This up-and-coming designer came out tops in a local shoe design competition.
Name: Ong Jia Min
Job: Footwear and Accessories Designer
Connect with Jia Min: http://thriftythieves.sg, @thriftythieves
How did you get into shoe designing and how long have you been doing it for?
Last year, I came across an ad from TaF.tc (The Academy of Fashion Professions) for an online footwear design course. I wanted to pick up some basic Illustrator and Photoshop skills, so I signed up – not realising it involved taking part in a shoe design competition. To my surprise, my designs made it to the final eight and I eventually won. I was awarded a diploma scholarship in Footwear Design and Product Development at TaF.tc, an internship with Pazzion Group and a trip to MICAM (an international footwear fair) in Milan. It’s been less than a year since I’ve been on this path.
You were in marketing prior to this. What gave you the confidence to switch careers?
Winning the competition. Also, I received lots of positive feedback from my family and friends, as they had seen pictures of my designs on my social media accounts. The support I got was enough for me to make the switch.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m planning to launch two shoe lines in the future – one for fast fashion and another for classic leather footwear. Meanwhile, I have Thrifty Thieves, a small side gig selling handmade accessories, and it has been sustaining me financially. I’m working towards bringing in other stuff that I feel would complement the brand.
Get to know Jia Min
Five things that make her happy
“My pets, good food, Netflix, great shopping deals and getting 12 hours of sleep.”
She’s very comfortable with her own company
“I really enjoy quality me-time at home, where I get to catch up on my favourite TV shows or cook myself a nice meal while doing work at the same time.”
She had the most memorable travel experience in New Zealand
“We were there for 12 days, but I had so much fun as we went white water rafting, bungee jumping and even skiing. All on a tight budget!”
Text Compiled By Adora Wong.