“The modern, ambitious woman dares to be different and isn’t afraid to go after her dreams.” So says Sachika’s website in boldly boasting their sophisticated and sexy brand of women’s wear. Of course, a log line is easy enough to come up with. But when the words truly reflect the journey, the goods are much more likely deliver, and To-Tam and To-Nya Sachika’s story definitely lives up.
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Born in France, raised in Montreal, the duo both had an early interest in fashion. To-Nya was inspired by her mother’s stylish look, and To-Tam loved wearing her sister’s outfits when she sang as a teenager. “We quickly realized we would make a good team,” said To-Tam.
So To-Nya took the left brain and studied at the International Academy of Design, and To-Tam locked down the right with a Communications degree from Dawson College. The tassels turned in 2006 then had the twins crossing the divide for New York City. “We decided to take a leap of faith and follow our dreams,” said To-Tam.
However, culture shock wasn’t quite as jarring as NYC economics. “Everything is way more expensive,” To-Tam lamented.
Still, the potential life line home remained in place and so was a parental resolve that foretold return. “It’s too difficult. You’re going to come home soon,” To-Tam conveyed her parents sentiment.
Of course, extremely proud of their daughters today, the northern pushback was met in kind. “We were very stubborn and wanted to prove them wrong,” said To-Tam.
The waitressing jobs secured obviously didn’t make a case so determination had to dovetail with actual means. The twins learned the real estate business, got above water and built enough funding to open Sachika in 2009.
Retail doors did not swing open, though. Sachika launched a brand instead and sought out influencers. “If we could connect with people who connected to more people the brand would grow faster,” said To-Tam.
And when the moment came, the twins tag teamed a well placed housewife/author. “We met Jill Zarin at a red carpet event and were specifically told not to approach her,” said To-Tam. “But we did anyway.”
The successful approach made, winning personalities still had to be backed up so the aspiring entrepreneurs went into spin mode. Claiming they had already created a dress with Zarin in mind, the fabrication literally left To-Nya in stitches, and she had to produce. “It was something I had never done, where you just wing it,” To-Nya revealed.
To-Nya sought Zarin’s look online, and after the real spin was applied, serendipity did the rest. They bestowed the dress at Zarin’s book cover shoot, the author gladly changed clothes, and To-Nya’s creation ended up gracing the flap. “That was the beginning,” beamed To-Nya.
The stores then opened opened in NY, Montreal and LA, where the twins settled in 2009. Now, they were positioned to let their dreams rub off. “We live to empower women,” said To-Tam, and, confidence, independence and strength are meant to radiate alongside the design, she added.
That said, To-Nya remains up to the task. But she understands that inspiration cannot outrun the reality of people’s everyday lives. “It’s very easy to get carried away as a designer and too often we think about fulfilling our own fantasy and visions,” To-Nya revealed.
Her creatively appropriately tempered, an ongoing juggle ensues between the visual merits of sexiness and sophistication. “That’s not an easy combination,” she said, “because one kind of voids the other.”
But striking the right balance pays dividends. “That’s the true power of women – everything in one,” To-Nya asserted.
The chance to get up on all fours certainly helps deliver the message on the catwalk, and never fails to knock the twins over. “Exhilarating,” said To-Tam. “Every single time, it’s truly a rewarding to see the vision that you have in your mind on the runway.”
But the shopping line of site changing, Sachika has also shifted. “Before, it was about how you get people to come into the retail store,” said To-Tam. “Now, it’s about how to get people to click.”
So only the NY store remains, but fall still has the brand taking flight. “We have a new collection,” said To-Nya. “Papillon. It means Butterfly.” Flowing and less form fitting, the line airs it out like its namesake and provides comfort and freedom.
Of course, any successful venture must run into differences of opinion. “The how of how we do things is often what we argue about,” said To-Nya.
Nonetheless, the shared passion eventually melts any discord, and the differences work in Sachika’s favor. “We really do bring to the table the best of one another to cover all the angles,” said To-Nya.
On a deeper level, an unyielding bond prevails, which helps engender a limitless vision. Continuing to climb as real estate professionals, Sachika is considering forays into movies, food and other ventures. “People often say, ‘choose one thing and stick with it,’” said To-Tam. “I don’t agree with that.”
Neither do the lofty words on the website, and the same goes for a story that continues to deliver the dream To-Tam and To-Nya envisioned long ago.
For more info : https://www.sachika.com
SACHIKA PHOTOS CREDIT: Thomas Concordia
By Rich Monetti
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