First of all, can you introduce yourself?
Hello, I am Merve Kotevoğlu; I was born in 1987 in Istanbul. I graduated from Marmara University Business Administration. During my university years, I was working part-time in the production area of many known textile brands. During this time, I completed my stylist certificate program training. Thanks to my Culinary Arts education, which I believe is the most enjoyable way of producing, I have worked in the Kitchen sector for many years. But I remember being very unhappy with the frenzy of consumption. Believing that continuing this will increase my unhappiness, I decided to enter the Sustainable Fashion sector, which I wish would be more peaceful and slow for our world and myself.
Can you share with us the story of the emergence of your brand?
The future of our planet, dwindling natural assets, climate crisis, pandemic, global developments have made us think about our priorities and the path Maika will take.
As I just mentioned, I have always felt a conscientious responsibility while working in the Kitchen sector, which I have been in for many years. There was an unhappiness that got stronger every day as we saw the wasted . I am always very opposed to overproduction and consumption.
Let's get bored, let's create a brand and consume more, we started this business independent of commercial concerns, where we do not want to sell something to people.
Every production is a kind of consumption, we don't need more.
Maika is actually a transformational movement!
We set out so that the existing resources should be evaluated with the existing resources. We gave birth to Maika Atelier with a team of amazing women who are concerned about art.
Are there any artists who inspire your designs? If yes, who are the ones that affect you the most?
In fact, we have more than one inspiration, we cannot say a single artist specifically.
We are fascinated by the emotional memory of all Visual Arts.
Tell us briefly about the emergence and production processes of your designs.
Can you inform?
to be timeless
to be sustainable,
Because we want two different individuals, one in their twenties and one in their fifties, to be able to use the same design. ☺
Circle and Nana collections, which we developed with inspiration from handicrafts, do not contain instant pleasure.
They don't follow trends ☺
We wanted them to be sustainable designs, not seasonal, but long-term, and most importantly, produced under ethical conditions, and that they could tell common tales.
There is something mystical every day in the workshop that is hard to describe.
The original ideas, which we believe have brought Maika Atelier to its current success, are created by an intense team of brains.
Fairy tales are written with the power of women, after hours of reflection and a union of hearts for months. We add the production to the collection as soon as we feel comfortable with it.
How do you ensure to be original in a production and consumption cycle where everything is the same?
I think you don't want to get lost among thousands of products and services in this period when you gain a new competitor every moment. In order to be in the consumer's area of interest, you must make a difference and apply creativity for this. As in everything else, you have to spend a lot of time and effort to develop creativity. There are many situations that we experience by learning new things every day.
In order to stay original, you always have to say yes to the new.
This brings with it the inevitable improvements.
Improvement means improvement, this should be the key to originality that makes a difference.
What is the most important feature that makes your brand different from others?
Actually, this is a bit emotional ☺
Maika Atelier is a brand we established to honor our mother, who for years made our education life a creative profession, tailoring.
And only our own mother?
Our other mother, Mother Nature, who we grew up with and fed us, should not be forgotten.
The starting point of our story is actually a heartfelt work without commercial concerns.
The most important difference we believe in is to benefit while honoring something.
To be courageous while doing that job, to develop different perspectives and to do it in a way that creates benefits, not just a result. That is to solve a problem. This could be an environmental problem; people may have a problem; We believe that whatever you do should be a social problem to create benefits.
What are the 3 words that describe your brand philosophy and you?
Ethical values, sincerity, sustainability
As a local and original designer, what are the most challenging things in market conditions?
I think the most challenging factor is that you have to make a lot of sacrifices from your individual lives in order to keep your brand in the ideal position.
There is a state that is constantly waiting for attention ☺
What would be your advice to young designers who want to establish their own local brand?
Lots of research, lots of reading, lots of passion ☺
The first piece of advice for those who set up a brand and go into business or are considering going into business is to be passionate.
Whatever you believe in during the creation process, you need to read a lot and do a lot of research in order to maintain it. X brand has made it, I can recommend you to remind yourself to be original as a first condition, rather than let us do that.
First of all, you should proceed by correctly analyzing the positioning of the business you are going to establish in the sector, the position you are targeting and the target audience.
After analyzing and managing all these processes correctly, you need to create your vision according to the service area of the business you will establish. At this point, the biggest goal should be what kind of place you want to have in the minds of the audience you will address with the business you will establish.
And every production is a kind of consumption. In the current market, there are actually every product and service. Not a new Surplus, but something useful must be produced. I think that the reward of a progress planned in this way will be happy people in a short time because of the service they provide.