FG ATELIER is a result of the special bond between two sisters that grew into a business. For Monika, the creative director of FG ATELIER, fashion has always been a part of her life since she was little and she’s knowledgeable in every aspect of making clothes - from designing to manufacturing. "Over time I got more and more into fashion and we decided to do something with it together”, says Monika. Emilija, on the other hand, has always been business-driven, so after her master studies in France, it was quite a natural step for her to join sister’s fashion business. Both sisters agree that working together is a true blessing for them, as they perfectly complement each other.
What is the aim of FG ATELIER?
Monika: FG ATELIER was created to make life easier for professional, modern women who want to look sharp and feminine at work with minimal time and effort.
Emilija: Working women have no shortage of decisions to make every day and choosing what to wear today to the office can be quite a daunting task, especially when a workplace has dress codes that can be tricky to navigate through. That is why the main aim of FG ATELIER is to help build an efficient working wardrobe, so women can enjoy hassle-free mornings and have more time and energy to take care of other important tasks and aspects of their life.
Do you have any advice for someone interested in starting a fashion brand?
Monika: I would say that it is equally important to believe in yourself and to have a great team around you too. For me, the most important thing was deciding to work with my sister. Having a business partner next to you that you can trust and rely on, is great for any business. Of course, sisterhood helps a lot, as we understand each other without words and we see the world very similarly.
Emilija: Since I graduated from my master’s studies, I knew very well, that if I want to start a business, it has to solve problems for someone and to provide value. That’s why in the early stages of our business we made it crystal clear that our business is created to make life easier for professional women to get dressed every morning. Knowing your audience, its needs and pain points provide more meaningful relationships with our clients. That’s the key to success.
What is a typical 9-to-5 workday like for you?
Emilija: I wake up early and head up to the office. From morning to late evening I got a lot of stuff to do: from generating new marketing ideas to talking with suppliers. Every day is actually very different, that’s why this job is really challenging. We still are a growing business so there are a lot of things that you have to do yourself and learn how to do it. Also, systems and processes develop very rapidly in our business, so what we are doing now and six-month from now is a totally different story.
Monika: As a creative director, my day consist of sketching, looking for inspiration, thinking and re-thinking models, but it is not just that - I work very closely with our production team, explaining how the model should look, what needs to be done. But probably the favourite part of the day is working with clients. Communicating and helping them to solve their every day’s wardrobe issues. Our main client base consists of businesswomen who are very busy and it is quite often a case that we are only 10 minutes to fit a new suit or a dress. However, even during this short time, somehow, they manage to give me so many words of wisdom and strength.
How does your career affect your fashion choices?
Monika: Well, I have always been a fan of a classic wardrobe. I prefer function, not the trends. The most important thing, when choosing a new piece of clothing is great a fabric and long lasting design. And this philosophy is also our business philosophy, so maybe my fashion isn’t affected by my career - it’s quite the opposite.
Emilija: I’ve always valued great fabrics and quality but every day working in the field, searching and communicating closely with suppliers I started really appreciate the great fabric. Of course, as my sister said, the most important things for me is long lasting design and a perfect fit. I think all hard working women want that, that’s why we are suggesting made-to-measure service not only to our local clients but for customers all around the world too.
What is the one piece of clothing that you could not live without?
Emilija: I love dresses. I have many dresses and I could easily go all-year-round without jeans. I feel very comfortable in a dress, also it helps a lot that I do not need to think about mix and match. For example, when I find a nice sweater, I need to find nice pants that would go well with that sweater. During busy days, sometimes it is just too much to handle, and I put one of my FG ATELIER hero-dresses that haven’t disappointed me in years.
Monika: I also like dresses a lot. However, in the past few months I can’t live without FG ATELIER stretch cotton skinny jeans (http://bit.ly/2oteH1t) - they are super comfy and it goes well almost with every jacket or blouse in my wardrobe.
What is the go-to office look for you?
Emilija: I love low-maintenance clothing. My day starts very early and usually it goes well into the late evening, so I cannot afford myself to wear catwalk-inspired outfits that look good only for a few hours and after that they get wrinkled or I just don’t feel comfortable. For me, clothing has to be both: aesthetically pleasing and comfortably too.
Monika: For me, go-to office look would be a nice wool suit with flat shoes. You can start and finish your week with one pantsuit. For example, wear pants and jackets together, mix and match it with different blouses and jackets and so on. A pantsuit is one of those multi-taskers that can do a lot for you.