. She personally liked to combine her children’s clothes with the ones in her own closet, which was full of neutral colors and comfortable clothes.
For her first child, a son, it was easy for her to find similar styles in the form of t-shirts, jeans, or shorts. But with her second son, a daughter, she felt it was almost impossible to combine her clothes with her son’s or hers.
Determined to do something about it, Jueenn launched her own clothing line, Teezlab.
Take a different path
After obtaining her fashion diploma, Jueenn took a different route to that of her peers. Although most of her friends joined local designers, she decided to challenge herself by joining a manufacturing company in Balakong, Cheras.
There, he was able to improve his knowledge in materials and fabrics, cutting, sewing, packaging and, above all, cost management.
2 years later, she continued and worked with various local and global brands like Pony, Giordano Ladies, Padini, Ms. Read, 7DAYS and the ecommerce brand. Ox white.
In all, he had accumulated about 2 decades of industry knowledge, especially in children’s clothing, when he created Teezlab.
Needless to say, this experience perfected several values that she wanted to embody her own brand.
Jueenn prioritizes neutral colors and unisex styles so that anyone can give taste to their designs, and uses high-quality materials and manufacturing processes to increase the shelf life of clothing.
The long shelf life of the clothes (with proper care of the fabric) means that Teezlab clothes can be easily shared with siblings or relatives or passed on to them. Since the designs are meant to be unisex, there is also little or no problem with “Oh, she / he can’t wear this, it’s too masculine / feminine!”.
In addition, being able to transmit good quality clothing means that less fabric waste ends up in our landfills. Only in Malaysia, it is estimated that we produce up to 2,000 tons of textile waste every day.
At the end of Teezlab, the brand implements reusable packaging instead of PVC bags and reuses leftover fabrics to create mini bags. To further encourage customers to take care of their clothes and extend their longevity, the brand also gives away free nets to wash clothes with every purchase.
A value cycle
But Jueenn’s dedication to creating value through Teezlab is not just limited to its customers; she also wants to help our local fashion and clothing industry.
In the last 5 years, he has observed that many local factories were closing because brands tend to favor outsourcing of manufacturing to countries like India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh due to cheap labor.
It’s not that we don’t have high quality material and production skills, such as printing, sewing or embroidery in Malaysia, but the lack of demand has caused local businesses to shut down. Jueenn did not want to contribute more to the problem.
“I wondered, if most local brands can support local factories, we can create a good cycle. [whereby] everyone will have a job opportunity to survive and nurture the market, ”he said.
Therefore, it made a point to have 80% of Teezlab’s products manufactured right here in Malaysia, while outsourcing the other 20% to overseas factories.
Taking a look at Teezlab’s site, you’ll find that it doesn’t wear many styles yet, but it’s clear that the focus is definitely on children’s clothing.
Aside from everyday clothing, the brand also produces comfortable sleepwear and seating for children. All of their products are made of soft cotton knit and have no label to reduce skin irritation.
Because Teezlab was created by Jueenn’s desire to match his daughter, the brand also offers adult-sized clothing of similar styles. This makes the brand a comfortable choice for families who enjoy wearing matching clothes for outings or events.
Based on my own shopping experiences, I find that Teezlab products have a fairly average price, between 9.90 and 49.90 RM for t-shirts, depending on the design and cut.
Born and raised in a pandemic
Creating and running a business during the pandemic was certainly a difficult path for Jueenn and his 6-person team.
Some of the challenges they faced included that their manufacturer closed for more than 3 months during MCO3.0, which meant they had no new products to launch.
“The market momentum was not stable, which was a big disadvantage for us as a new brand, especially in the fashion industry,” Jueenn added.
Despite this, the team made it work by personally taking on various roles in photo shoots and video recordings, and they took care of the marketing expenses in FB ads as well as the logistics costs.
“One of the reasons we decided to move 20% of our next products to produce them abroad is to prevent any unfortunate circumstances from happening again,” Jueenn shared, speaking of the aforementioned closure of the factory during MCO.
However, to maintain Teezlab’s vision and mission in providing local support, it is dedicated to maintaining at least 70-80% of its production in Malaysia.
In the near future, she hopes to launch more products for women of different ages and races to increase Teezlab’s reach and traffic in the market. This is because she believes that women will continue to be the biggest shoppers in the fashion industry.
But even then, it will not give up its sustainability, and concludes, “We aim to have more sustainable products and educational events to teach the importance of sustainability to protect our environment as well.”
- You can find more information about Teezlab here.
- You can read more about Malaysian fashion startups here.
Featured Image Credit: Jueenn Chau, founder and CEO of Teezlab