My name is Hana Salih and I run the eponymous slow fashion brand “Hana Salih”. I set up my business in the early months of 2021 under the name HanMadebyHana. After realising I want this business to be more long term, I wanted to make it more me, but more on that later!
I have been interested in sustainability for as long as I can remember and i’ve always dreamed of a career that somehow made a positive impact on our planet
My interest in fashion, clothing and sewing started during the Covid lockdowns, where I taught myself to sew using youtube and trial and error. It started as a hobby and quickly developed into an obsession. As my skills improved, I built up the confidence to start selling my work. I started selling the odd piece on the sidelines, but when i saw people loved the items I made as much as I loved making them, I knew I had to see where this route could take me.
As a school student in lockdown, I wasn’t able to get a job and I definitely needed money. Having a skill I could turn into an income, combined with my passion for our planet, I started my small business!
It didn’t work out perfectly straight away. I got over excited buying materials and creating fun designs but I was limited by my initial investment – only a few months saving so not a lot – and my lack of experience and knowledge. For the first couple of weeks, sales were few and far between, I was only making items in my own size because it was easier to model, and I had no brand. I found myself selling things cheaply just to make the sale, and I lost a lot of confidence.
Then I got lucky. I found a beautiful retro print fabric, which I made some simple designs with that I could easily produce in different sizes. People loved it! Subsequently, I started to build my brand around the colourful and retro aesthetic my items fit in. And having this brand aesthetic was a turning point for me. It allowed me to reach more people with similar styles, start getting repeat customers, and most importantly it gave me direction.
If there is one thing I wish I knew when starting out, it would be to focus on one path, and let excitement carry me later down the line.
I am so grateful that I was able to grow my brand, and forever will thank anyone who supported HanMadebyHana allowing me to do that!
However, I’m not quite where I want to be just yet. My general interest in the fashion industry has increased a lot over this time and I do believe that my brand could be my future. I wanted to make it truly mine, and recently I’d felt as detatched and distant from my brand and my products. I felt as though my business followed a trend, lacked longevity and uniqueness, and despise the fact sales were going well I felt i’d reached a standstill. Most importantly, my business didn’t feel like me. I started to rebrand, this time taking a lot more time to plan. It wasn’t easy, and I stuggled with self doubt and creative blocks, but after a few weeks I settled on using my own name and got a logo designed for that encapsulated my personal aesthetic.
logo designer @leonigraphics on instagram
I believe fashion is about self expression, finding your own style, and most importantly having fun! In the future I hope to share more of my values and personal style with my business, to create something truly unique and beautiful. In the near future i plan to release more timeless, staple designs and design my own prints and patterns. I can’t wait to share the journey with you all!
Thank you for reading!