Looking for some good quality basics to get you through iso? Well... look no further than AYM Studio! We would be very happy to wear any of their pieces each and every day for the rest of time! Made ethically in England and designed by the amazing Alie Mackintosh you simply cannot go wrong!
We recently sat down with Alie and she spoke to us about building her dream brand, running her own business and the many lessons she's learned along the way!
@_rebeccajackson wears The Christy Nylon by Nakedvice + The Chalk Joggers by AYM
Lewes, England. I was born in Sydney, Australia.
TYPICAL DAY IN YOUR LIFE?
I always wake up early, write my to-do list for the day and work through emails. Then I walk to the office. It’s a short walk from my home, through the beautiful old town of Lewes where I live. I always find the walk in to work a great time for reflection. Each working day is really different for me; it could be working on financials, operational strategies, HR, sales and marketing, designs and fittings, branding, buying or ordering. I’ve got a great team around me who I absolutely love working with. We always have inspiring discussions about where to take the brand next, or how to tackle a problem that we are facing. I work out almost every day so I’ll do this as soon as I get home and then the evenings are spent working too. I’m getting better at work life balance, I promise.
WHAT WAS THE IDEA THAT STARTED AYM?
AYM studio started life as a hobby (it still is today tbh, but now I’m also earning an income from it!). I was making dresses for myself whilst studying Design at CSM in London. When I started getting questions about the clothing I was wearing on nights out, I saw it as an exciting opportunity to experiment with selling the clothes I was making. It was a very organic process.
WHAT IS THE MEANING BEHIND THE BRAND?
AYM stands for Always Your Moment. I wanted to create a brand that empowered women to feel their most incredible – it’s all about embracing every moment and feeling your best, on the inside and out.
WHERE DO YOU GET INSPIRATION FOR YOUR DESIGNS?
I normally get inspiration from what people are wearing on the street. I live close to Brighton and the fashion scene there is always edgy and unique. Vintage stores are great for exploring shapes. I also love watching movies or tv shows to get inspiration for clothing – I find the clothing always enhances a character and that’s how fashion should be; representative of you and your personality.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNT IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
There are quite a few lessons I’ve learnt. I built the business with no business experience – straight out of uni, so it’s all been a process of trial and error.
I’d say that it’s really important to stay true to what you care about. You’ve got to stick to your values and keep your mission in mind all the time. Business is fundamentally about making a profit – but profits can come in different forms. It’s important to know what form you want the profit to be. If you are focused entirely on making financial profits, it can create knock on impacts in other areas of the business that you might have to sacrifice for the sake of additional profit. For us, our focus is on creating an ethical fashion brand that values customer experience and quality products above the achievement of a financial profit margin.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
I absolutely love that I’m creating my own future, as well as positively contributing to the current lives and future of others. It’s incredibly motivating and inspiring to me that I have a team of passionate and highly skilled people who spend their time working with me to help my vision come to life.
YOU HAVE ALMOST 300K ON INSTAGRAM! WHAT HAS BEEN THE KEY TO BUILDING YOUR FOLLOWING?
We’ve had our Instagram page for ages and getting to our current following has been a very organic, steady growth. I think the most important things are to create authentic content that’s engaging. We’ve been incredibly lucky with our exposure with influencers and bloggers who have wanted to wear our designs, and have then posted about our brand as a result. That leads to more awareness and directs more people to our Instagram page.
WE'VE SEEN AYM ON SOME PRETTY AMAZING PEOPLE! HOW DO YOU WORK WITH INFLUENCERS TO PROMOTE YOUR BRAND?
It’s all done through gifting. As we invest so heavily into our ethical business model – ensuring we are paying above living wage, having amazing working conditions, investing in high quality machinery for our team – we are very focused on product quality. This in turn attracts influencers and celebrities who want to wear our designs. It’s been absolutely incredible seeing the clothing we’ve designed and made being rocked by some of the biggest celebs.
BIGGEST PINCH YOURSELF MOMENT?
Every time a customer tags us on Instagram, walking past a customer wearing AYM on the street, getting such incredible reviews from our customers, having celebrities wear AYM – Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Hailey Bieber wearing AYM have been huge pinch me moments!
WHAT'S NEXT FOR AYM?
We are really focused on our commitment to ethical and sustainable fashion processes. So this year we are working towards further transparency for our customers and raising more awareness. I feel that we can create a big difference by being transparent about our business model so that hopefully other companies will follow suit and together we can all make a positive difference.It’s going to be an exciting year!
Follow @aym.studio on Instagram
Shop their products via www.aym-studio.com