Starting a small business takes a leap of faith. Some started because of their hobbies and others were driven by their honest need of a better job. While most companies shifted towards online and work-from-home setups, several people lost their jobs due to the pandemic restrictions.
Norway-based graphic designer Kaja decided to start a small business when they lost their job in June 2020. Kaja always wanted to start one and finally had the privilege to launch Murlong Cres, incorporating graphic design with sustainable clothing.
"I want to create unique clothes that feels good on your body, without hurting the planet in the process."
Every design at Murlong Cres is designed and handmade by Kaja herself. While fashion isn't the most sustainable industry, the brand opted for custom sustainable materials for their fabric, printing materials, and packaging to reduce their environmental footprint. Kaja also talks about their sustainable decisions on their social media to encourage other businesses to do the same.
The graphic designer uses noissue tissue, stickers, and tape which she changes the color every season to align with the festivities. Kaja saw the importance of creating unique packaging designs to make her branding stand out. It makes her products look professional while allowing her customers to feel extra special with each unboxing.
One of the challenges she experienced as a business owner was facing the accounting side of things. Kaja is a graphic and fashion designer who's used to leading creative direction so she had to hire an accountant to help her out. She advises other aspiring business owners to not be afraid of starting small. It's alright to not have everything figured out at first and you have to be ready to juggle your business together with a day job as it may take more time and work for it to take off on its own. Despite all this, Kaja assures that it'll all be worth it.
Her favorite customer story was when someone reached out to Murlong Cres on TikTok to design a dress for her wedding which was happening in a week! Working with a stressful time crunch, Kaja did her best and was able to send out the dress in time. When she saw the dress worn by her customer on her wedding day, she couldn't help but cry a little.
You could tell that Kaja puts a lot of heart into her work and that's something to admire about small business owners. Each product is treated as a passion project—from its design and production materials down to how it's packed.
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