Meet the young entrepreneur behind heykittans
How many of us can say that we started our own business when we were just 13?
Looking back, many of us can’t even remember what our future career path remotely looked like - not to mention worrying about the first year in a secondary school!
But for Ameenina (Neens) she was in her first year in secondary school when she started selling floral headbands among other accessories, on Facebook.
In 2015, Neens started heykittans as a side hustle, selling handmade bracelets and accessories while she was studying Communication Design with a major in Branding at Temasek Polytechnic.
“As much as it was a side hustle back then, I know that that was something I love to do more. It was a calling for me, I knew I had to do it. Other commitments I do are freelance projects, more like illustrations. Sometimes graphic design and graphic works,” Neens told us.
Neens has since graduated from Temasek Polytechnic and is running heykittans full-time.
Heykittans is definitely a Barang Baik Kena Share (Translation: Good thing to be shared). We’ve gotten lots of compliments every time we’re wearing a new bracelet from her. It’s very clear that others love it as much as we do!
Equipped with the knowledge and experience from her major in Branding, Neens has executed heykittans’ with her own personal style and touch. When asked about what her branding means to her, Neens told us that her designs are islamically inspired, personal and reflective.
She adds, “It’s (always) a reminder for others to always be in remembrance. I think the most important thing in a business is that connection with your customers.”
Neens inspiration is a big part of her branding too. The stories that she hears adds meaning to her work. The designs of her tasbih bracelets is one example of this.
“The tasbih bracelet has 33 beads - 11 beads are different, inspired by the story of Nabi Yusuf a.s. and the 11 stars, the sun and the moon. I feel like my crafts are inspired by stories and things that are meaningful that you put into your life. If you choose a blue bracelet, you think of the sky when you are nervous - something like that.”
With a meaning behind every craft and a story behind every piece, every item is highly personalised when purchased because the wearer comes up with their own story too!
When asked about her favourite piece, Neens told us that there’s no one in particular - a contradictory statement to her whole collection, called ‘There’s Only One’. Each piece is unique so that the people who buy a piece will feel that it’s personal to them.
“In the ‘There’s Only One’ collection, I use beads that I don’t usually use. I enjoyed making that specific collection because it allowed me to be more creative in making them individually.”
Neens’ love for sharing stories through her crafts translates to each piece that is created, whether customised by her customers or designed by herself, they all resonate well with the wearer.
“I hold on to the stories behind it but eventually I have to sell the items. So, I keep selling the stories in a way, so people are more, this is also like a marketing tip, you sell the item emotionally instead of just like a physical item. I have this vision where I build a community of people who want to express themselves creatively. So it’s like a community and we can share our reflections at the same time, that kind of thing,” Neens expressed.
To know more about heykittans’, be sure to catch our third episode of #BarangBaikKenaShare!