AW: Initially, you started working with manufacturers from China while visiting family there. You’ve spoken about starting in the fashion industry with zero contacts in London – but proceeded to knock on some doors of stores that you admired. Turn to the present day; your brand has stock in numerous locations worldwide and specifically in Selfridges, London’s most iconic department store. What would you say to yourself in 2018 now? Any words of encouragement you’d like to share?
TV: Ah, so many things! There have been countless ups and downs in the years since I started Hai and my goals, aims and fears are constantly in movement. When I just started my main business objective was to get to a point where I could leave my full time job and fully focus on Hai, when this happened it felt like a huge achievement but soon after new fears and struggles set in. Running an independent creative business is a constant eb and flow of highs and lows, both the highs and lows are what keep me motivated to continue going forward. When you work hard and believe in what you do and are hungry for it, you can make it happen. Always ask for advice, we all need guidance at times and there is no shame in asking for it.
AW: You were working in music before embarking on Hai. What advice can you give to young creatives who are thinking about switching careers?
TV: I always had a love for both clothes & style and music and I know from first hand experience how hard it can be to enter a new industry. At 26 I felt like I was stuck in an industry that I didn’t wasn’t really motivated to be in anymore and that it would be impossible to change, which is obviously untrue! At this point I really had to change my attitude, nothing gets handed to you and you really need to create your own opportunities. When you work hard and are passionate about what you do, this tends to rub off on people.