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"While working for 9 years for a successful investment firm in London, I felt something was missing from my life. I embarked on a variety of courses in my free time from cookery school, creative writing courses and fashion buying, hoping something would fulfill me. They didn’t. It was time for me to make a radical change. I made the bold decision to leave my lucrative city career and booked an around the world ticket to travel solo. Within the month, I left all the security, stability and comfort of my London life for the unknown with my 14kg backpack. I was finally losing my straight jacket and about to embark on what was to become a life changing journey. I soaked in the beauty of the world around Asia, Australia, New Zealand and South America. After months of soul searching and deliberating over my future career, a light bulb switched on, I wanted to design  high quality fashion garments and work with the skilled artisans I was continuously drawn to in the countries I visited.
   South America was the last leg of my journey and I knew there I would find my footing and my idea would come alive.

I fell in love with the locals, culture and crafts.
   My design visions became so strong that I continuously noted down every single thought, idea, inspiration that came to me and went back to the UK with pads of paper and knew I was going to create my own collection.
   After a lot of research, my next hurdle was to get back to South America. I booked my ticket and travelled alone again to pursue my business venture. I conquered my fears, immersed myself on an intensive Spanish course (as I spoke no Spanish) and after months of hard work, I found the suppliers to work with and landed back in Heathrow with my first prototypes in hand.
   The process of designing through to end product has been tough but through my endurance and vision, I’ve produced a collection of luxury handcrafted Ruanas which I am proud of and hope you will agree are the investment piece for years to come.
  From Hedge Fund Girl to Fashion Designer, there was no going back!
  Life throws obstacles at us to test how strong our passion is to make a dream come true. I chose to follow my dream. February 2010 was the start of my new journey- the rest is history."

 


ARLETTE LEE
Founder

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