WOMEN IN BUSINESS IN BALI: MEET FRED, DESIGNER BEHIND LES BASICS FASHION BRAND
July 20, 20235 min read
If there's a gal who knows the meaning of 'Work Life' balance, Fred, the owner of Bali Based fashion Brand 'Les Basics' is it. Often seen island hopping on her weekends, jaunting back to Canada to visit Family (Or Greece!), Skiing in France but never without a hustle managing production, her growing Bali-based team and ensuring her Marketing is ready for the next product launch....
Fred aka Frederique has been a solid girl-boss pal of mine here on the island of Bali for many many moons now, we've shared our highs & lows, Covid navigations, many a manicure and always a good Bali business story... Watching her denim brand 'Les Basics' grow & flourish has been a joy and I am so excited today to share with you more about the brains and beauty behind this very cool brand.
Grab your Matcha (Fred drinks nothing else!) and take 5 to learn more about the grime & grit it takes to produce, live and grow your business in Bali.
Thank you so much for being apart of our 'Women in Business in Bali' series Fred! First things first, Where abouts were you born & raised?
Born and raised in Montreal, Canada.
OK, that's a wee way away from tropical Bali! How long have you been lucky enough to call Bali home?
Around 7-8 years now. Time flies fast on an island.
It sure bloody does! What area of Bali do you live in? And what’s your favourite thing about your neighbourhood? I live in Umalas. Its a family and more calm and a little secluded from Canggu but still very close to the action.
Cute, Any epic food spots we must try in your hood?
That’s too hard to answer! In my area, there’s not much! But my recent new obsession is not in my neighborhood but I will tell you anyway… its Red Gun powder the BEST Indian food ever (and the place is very nice as well so big + )
So Canada to Bali 8 years ago....What brought you to the island initially? A vacation trip to Bali and some other tropical islands with my best friend.
Nice! Where all good stories start... What do you do for work here in Bali? I'm a fashion designer for my brand Les Basics. I design and produce my own clothes. We focus on ethical, versatile and timeless pieces where everything is hand made by local artisans from Bali & Indonesia.
Love it. Is that what you have been doing ever since you arrived on the island? Not so much. When I first arrived I was managing social media accounts for few canadian companies then I slowly created my brand in the first year I was living in Bali... 7 years later, here we are!
Amazing! What does a ‘general’ day look like for you running a Brand here? They all look very different but a general idea would look like an early wake up, and then go to pilates or training, or a beach walk with a stop at Times Warung for a matcha.
After a Shower I then head to the office to work on some new designs or marketing tasks. I have some meetings with my production supervisor and do some fittings on new samples that have come in.
Around lunch time I often go have lunch with some friends to one of my favourite cafes. I love to get massages often as the island offers such a good selection so I try to squeeze one of them in in the afternoon! Sometimes in the afternoon I will go to the beach and do emails from there, and read. Then I usually head home to cook dinner and spend time with my boyfriend and my dog.
I love living in bali for the accessibility and freedom that the place gives me. An afternoon at the beach OR at the office is possible….that's what my dream is. The true balance for me.
I couldn't agree more! BALANCE!
What are the Biggest challenges you face running your Store & Producing here on the island? Consistency regarding production. I’m a big perfectionist, so here I often get challenged to have what I actually want, but it also teaches me sometimes to slow down and see things with a different perspective which I really like from Bali (some days are harder than others to accept but hey we’re all humans). A challenge that I’m proud to have in the store would be training my amazing staff on a weekly basis so they have the knowledge and confidence to educate customers on our company ethos and products.
Do you have any mentors that you work alongside with to grow / create / navigate this crazy ride of business in a foreign country? I have my family and in laws and my team to navigate the roller coaster of being an entrepreneur in a foreign country. I dont have any specific mentor but I would (have) love that!
What does the next 12 months look like for Les Basics? Very exciting! We are expanding our denim range, we are actually only focusing on our basics denim and tee's this year. So watch this space! We are also about to launch our new sunglasses basic capsule! A lot of fun and growth. We want to improve our online experience and our inclusive content as well.
When you're not working.... What does your weekend in Bali usually consist of? Any secret Spots or Things to do that we should know about?
Not that much different than a normal weekday… that’s what I like, I usually spend the day at the beach or running errands (grocery shopping) I love getting spa treatments so I often try to book one during the weekend. I also enjoy having drinks with friends and watching a good movie with my boyfriend at home!
Do you have any favourite getaway spots that you love to go to when you’re looking to ‘tap out’ for a few days? And some weekends I plan some little 'escape trips' around ( Ubud, Uluwatu, and Nusa Lembongan) which is the best way to recharge my battery.
Finally, Ultimate favourite thing about Bali? (We know theres 1001!) I would say the energy that the island has, it goes a lot with the local here the Balinese people are truly special. I learn so much from them. But also the freedom I feel in Bali. The land of possibilities ( its hard work still to live here but brings a lot of benefits at the same time)
Thank you so much for sharing your personal insight to 'Life behind the Brand' in Bali Fred. You can check out her gorgeous brand over here or follow her on social media here.
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