Greenhouse Conversations – Kai Vetements
My name is Kai. I’m a fashion designer and the owner of Kai Vetements. “Kai” is my initials and “Vetements” means clothing or fashion in French. I love the name because my friends call me Kai and I feel like it represents me and really suits my brand. I recently started my second business, Arova, for musk mixtures, oud, and the best quality maamoul.
Kai: I first started designing clothes in 2018. I was repeating high school at the time and still trying to figure out what I want. At first I wanted to get into medical school but due to circumstances I wasn’t able to go to college. This pushed me to pursue my passion in fashion design, styling and business. I felt like I reached an age where I needed to support myself but I wasn’t sure where to start. So I asked every business owner I know how they started. Finally, I built up the courage to take the first step in building my own brand.
I started small, and not long after Covid hit and I wasn’t able to do anything for months. At the height of the pandemic in May 2020, I decided that’s it! Whatever the situation is, I have to start again. So the seamstress and I started making clothes from home. In the beginning, I wasn’t confident that I’ll reach the level I want because I didn’t know much about running a business account on social media. I would call my friends to ask them for help on how to make posts and stories. It’s so funny, I was so lost.
With time, the account started growing and I reached 18K followers in less than a year. Now that my friends joined Kai Vetements, I was able to venture out and start Arova. The concept behind Arova is to have the best quality perfumes and incense at affordable prices. Because designing clothes takes a lot of work and effort, from creating the design to choosing fabric to sewing, the prices might not suit everyone.
The most important thing I learned through this experience is that it’s never too late. For a long time I felt like I was missing out because my circumstances prevented me from going to college, but I realized that it gave me the chance to discover who I am and what I’m capable of. It gave me a push to prove to myself that I can stand on my own feet and be independent. When you have your own income you don’t need to rely on anyone and you can make your own decisions.
I didn’t expect my business to grow like it did, but now I have ambitious plans for the future. That’s why I always encourage my followers to not feel intimidated and to start their own projects. My dream is to have a fully integrated brand that includes bags, shoes, accessories and men’s clothing. Soon, we’ll start importing our own customized fabrics for Kai Vetements.