Interview by Marija Butkovic
Sara is an architect & designer based in Lebanon, producer of wearable 3D printed clothes. Specializing in digital design for 3D Printing in the fashion industry. Her work is focused on pushing the boundaries of a cross-disciplinary approach to research. Intersecting fashion design with innovation and technology, in the purpose of redefining product creation.
What is the idea behind Speetra and how did you come up with it?
Speetra is a design focused innovation firm, working at the convergence of architecture, product and fashion design. Aiming at digitizing the fashion industry, we specialize in digital design for 3D Printing, an innovation that is eco friendly, close to zero waste fashion. As a citizen sustainability knowledge is key to fairer, more transparent, and environmentally responsible future. Asking the question of "Who made my clothes and how?", acting responsibly towards it, led to implementing the set of skills I have as an architect to better improve the industry.
When did all start and do you have other members in your team?
Brainstorming started in my college years, however, after graduating I planned to start implementing it. Members in my team includes, Julien Lahoud, CTO, responsible about the hardware and additive manufacturing, Mohamad El Hoss, Business Development, leads sales and client-relationship management, also tracks new markets and emerging trends.
How long did it take you to be where you are now?
We officially started our operations in January 2019, included structuring, prototyping, etc.
What was the biggest obstacle?
Market knowledge about 3D printing and its implementation within the fashion industry. Encouraging designers to join this move was our biggest obstacle.
What are your biggest achievements to date?
We took part in Paris Fashion Week, in collaboration with Tony Ward, a renowned Fashion Designer.
What are the challenges of being an entrepreneur in the niche you are in? How about being a female founder / entrepreneur?
Taking the decision to become an entrepreneur is a hard by itself, it doubles up to be in this niche especially when in the MENA region. You are not only selling an idea, you're creating awareness and knowledge, you're daily being engaged with different stakeholders, and you're responsible to create a move and make it as credible for people to believe in you and join you.
What are your projects you are currently working on?
We are in constant work with Fashion Designers to create a digital reality of their designs, we will also be taking part in Newyork Fashion Week this September, a first of a kind sustainability show and we are currently crowdfunding to be able to attend.
Is #WomenInTech movement important to you and if yes, why?
Finding a community that shares the same interests, values and mission is very important to us, to be able to empower each other and collaborate while learning from each other experiences opens up a huge door of this industry.
What is the most important piece of advice you can give to all female founders and female entrepreneurs out there?
You will be doubted, constantly, never give up and trust your instinct.
What will be the key trends in the fashion tech and 3D printing industry in the next 5 years and where do you see it heading?
Key trends? Making fashion tech daily wearable! I see it in the future with different divisions, in which at least one of them can be a leather replacement, a material to be worn daily that is eco-friendly and recycled.
Who are your 3 inspirational women in fashion tech / 3D printing?
Julia Daviy, Julia Koerner and Aniela Hoitink.
This interview was conducted by Marija Butkovic, Digital Marketing and PR strategist, founder and CEO of Women of Wearables. She regularly writes and speaks on topics of wearable tech, fashion tech, IoT, entrepreneurship and diversity. Visit marijabutkovic.co.uk or follow Marija on Twitter @MarijaButkovic.