By Megan Tan on August 11th, 2021
As my time with Dia comes to an end, there is a bittersweet feeling as I type up my last blog for the site. These past three months have been an enriching and enjoyable journey for me. Not only did I learn a great deal about running a start-up e-commerce platform, I also had the privilege of working closely with a team of spirited and remarkable women whose relationship dynamic taught me the importance of open communication when starting a business with close friends.
Every Monday we would start our calls with sharing Asian proverbs—from this, I realized that in addition to striving to create valuable content for the community, the Dia founders try to reflect this spirit in their everyday work life as well.
Working at Dia allowed me to recognise that there was so much more to managing a company than what I’ve learnt in school, from looking at website analytics and statistics on our Data Deep Dive calls (the digital and technical side), to vendor relationship calls (the human connections within a business). Throughout my internship, I’m glad to have tried my hand at many tasks, from those with more visible results, such as marketing content ideas, press features, product photography and writing copy, to the behind-the-scenes work, such as analyzing social media data and building contact lists.
From the perspective of a fashion student, I truly admire the work that Dia is doing to champion the artisanal brands of our region. Fashion can be seen as a tool of modern day colonialism as we often see the Westernization of other cultures and exploitation of garment workers. Seeing Dia’s products in real life and researching more about Southeast Asia made me realize the importance of supporting and appreciating our cultural and heritage arts. Moreover, these boutique brands possess the added assurance of having ethical practices and social impact. With the rise of fast fashion and excessive consumption, this internship once again reminded me of the positive trends in the industry: the shifts to slower, conscious consumption and production, as well as a focus on brand authenticity, storytelling and relevant content (all key aspects of Dia’s ethos).
Overall, interning at Dia has been an extremely insightful experience and been a genuinely memorable way to end my time at college in Malaysia. I’ve definitely gained a deeper appreciation for Southeast Asian art, films and literature, which I will continue to explore in the future. Looking ahead, I’m both nervous and thrilled to see what the future has in store as this chapter of my life comes to a close and a new one begins.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Megan is Dia’s intern and a Fashion Marketing & Management student in Malaysia. She has worked on projects with brands such as Fugeelah, and is interning for fashion influencers based in the UK. Apart from fashion, Megan is interested in business and psychology, and enjoys creating art and reading novels. She will be furthering her education at London College of Fashion in September 2021.