We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Zee FIELD a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.

Zee, appreciate you joining us today. What’s the backstory behind how you came up with the idea for your business?

My journey to the establishment of Profade Apparel is one deeply intertwined with personal trials and the relentless pursuit of innovation. It was the year 2009, and I had just relocated from the culturally vibrant city of Montreal to the sun-kissed landscape of San Diego. This move wasn’t just a change of location but a fresh start, a new chapter in my life.

Finding an engaging job in San Diego proved a tougher challenge than I’d anticipated. I didn’t want to surrender to the magnetic pull of L.A., but the ticking clock and the void in my career seemed overwhelming.

During this time, my feelings swayed between uncertainty, and the drive to find an avenue that would resonate with my passion and experience.

In this period of introspection, I noticed an unexplored avenue within the fashion industry. The product development segment seemed rather unattended and riddled with opportunities. With my experience in the fashion industry and the vantage point of an outsider, I identified a gap I believed I could bridge. The idea of creating something from scratch, carving out a niche in an industry I loved, filled me with excitement. It was a daunting task, yet one I was willing to take on.

Starting was not glamorous. The humble beginnings of my venture can be traced back to my car, where the birth pangs of my business idea began. Gradually, the operations expanded to a table in our garage. This wasn’t just a workspace, but a symbol of my determination. By 2010, the business had grown enough to warrant a move into a proper office, signifying the tangible progress I had made.

By 2011, my endeavor had started bearing fruit. I had several clients and the concept, once an idea in the confines of my car, was now a reality. It was then that I officially established Profade Apparel, a private label manufacturer. Our clientele predominantly included department stores and well-established brands. Yet, what thrilled me most was the opportunity to assist numerous budding entrepreneurs in launching their brands.