Thirty-year-old Jidapa Watsotok went to France to study eyewear design and making handmade eyewear. She launched her own brand Jida Watt, a shorter version of Thai birthname, because it was her dream to create something unique to the world under her own name.
“It’s still quite amazing when I see a pair of sunglasses with my name on them – it’s even more incredible when I see someone wearing them,” said the designer.
Why eyewear? It’s simple, she says. “I love eyewear. It’s the same as finding Mr. Right. You can’t explain why you love your husband but you know well that you love him and he is the right one for you. Eyewear is Mr. Right Guy for me.”
While success didn’t come easily, Jida pursued her dream nonetheless. “I didn’t want to end up being an old lady regretting something I loved that I should have done when I was able. I want to be an old lady telling my grandchildren how I followed my dream and made it come true,” she said. “I don’t have a Plan B in my life. When you have only one plan, you’ll fight for it and not waste your imagination on a Plan B.
Jida manufactures her eyewear in Japan, which is one of few countries that can produce eyewear by hand at the same standard as a machine. “They’re the best at what they do,” she said. “I’m thrilled every time I see the prototypes. They’re honest and the perfect partner. Japanese standards are exceptional and famous throughout the world of eyewear.”
“We’re debuting our titanium collection in the same Victorian era fashion as always,” Jida said. “Titanium is the best material for metal eyewear, plus it’s strong and light-weight.” Jida will add special details that really reflect the delicacy of the handmade eyewear.
Jida’s secret to success is reading. “I’ll read as many books as I can to broaden my vision. It’s very important. You must read to know more. I adapt the knowledge I’ve read into my work, such as marketing and human thinking and creative process. Usually I start each day reading a book in the morning and running in the evening.”
Jida Watt is sold in Marc Le Bihan Shop in Galleries Lafayette in Paris and also stores in Bangkok as well as online. Social media plays an important role in branding. “Our brand couldn’t get this far if not for social media. It’s cheap, fast and effective. I really couldn’t imagine running my business without social media.”