Article
The FS: An Innovative Blend of Function and Style
10 Jun 2019
4 Min Read

For many, exercising is not the most exciting thing they can do. For many others who want to participate in sweat-inducing activities, however, the comfort and style of their outfit is important. Who wouldn’t want to look amazing and remain comfortable while sweating out any prior indulgences?

The FS founders, Tara Malek and Natasha Zainal understand these issues at first hand. In this exclusive interview, the co-founders share how they were inspired to start the company based on their personal experiences and more.

Making a difference


Before starting The FS (formerly known as FITScarf & Co), Tara and Natasha had tried a fair share of sports hijabs available in the market. They would also have to hold on to towels, which are prone to fall and become unhygienic for wiping your face.
In addition, Natasha had to deal with migraines after exercising in the hijabs. That didn’t feel right. So, they decided to design a sports hijab that would be comfortable and fashionable for the wearers and also convenient — with a towel integrated into it so that you don’t need to carry an extra towel. And that’s how FITScarf came about.


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The first design had an integrated towel that made it functional, convenient and comfortable for wearers.

 

“We wanted to offer value for money. Many of the Lovelies (FITScarf customers) used to only wear the scarves for workouts,” Tara explains. “Now, they wear the hijabs everywhere — to pick up their kids, during travel, at the office and even for prayers, umrah and hajj.”
 

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The brand’s bold and innovative new designs place sports jersey numbers behind the scarves for those who want to have a fully covering hijab and a jersey at the same time.

 

Creating the final product, though, was not easy. Natasha reveals that “We had to work on a prototype for a long while, but we finally came up with a design that customers have responded positively to.” A lot of the customers at this time happened to be the TasVengers, a workout community also started by Natasha in 2016.


Balancing the challenging acts


While on the same weight loss journey that eventually led to founding FITScarf, Natasha explains that people started asking her for fitness and health advice. Not wanting to give unprofessional information and guidance, she became a Certified Fitness Coach and started TasVengers to build a health and fitness-focused community.


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TasVengers in Bangi: The fitness community is spread across the Klang Valley led by trainers trained by the founder, Natasha.

 

How do the founders manage their time between managing a product and coaching a fitness community? “It’s a team effort. Feedback from the TasVengers has made it possible for us to understand what people want from FITScarf in terms of designs and even colours,” Tara says.
On her part, Natasha admits that she initially expected that managing both enterprises would be easy. “On one side I just do coaching and on the other, I create a product. How difficult could it be?” But there was more to it than that. The challenges, she recalls, included the timing, production and marketing.


Offline is not enough


Marketing, they both agree, is one of the most important aspects of any business. You can have a great product, but you still need to promote that product; otherwise, no one will find it. To emphasise how important Natasha and Tara think marketing is, both founders are currently taking classes in marketing, especially in the digital kind.


Tara mentions that they realised earlier on that they needed to take the business digital and online rather than only remain offline. In addition, taking the business online and tapping into social media with tools like Facebook Live videos, helps them engage with customers and stay in contact with FITScarf Lovelies.


As unifi Biz customers, Tara and Natasha point out that having a fast, secure and reliable Internet connection is just as important as it helps make digital marketing and reaching customers easier for them.


Recipe for success


“The most important thing is perseverance,” Tara replies without hesitation when we ask her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, adding, “No matter the difficulties that you encounter, you need to be patient and know that you will get through them.”


Natasha adds that entrepreneurs must be fully prepared to take on the hardships that come with managing a business. Hard work, innovative, continuous learning and no shortcuts are on the top of the list of ingredients that make a successful business. “If you want to start a business, you must be ready, physically and mentally, as it is not going to be an easy journey.”


Energised by this homegrown success story? Check out unifi Biz plans today to speed up your business growth with digital transformation!

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Why is the FS brand experiencing growing success with their branding?
That’s right – good job!
Uh oh, that’s not quite right…
Due to their understanding of the importance of both traditional and digital marketing.
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