Are you interested in making a start-up? Do you have a dream to start a new business with friends? If you say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ this story can be helpful for your development. As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens his friend. The Campus Journal met Kang Hye-min, the designer of Ppalin, and heard the stories about her business.
Q. What made you decide to major in Clothing and Textiles?
A: I got dexterity in creating things with my hands from my mother. I was influenced by my mom whose hobby is knitting. So I liked to create things like knitting, making dolls and DIY since I was a kid. Additionally, it was my father’s dream to make all of my siblings go to Changwon National University so that’s why I’m here now. It’s already my senior year and I have been really satisfied with my course contents.
Q. I wonder how you started operating the pet brand Ppalin as an undergraduate student.
A. I work in partnership with my dear friend. She is a substantial representative of Ppalin. I work with her as a designer. Before I was first interested in children's wear, I loved the good feeling of small, charming children's clothing. Last winter after a long meeting with my friend who is interested in small business, she suggested to me to join her project to make clothing for pets. She quickly started to set the framework of management and I started studying my major for the overall product. I would not have gotten started without my friend.
We had a favorable opportunity to meet up with an animal lover and fusion Hanbok (Korean traditional dress) lover.
Q. A lot of students dream of having a start-up business. Could you tell me the story from the planning to come up to PetMart brand products? I’m sure there was a lot trial and error. How did you overcome? Please tell us if you have a good experience or difficulties or sufferings in the initial start-up.
A. Pparin started with logos and characters of the factory in March after a friend developed the framework. I immediately pulled the first product design. In fact, the first product was based on my own Hanbok that I made before with my mother.
The initial selection of the best plant was hard. Most companies also had no experience in dog clothing so it was difficult to measure reasonable wages. For the month of March, my friend from Gimhae came to Changwon to pick me up to go Busan to deal with the troubled company and discuss things about the product. I think it was the hardest time but also the most exciting at the same time. Now I do not think we'll do it again.
We usually felt troubled as we visited some companies. Because we are young, they didn’t give us respect that a good business partner should receive. That was the most difficult part. Now the end of the countless meetings to deal with the ups and downs of the plant started again this summer over items in July. It came out this month for fall season merchandise. We just step up and lead ourselves in the direction we want even though our success is at stake. At some point I suddenly caught a good opportunity. I did not intend to create a start-up but I was ready to put my plan to action.
Q. You're making clothes as a motif characteristic of living Hanbok. What differentiates the advantage of living Hanbok?
A. As you can see, briefly mentioned earlier, I wanted to make family wearable clothing that meansthe whole family can share warmth together wearing clothes. Not just simply wearing, but creating such emotion that you can share your favorite feelings. Living Hanbok fits my values. Compared to traditionally moderate Hanbok, fusion Hanbok has its own merits. First, it’s comfortable to wear, not awkward. Secondary, it naturally melds with everyday life with its original spirit. I hope many people can realize the advantages of living in Hanbok so that Hanbok can become more familiar and seep into our lives.
Thanks to my animal-lover friend, I was able to pull even the emotions that can be shared with a dog. Some may think it would be uncomfortable for our pets when dressing them in a life Hanbok. We considered the activity so it is far better to make the belly part with Coolmax fabric and excluding the belly, it’s made up with the characteristics of Hanbok. This month, we upgraded a new statue by using velcro in the activity.
Sarah Park, reporter email@example.com
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