Minor Miracles is one of those labels with a character so distinct, you can’t quite forget it. Eclectic patterns are at the soul of this Singapore-grown brand, with its catalogue of striking, brightly-hued prints. Helming this whimsical galaxy is Dawn Bey, the Creative Director and Founder of Minor Miracles. With its roots in home soil, the label is led by a team of local dream makers — from fashion graduates to creatives — who design, pattern-make and sew samples entirely in-house.
Ahead of the OneOrchard.Store launch by Singapore’s Textile and Fashion Federation (TaFF) on 19 June 2020 — an e-commerce platform which will allow you to shop a plethora of local labels, including Minor Miracles — we caught up with Dawn on her imaginative brand, its creative philosophy and what it’s like “doing fashion”.
1. Tell us about Minor Miracles! What is Minor Miracles about and what is its backstory?
Minor Miracles is a print and textile studio where we aim to bring happiness to wardrobes and homes! The brand began during my wedding preparation last year when I had to dress my bridesmaids! Instead of getting them the same dress, I thought of designing an exclusive print for them and giving them the fabric to take to a tailor. That way, they got to be part of the creative process and design something comfortable that they’d probably keep and wear after the wedding.
2. And what is your role over at Minor Miracles?
I’m the creative director, print maker, pattern cutter, social media person, stock counter… But I don’t do this alone. I have a team to help me as it takes a village to run a fashion brand! I run this with my husband too, so that’s fun!
3. Did you always know you were going to work in fashion?
Yes, I knew from 14 after my mother taught me how to sew a simple zip pouch. But it was a very long journey for me; my parents were not convinced that I would be able to make fashion a full time job. So I had to do my O levels, A levels and finally a business degree at NUS before knowing I really wanted to do fashion for the rest of my life. It also gave me time to intern at different companies in the fashion industry to know what I did and didn’t want to do.
After I graduated from NUS at 22, I went to Hong Kong to do a full fashion design degree where I was officially trained in pattern making. When that was done, I moved back to Singapore and worked at a few local labels.
4. What do you think is different about Minor Miracles?
I would say the prints and the print style. I try very hard to bring originality with the prints and to use the clothing as a canvas to tell stories. The colour palette we usually go for is quite bright, which is quite different from the local palette for colours.
5. Where do you draw your creative inspiration?
I’m usually inspired by life as it is! Whether it’s a social issue that spins off into a thought process, or just my life journey at that point in time. For example, our first collection was sparked off by my wedding and the floral arrangements we were looking at.
6. What is it like starting and growing your own fashion label in Singapore? What is our local landscape like?
To be honest, it’s not easy. The local ecosystem isn’t as strong as in Hong Kong, even from the resource point of view. My school used to be 10 minutes away from Sham Shui Po, the wholesale market in Hong Kong. And even though it’s way smaller than Guangzhou’s market, it offered me tonnes more fabric, button and zip options at 1/5 of the prices.
Besides that, we are lucky to have [a local] economy which now supports locals a lot, so I’m grateful for that!
7. What has been the hardest part of your journey with Minor Miracles? And conversely, what has been the biggest win?
It’s definitely been the starting part, when no one knows about the brand. It’s better now, but we still had to spend time getting the word out on our brand and doing pop-ups.
The biggest win thus far is our face masks! I love that despite being hit by COVID-19, our team was able to quickly take the fabrics we had in our studio and get recent fashion graduates to sew masks for us, while we sold them and donated the profits to COVID funds. For once, fashion wasn’t a frivolous indulgence but a necessity and we were able to use our skills to give back to the community!
Above: Renae Nguyen from Our Women, by Minor Miracles
8. What is special about and what is the purpose behind “Our Women” on Minor Miracles?
Our Women or our MY MIRACLES articles is a collection of stories of hope by everyday women. I believe every woman has a story to share and I love to hear positive stories, especially in the gloomy situation we are in. We might not all be struggling with cancer or a miscarriage, but the will to carry on and power-through [can be] inspiring to everyone. That’s why I personally take time out to photograph and interview women from all walks of life, from different ages and backgrounds, so they can share their story of personal victories!
9. Tell us — what is the single, greatest piece of advice you’ve received that has helped you in your journey?
I think it was the piece with Chan See Ting. She’s actually my dance friend’s girlfriend and she was so kind to open up and share her story with us. At 26, she went through breast cancer, lost her father and was also diagnosed with alopecia. Yet, she was determined to share her story of hope and really put a lot of tiny annoyances for me in perspective.
10. What was your motivation to take part in OneOrchard.Store?
I like that OneOrchard.Store has a good curation of local brands! I believe it might be a first of its kind and I’m grateful that Taff launched this, especially after Boutiques Fair was cancelled. This was going to be our very first Boutiques Fair, haha!
11. What can we look forward to from Minor Miracles at the One Orchard Store?
We will be listing our new collection, MM.2: New Horizon there, along with new designs that are launching in July! The colour palette is brighter and more fun this time. I don’t know if you can guess, but one of the prints is made out of song lyrics!
12. What’s next for Minor Miracles? What lies ahead in adjusting to the ‘New Normal’?
We need more brand awareness and a wider audience. So this online pop-up (OneOrchard.Store) is just the answer for COVID-style shopping!
Don’t Miss: The OneOrchard.Store By TaFF
It’s been a trying year for everyone.
In light of our early Circuit Breaker measures, it has also been a particularly rough time for homegrown retailers. Taking the first steps towards supporting Singapore’s retail market through its newfound challenges is the OneOrchard.Store by Textile and Fashion Federation (TaFF) which launched 19 June 2020 and will run until 19 July 2020!
OneOrchard.Store is a brilliant new e-commerce platform that will bring together an exciting collection of local brands; from womenswear labels, to accessories artisans and children’s wear designers. Look forward to shopping brands such as GINLEE Studio, Bells & Birds, Minor Miracles, Weekend Sundries and The Form in an intuitive, responsive digital marketplace.
Join us in this new shopping experience and support the recovery, as well as sustainability of our local retail landscape. Shop local at the OneOrchard.Store here!
This post was brought to you in collaboration with OneOrchard.Store by TaFF.