The way people end up following their childhood dreams and passion inspires us to the core, and it becomes even more fascinating when it is in a competitive domain such as the fashion world – a world known for its tremendous dynamic changes and a world that once saw no scope in our society.
Moatu Pongen’s journey to owning the brand Cherry Doll began with her passion for fashion. It all started when she and her sisters needed to recycle/upcycle their mother’s and aunt’s old clothes into their own designs and wear them because, according to Moatu, they didn’t have much growing up. But it was also at that time that she discovered joy in wearing something she had made herself.
Moatu claims that she has always known she has a passion for fashion, which her mother recognized.
“My mum would always say how fascinated I was with fashion even before I could walk or talk!” says Moatu Pongen, adding, “She says, I used to play with my clothes that she had folded and kept in the wardrobe. That’s how she knew I’d be interested in fashion. And, as expected, I fell in love with fashion in all of its facets.”
She had the talent and her mother’s love and support, but as the third of four siblings, it was Moatu’s elder sister, Ramok, a professionally trained designer, who inspired her to pursue a career in fashion.
Ramok used to have her own training institute in Mokokchung where people could learn how to cut and sew. As a result, Moatu would assist her in bead work, cutting, stitching, and so on during her spare time, and this is how she improved her skills, gained confidence, and saw her passion for having her own design and creation grow.
“I began designing and stitching as a teen. So I’ve been doing it for almost 20 years,” Moatu says, adding that she never considered it as a profession or a way to make a living until 2006 or so.
She recalled how she began small, taking orders from close friends and relatives, and how people gradually learned about her.
“With the help and encouragement of my family and friends, I began taking orders as they came in. But now I have clients from all walks of life, from small children to matured people, particularly young girls,” she added.
Moatu, whose designs primarily focus on women’s clothing, describes herself as a ‘client pleaser’ because she creates designs and materials based on her clients’ requests and needs. However, there is a catch because trying to please people is always a challenge.
“Some clients’ requests come directly from fashion magazines, which sometimes make me scratch my head. In such cases, I completely rely on my intuition and improvisation,” she explains.
As of now, Moatu says her room is her workplace, and she does all of the work herself, which she describes as the challenging part, but she admits she enjoys every minute of it.
Today, her clothes are known by the name Cherry Doll, and she plans to expand her reach by designing more trendy clothing and spreading happiness to all the ladies out there.
“I am extremely happy because I am doing what I love the most, which is creating dresses and outfits for my fashionable clients,” says Moatu.
And she believes that, “If you have the passion and talent, you can do or be anything or anyone you want to be. We have the resources. It’s about how strong your wish is to achieve your goals”.
Follow her works on Instagram @cherrydoll_moatupongen
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