Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in clothing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Entin Gartini, Fashion Designer located in Pointe-Calumet, QC, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Fashion brands, my customer are mostly women who like colorful and artsy, and unique.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Entin Gartini, and I was born and raised in Semarang, Indonesia, and later moved to Canada, currently residing in Montreal. I fell in love with fashion design at the age of 5 while watching my mother sew. Despite never having the opportunity to attend a fashion school, I continued to pursue my passion for drawing and designing. I was able to launch my debut with an online collection in 2016 and then had my first fashion show in Ottawa.

What makes my designs unique is the process of combining a thoughtful mix of handmade fabric and colorful silhouettes while also using an artistic process called batik. Each piece has an exclusive one-of-a-kind handmade batik design created by myself. I was one of the first Muslim designers in Canada, which has not been an easy experience. I continue my entrepreneurial journey in fashion, bringing modest wear to a new level.

I  was recently named The Best Fashion Designer at Ottawa Award 2021. This award is given to workers in the creative industries in Canada.
The Ottawa Faces Magazine Award is held annually by Faces Magazine Ottawa. I also recently launched my online course about fashion design and fashion drawing; I teach many students to sharpen their drawing and business skills, a teenager who is preparing to go to fashion design college to prepare their drawing skills, business owner or someone who want to start a business in the fashion industry.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I am grateful that I started my fashion brand seven years ago; since I won the award from Faces Magazine Ottawa, I have had some big opportunities and support to make my brand more growing. And now, I start with my second business, which is still in the fashion industry; I opened an online course recently, and growing. And what makes me happy is now that I have the courage to share my knowledge, experiences, and my story with my students. And the big accomplishment for me is to encourage other women who have talent but have many obstacles like I had when I started my business seven years ago; I have no budget to start a business, I have a big debt, I have three kids, and no time to go fashion school, and plus I don't have money to pay fashion school tuition, but I keep my self motivated and learning, reading, searching, browsing, practicing by myself when all my family sleep. And I still remember I only had 30 min every day during my break time when I am working 9n Tim Horton as a baker. And this year, I will never forget how hard how excited and fully motivated to achieve my dream; at my first fashion show, I collected the money from my Tim Horton paycheck, 50% for family bills and 50% to buy fabrics. What a story.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

When I start, the hardest thing for me I the financial, but my motivation and my dream are bigger than my obstacles.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

How to become a fashion designer through self-learning:

  1. Studying fashion design - Some books and ebooks can help you build your foundation as a fashion designer. You will learn by browsing and analyzing these books. By self-learning fashion design, you will be able to see how the bits and pieces are put together to become a collection. You will be able to appreciate the art and beauty that fashion is giving. This will also improve your creativity and skills in designing.
  2. Hone your skills - Whether you have talent in fashion designing or not, you have to hone your skills in order to become a fashion designer. Fashion designers are experts in their designing skills with the knowledge of what’s trending. Fashion follows seasonal changes and trends to cater to the marketability of the piece. The skills of creativity do not only work with the mind but also in the work of your hands through sewing, sketching, or making mock-ups. This second level of learning fashion is your power in the fashion industry.
  3. Be passionate about your piece - Learning fashion designing by yourself is very hard, especially when it comes to learning skills. However, passion can bring out the fashion designer in you. Having a passion for what you are learning can provide you with long patience and loving what you do. If you love what you are doing, then you will never fail. This passion should be focused on your efforts and willingness to learn.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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