Two decades ago, we were not exposed to the world of the internet yet. Role-playing games are famous among kids especially girls because the games are interactive, fun and don’t require costly props. I believed a lot of girls played the ‘Miss Pageant Competition’ with siblings, cousins and friends before. While most of us prepared our props that looked very lousy using ‘manila cards’ and plastic jewellery, Mei Chi actually hand-sewn her full set of costumes from headdresses to gloves
Most people think that Mei Chi’s passion towards the threads and fabrics is influenced by her mother, who used to sew clothes. “The sewing skills yes. But speaking about the passion, it’s from myself. And all my knowledge about fashion design and dressmaking are self-taught,” she said confidently.
Petite ladies like Mei Chi often couldn’t find any clothes from female apparels shops. As she grew older, she became to feel uncomfortable and awkward to buy and wear children’s clothes. One day, she recalled back her memories of making the Pageant’s props and decided to sew some dresses for herself. They turned out great.
In that part of the time, it was the golden era of blogging. Mei Chi posted her self-made clothes on her blog to share her joy with netizens. People started to request her to customize clothes and dresses for special occasions.
I never thought before that I can actually earn pocket money by sewing clothes!”
She made the storeroom into her production house. Bespoke dresses require very detailed body measurements, it’s certainly not a great idea to invite clients to walk into the small storeroom.
I used to meet with my clients in washrooms at department stores to do the measurements. It sounds funny, but it was the happiest time in my life.”
Every day after classes, Mei Chi rushed back home to start sewing. Sometimes she sewed for herself, sometimes for clients, sometimes just because some inspirations popped up. “There was a fabric shop that I frequently visited, they called me ‘the 1-meter girl’. Because for each pattern I only buy 1-meter.”
Mei Chi only learnt the basic sewing techniques from her mum, in order to produce various designs of dresses, a lot of trials and errors were required. “When I ran out of ideas or solutions, I always visited a site called BurdaStyle. There are a lot of tutorials there and there is a forum with many helpful sewing-buddies sharing free resources.”
After graduated, Mei Chi was offered a job that related to her field of study but quitted the job after half a year because she wanted to focus on her dress-making business. She branded her business as Emcee Couture as the word ‘emcee’ sounds like her initials, M.C.
She rented a tiny shop in Taipan USJ to provide her clients with a more comfortable space to meet up. Besides, she also brought her ready-to-wear clothes to bazaars to gain more exposure for Emcee Couture.
A few years back the economy is very good. A lot of clients came to us to customize the wedding gowns and the bridesmaids’ dresses. We became so popular in making bridesmaids’ dresses.”
Mei Chi started to recruit experienced sewing-masters including her mum to fulfil the orders. She also rented a bigger space to fit the Emcee Couture Studio consists of a front – a cosy boutique space and a back –complete design and production studio.
Today, Emcee Couture is a place where professional masters using the finest materials and the best craftsmanship to bring every girl’s dream dresses to life. Regardless of your age, skin colour, heights and weights, you deserve a nice and unique dress.
I love what I’m doing now. It’s the passion that burning in my heart keeps me moving every day. If anything went wrong, I know I could always go back to my little storeroom, back to where I started.”
From the way Mei Chi shared her stories, we can see the satisfaction and the happiness in her. She is contented by doing what she loves.