Saif Ghobash and I came together after recognizing there was something missing in the eyewear world. When it came to luxury eyewear brands, there is a sense of seriousness and exclusivity. SpiltMilk was born out of our desire to evoke humor while creating an inclusive platform to allow people to feel a sense of belonging. Saif has always said to me, “Life’s not that serious, live in the moment” – an idea that has become our brand voice. Saif is very business savvy and I’m the creative, so the synergy between us is unparalleled.
Did you always know you wanted to be a designer? Why or Why not?
Designing was in my blood ever since I was a kid – I always had a knack for styling and creating something out of nothing. I studied luxury womenswear at Parsons and initially launched a RTW brand. After realizing this white space in the eyewear market, I was compelled to launch SpiltMilk.
"SpiltMilk Eyewear is a breath of fresh air to the world; we want to release that innate self-confidence that you already have."
What is the meaning of your brand name?
The phrase that truly resonates with our brand is, “Don’t cry over spilt milk”. It reminds us and others to not get stuck in the past, but to live in the moment. SpiltMilk Eyewear is a breath of fresh air to the world; we want to release that innate self-confidence that you already have. The moment you put the frames on, you’ll be ready to take on anything that comes your way.
What makes your brand stand out from other eyewear collections?
The brand is built on the idea of inclusivity, with each frame made from malleable titanium and stainless steel. Nose pads and temples are adjustable to fit each face, allowing the frame to sit comfortably. We are a global brand and realize no face is the same, so it was important to us to make sure the frames have that personalized touch.
Where do you find inspiration for your brand?
We’re inspired by our customer. They are the person that’s not afraid to say what’s on their mind and stand up for what they believe is right. Our consumer has very strong likes and dislikes; if they’re going to do something, they’ll go full force or not at all. We’ve had a lot of fun on social media playing with this idea and taking an eyewear brand out of context, collaborating with Gregory’s Coffee based, in New York, Hatsu based in Columbia and many other fun brands to evoke this idea. Our innovative packaging includes a matte black milk carton, an oversized case and a cleaning cloth, playing on extreme proportions.
What were some hurdles you had to overcome in your business?
We’ve spent a lot of time restructuring our company during the pandemic. There was a shift in our team, but we knew it was important. When the world began to change, we adapted. The biggest thing is understanding how to evolve in the current situation, so we’re learning day by day.
Do you feel working in the fashion industry is different today than from when you started out? Why or why not?
Definitely! Growing up to graduating, I believed that you needed to have 20 years’ experience to be ready to launch your brand. But nowadays, if you have a solid concept and a strong support team, you can achieve anything! In today’s world, you can learn pretty much anything over the internet, so it is extremely important to have that hunger for knowledge and growth.
"We love to create a flawlessly executed pair of sunglasses while evoking a sense of strength, confidence and laughter."
What do you envision for the future of your brand?
We’re working to grow our platform for hope and change. We’re teaming up with some incredible people and foundations to create an amplified voice for those who have something to say. We love to create a flawlessly executed pair of sunglasses while evoking a sense of strength, confidence and laughter. Our long-term plan is to create a scholarship fund giving the youth access to an eyewear grant, allowing them to create a sunglass brand.
What advice would you give to someone that is starting their own brand?
Be nice and genuine; people sense your intention, not only hear your words. Be resilient because there will be a lot of people who want to knock you down. Stay focused and keep going. When it comes to building the business, solidify the brand narrative, the customer demographic and the uniqueness you’re bringing to the industry.
How have you overcome the challenges faced by COVID-19?
In this time of uncertainty, we’ve been looking at ways to innovate. We’ve created a virtual showroom, where we will walk the customer through the collection via Zoom to allow them to have a personal shopping experience with the brand. The current circumstances have allowed us to really create a bond with our customer and get to know them on a personal level, understanding their likes and dislikes to better our product. This has also helped our customers have a more personalized experience buying frames versus just shopping online.