For Samson Lee, fashion has always been a part of his life, even more so, his personality. Losing his sister to cancer two years ago would prove to be the pivotal moment in his life. It was at that moment, that Samson realized that life was simply too short to not go after your dream, and he dreamed of fashion. After saving money over time whilst studying in Hawaii, Samson used what he had to launch his clothing line over Facebook. And as the saying goes, the rest was history. Samson said from his first post showcasing his clothing line, he had been inundated with messages and calls for custom outfits.
Making the decision to get into fashion was the first step, the next was to find the money to start. Samson shared that his parents were initially hoping that he would continue his studies into a different field so he worked odd jobs for family and saved as much as he could over the course of two years. When he had just enough to buy fabric, paints and set up a very basic fitting area, he was able to secure his first bride, Mere Loga where he not only designed and made her dress but also her entire wedding party. Samson said that after she shared photos on social media of her wedding, the orders came pouring in.
Samson said that finding reliable tailors and fabric suppliers were his biggest challenges. “At first, I had to go through so many tailors because they were not able to meet the deadlines I had or some would miss work during crucial times. Thankfully I know have four tailors who do all the sewing for me so that I can ensure that all the orders go out and no client is left disappointed.” Finding consistent suppliers for the type of fabric and colours he needed proved to be more tricky.
” Finding fabric supplies was very hard, because I could only get what the main fabric stores were bringing in but I needed fabric that was of higher quality and colours, but I have a good relationship with the Suppliers now and they have been bringing in specific fabrics for me” he said.
The 34-year old started out in a converted garage at his home residence, where he showcased fabrics, met with clients and conducted fittings for brides. “A lot of brides I have worked with know have an idea of what sort of dress they want in mind, but many are happy to take any suggestions I make to add some flair to the dresses.” he said.
Operating now on Butt Street in Suva, the Samson Lee Boutique boasts a colorful array of dresses, skirts, blouses, kaftans, mens shirts, jewelry and clutches bearing his unique prints. To aspiring Entrepreneurs, Samson says that the two things you must possess to be successful is perseverance and discipline when dealing with time and money.
Samson draws much of his inspiration from Tiki Togs – by local Designer Tanya Whiteside. Aside from fashion, Samson dedicates a lot of his time and clothes for charity – particularly Cure Kids and WOWS Fiji and enjoys travelling when his hectic schedule will allow it.