Today, we have the pleasure of featuring Hani and Aisah Dalduri, sisters who run Fictive Fingers, an independent textile label where they design and print textiles by hand at their home studio in Singapore.
They say... Running a business out of the passion for what we make definitely changed the way we think creatively. It is no longer only about how we could turn our personal stories into a timeless pattern but also how we could make customers connect with our work. The main reason for running independently was that we wanted to be in full control of the direction we are heading to so with that, we wear a lot of hats on a daily basis. Besides the comprehensive design and making process, we reply emails, prepare invoices, meet up with clients and collaborators, design the website and promotional campaigns and package all orders with a personal note.
The handmade scene was growing when we decided to run the label full time but the local market was only familiar to the concept of having someone use readily available materials and making them into something by hand. What we were offering was something completely new where the process was much longer because we work from scratch and that came along with an extensive amount of challenges to overcome. Initially, we offered bespoke services where people could choose from our selection of basecloths and pattern then we have the unique combination printed before we construct it into a product according to their requirements. It was a really great experience to communicate with our customers on a personal level and have them involved in the designing process but eventually the demand got less exciting than before because we felt like we were recycling our designs into products that sometimes do not reflect how we envision our textiles to be turned into.
That was when we made the decision to have a limited range of textiles and a product line we could call our own. It was a breath of fresh air for us and we finally could oversee the business with a clearer vision now that we are not solely working on individual requests. It opened up more opportunities like collaborating with retailers to create a line that equally represents our label and their shop as well as working with government organizations and corporate companies to conduct classes to share our knowledge and have them gain better appreciation for what we do. Recently, we embarked on the next chapter of our hands-on classes with the a new project called The Pocket Class that allows people from all around the world to take on our textile printing class from the comfort of their own home.
Taking up new projects and pushing boundaries have made us grow and evolve as makers and entrepreneurs but what drove us when we first started remains the same. That is to offer an antidote to an impersonal world with our unpretentious notion to always be ones you buy from and make those products for you. It is the same for our classes where we teach from our experience, both successes and failures, and not tutorials that can be found online because we want the experience to be as personalized as possible.
Despite gaining credentials as we progress, we will always be seen as vulnerable, young women first. What keeps us going is affirming what we believe in and being brave to always step out from a level that we are comfortable in.