A peach a day keeps the doctor sane

Medical graduate Marissa Malkit channels her creativity into her online fashion label, Peaches

25 Jun 2020 / 12:37 H.

ALTHOUGH pursuing a medical career was a top priority for Marissa Malkit, she refused to abandon her passion for fashion. Her enthusiasm for designing and creating fashion pieces started in high school, and remains with her even today.

Since completing her studies in the medical field, the 26-year-old is currently doing her housemanship at a local hospital. Despite her busy schedule, Marissa found time to launch an online fashion label, Peaches.

The label serves as a creative outlet, which allows her to bring her fashion sketches to life, and also share personal curated pieces with consumers.

Marissa recently shared with theSun how she handles wearing multiple hats.

How did the idea of creating a fashion label come about?

“In high school, I used to shop a lot. Last time, the whole idea of selling your own clothes online for money wasn’t big. There were only small blogs online.

“Around 2010, I started selling my clothes online. I had this idea where maybe I could change clothes, make them into something new, or create something different.

“Then three years ago, I started sketching when I was finishing medical school.”

Why pursue an education in the medical field instead of going to fashion school?

“I get asked that question a lot, actually. Especially after high school when I went into A-Levels instead of pursuing a degree in Fashion Design.

“I am passionate about the medical field, particularly psychiatry. So I pursued that.

“You get busy and you just have to choose at that point. It’s quite a big decision between one or the other. But I still continued selling clothes online and [held] pop-up bazaars over the weekend.”

Her business Peaches offers items that she designed herself, as well as pieces curated and sourced from international markets and thrift stores. – Sunpix by Amirul Syafiq
Her business Peaches offers items that she designed herself, as well as pieces curated and sourced from international markets and thrift stores. – Sunpix by Amirul Syafiq

Describe the products from your label, Peaches.

“For Peaches, we sell ‘half-half’. [Pieces] that I design and also clothes that I personally curate, which I bought from Dublin and other places, and also some pieces which my friends and I found from thrift stores.”

Why the name Peaches?

“To start, the peach is one of my favourite fruits. You can say it’s random, but I see ‘Peaches’ as this girl whom I’m designing clothes for.

“She is this fun, quirky, but super smart girl who is experimental with her clothing. She can mix-and-match a band tee with a printed satin skirt and her mum’s vintage handbag. Peaches is a persona.”

What is the process of creating your own designs?

“My first release was a combination of ideas that started years ago. To finalise the idea, it took me a long time. Once it was finalised, it was just a matter of going to my tailor to create samples, and proceeding with the pieces.”

How has the response from people been?

“It definitely exceeded my expectations. It was more of a passion project for me. I didn’t expect to gain that much revenue from it. We received a lot of support from family and friends, as well. I didn’t realise that people like Peaches as a brand, and they were looking forward to the next design, and were contributing ideas for the next release.

“I put up a poll asking people what they want to see next, and we received a good number of responses.”

Any plans to move from Instagram to a brick-and-mortar store?

“That would definitely be the dream. Like I definitely see a Peaches [outlet] as this little peach-pink coloured store, with maybe coffee on one side, one railing for my clothes, and my thrift finds on another.

“But for now, our next move would be developing a website. I know a lot of people like to buy online, but there are a lot of people who prefer a physical store.

“Our sales are mostly from people who visited our previous pop-up store. It was a one-day thing and our online customers came to see our products in person.”

How would you manage a brick-and-mortar store while having a career as a doctor?

“I don’t see [opening] Peaches as choosing one way or the other. I will have difficulties initially, of course. But I do have a strong support system and my friends do like more or less the same things as me. So, I can see myself juggling both careers with some help from them.”

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