The story behind “The Velvet Dolls”

Dear Dayre,

What it looked like two days ago during shoot on Thursday!

The team behind Photoshoot! #tftstudio and an extra helper haha cos Sam volunteered his services 😁

That's me in the role of "ah-sam" during shoot..

The very important job of ensuring the model is camera-ready. Hair, makeup, clothes..

And snapping BTS photos for fun hehehe

It was an awesome shoot!

I was so relieved that the weather was super fine, it was sunny and windy at the same time! And thanks to all the extra help, it was less tiring for me too.

Back in the old days, it used to be just me and a model. So I had to play camera-man, stylist and ah-sam all at the same time.

Now with Nic's help, I just have to take care of the styling and assisting which makes my job less stressful.

Very thankful for the great team!!

I still pick and edit the photos myself cos I'm quite perfectionist and also it's faster when I do it myself as opposed to waiting for the photographer to pass me the edited files though!

And it's very very satisfying to see the beautiful end product, and to see the clothes look so good 😍

I love this floral top, it arrived just in time for CNY! So easy to wear and super comfy, with pretty off-shoulder flutter sleeves.

It comes in a very dark blue base and a cream base with the loveliest floral prints!

Super love the details on this dress! It's soooooo pretty 😍 The oriental prints are perfect for CNY too! High-neckline, fit and flare design.

A close-up of the mad nice details. Embossed fabric, exclusively printed and then embellished with silver studs. I like how the crochet hem at the skirt adds a feminine touch to this design too.

Very proud of this piece because it's so well-made! 😍😍😍 The quality and workmanship is amazeballs. Can you see all the studs that are sewn on one by one! We also had this printed just for us, it's not a readily available print so it's really very special ❀️

Yesterday, I had a little interview for an upcoming media feature for TVD, and I was so excited during my chat with the writer!

She asked me many questions about TVD and how it came about as well as the kind of challenges we face and lots of stuff like that.

This feature is gonna be published in March and I can't wait 😁

As you might know, TVD's brand and logo was conceptualized and designed by myself! Many people tell me they like our logo a lot, but I realised that I didn't really share the story behind the name/logo of The Velvet Dolls anywhere.

Why "The Velvet Dolls"?

Initially when we were brainstorming for ideas for a name, we were super stumped and I remember that the first few names that we threw out were just horrible. So bad that I can't remember any of those ideas now.

The name "The Velvet Dolls" came about because I wanted something very simple but memorable. As a store for female apparel, our objective is to dress ladies up so that they look good and feel even better!

I used to play with paper dolls that my sisters and I drew and cut out ourselves, and these dolls were super precious to us! We used baking paper from my Ah Ma's stash (she used to bake goodies to sell for CNY) and then draw/cut-out our own dolls, then design our own paper clothes that could be "put" onto the paper dolls by adding little tabs that could be folded so they stayed on our paper dolls.

Sort of like this!!!

Of course, our childish dolls were much more clumsy and amateur, but we really enjoyed playing with them and after every session, they would be carefully kept with love under a corner of our mattress, while awaiting our next playtime.

The not-so-happy ending to my childhood story is that the adults often treated our precious paper dolls as trash, and with much dismay, we'd find them missing from under the mattress after every spring-cleaning session 😭😭😭

Recalling these paper dolls became part of the inspiration for our name, because just like how I loved playing with our dolls and dressing them up in our childhood, I now enjoy dressing and dolling myself up as a grown-up.

Thus, I conceptualized the name "The Velvet Dolls", velvet because it is a very luxurious and classy fabric to me (a real upgrade from paper I must say)!

And also cos TheVelvetDolls.livejournal.com was still available on LJ, so it became our name πŸ˜‚

As for our logo/graphic, it is very obviously inspired from the matryoshka, also known as Russian Dolls!

There's many meanings to the reason behind our logo of a Russian doll, and the first has to do with the concept of a Russian doll, which has many different sizes and sometimes different looks/styles/designs on each and every single figure.

This symbolizes our dream to dress up each and every girl, regardless of size or shape. It also represents our aspiration to be able to bring in a variety of styles so as to cater to everyone, because we think that every girl deserves to look their best, no matter what!

The branding of TVD has been so wildly successful that whenever anyone I know sees a Russian doll-related article, they always think of me πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

To date, I've received Russian doll cards, stickers, notebooks, canvas print, post-its, shower loofah, and even underwear! ❀️❀️❀️

Some from friends and some from totally random sources (friends of friends, online acquaintances..)

I can't not associate myself with them dolls anymore πŸ™Š

So that's roughly the story behind TVD's brand and name!

Tbh, I was contemplating with the idea of rebranding TVD to something that's classier and simpler, you know, like what many brands are doing now?

Just use some typography and shorter the name to "Velvet" or something.

But I can't bring myself to destroy the current branding because it's quite special to me. Not sure if I'm just clinging on and not daring to step out for change.

This year, I really feel like I need to go into some "R&D" (research and development lol!) for TVD!

One issue that's been on my mind lately is a super basic thing but very important as well, and that's sizing.

There are smaller girls requesting for smaller sizes all the time (@audreytham, I hear you!), but I realise that when I make the measurements a little smaller, size M and L tend to run very small too and then size L sells out super quickly when I thought it wouldn't be as popular!

Need to do a survey to find out what's the sizing like across my lovely customers! Then I can know exactly what kind of sizes to make for everyone.

I'm definitely gonna do more XS this year to cater to the smaller girls and also so that our SML sizes remain consistent and the M-L girls can still wear our apparel comfortably. If you have opinions or feedback about sizing, please do leave me a comment! 😘

Headache part is my size S girls like @evonnz also tell me that size S is too tight for them sometimes.

Also, the fabric plays an important role cos some fabrics are thick/non-stretchy (like embossed jacquard) while others are a lot more stretchy (like neoprene) Need to be careful to ensure a consistent fit for sizes. Okay I need to improve on sizing this year!

I'm very proud of our quality and designs and those are a given, TVD apparel are pieces that you can wear with confidence ❀️

Today I wore the upcoming off-shoulder top and midi skirt!

The midi skirt is mad loooove. It's a super nice neoprene fabric and is a contrasted color (grey) on the inside!

Feeling super ζ·‘ε₯³ but I like. Helps to hide my fatty parts like arms and hips too πŸ™ŠπŸ™ŠπŸ™Š

PS. This skirt is one of the designs that comes in XS to L! It's very comfy and has a slight stretch due to the neoprene fabric so size M fits me very comfortably.

Woke up super duper bright and early today for Etude House event at 9am πŸ’€πŸ’€πŸ’€ But I do like Γ‰tude House's packaging and some of their products very much! #notanad

Photobooth fun with ζœ€δ½³ζ­ζ‘£ @evonnz ❀️ and Clara!

Senior makeup artist demonstrating a sweet Valentine Day's look on the cute model.

Limited edition eyeshadow palettes from Etude House made specially for V'day collection! How cute are they? They look like miniature chocolate bars!

I like the Cherry Truffle palette best!

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