Once you get through the hard times, you really feel as if you can take on so much more. It gives you a certain confidence that allows you to strive harder.
How would you like to be introduced? Tell us something about yourself.
Hi, I’m Tal de Guzman, I’m Chief Shoepreneur of Risque Designs Manufacturing. We manufacture Risque Designs and about 25 other proudly-Filipino local shoe brands. I’m an advocate of local craftsmanship, materials and culture. I also like to teach and tell stories about our culture and our artisans.
What’s your favorite thing about being a shoe/fashion designer?
I like creating out of nothing and from seemingly disconnected areas. Since I work with communities, I always get surprised by the weaves they design or the heels they carve. And then I find a way to put them all together, weaving the stories all together.
Can you tell us a little something about Risque and how it started?Risque started in 2012, just with the idea of using local materials and getting inspired by local stories. Now, it has evolved. We want to all the more impact lives positively and create opportunities for entrepreneurs and artisans. We want to help aspiring shoe designers and shoepreneurs have their own shoe brands, while promoting fair trade and helping uplift the lives of shoemakers.
Could you tell us what it’s like running your own company?
It’s a rollercoaster ride. Sometimes you feel like you’re on top of the world, but sometimes difficulties strike, you feel like you can’t get up again. However, the fulfillment is amazing. Once you get through the hard times, you just really feel as if you can take on so much more. It gives a certain confidence that allows you to strive harder.
What inspires you in your creative process for risque?
I would like to think that it's anything and everything. Sometimes an idea, a process, a memory, a material...
Anything, really. As long as I can tell a story out of it.
What are the challenges that you had to face both as a designer and as an entrepreneur?
I had to be very good with time-management, because I’m juggling too many things. Sometimes, it does burn me out. I get overwhelmed, I just want to hide away from the world and do nothing. But I do take necessary time-outs, just because it’s healthy as well. Taking unplanned breaks can sometimes also really take the edge when things are really hard for me.
For young designers and entrepreneurs who want to start their own fashion line or business, what would you tell them?
Just go for it and stop making excuses. It’s not about the lack of money to start your own, or lack of research, or people or skills, or whatever it is that you think you lack. If you just keep putting it off, you won’t be able to start anything. Just take the plunge and learn as you go along. Cause if you don’t you’ll realize 5 years after that you could have had a head start if you just started earlier.
Any future plans?
YES! Risque Designs Manufacturing is forming its own collective of shoe brands that will help these brands we manufacture for in more ways than just production. We’ll have an online marketplace for them, bring them to events with us, help them with logistics, etc etc.
Tal has no doubt contributed to the fashion design scene in the country with her beautiful, intricate, and Filipino-inspired shoe designs. With Tal’s passion, leadership, creativity, and kind heart, we know that her story is enough to inspire more creatives to weave their own story.
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