We've watched Faniacs grow from a couple of guys at a table, to a company with a range of products, a large fan base, and an active presence on the web. I got hold of one of the founders, Moiz Mustafa, and asked him what it was like working a geek clothing start up.
So why clothing? And why go so far as to start your own brand?
We had the idea for years, but it came together at a Bohra community gathering - where we shared ideas, and decided to take that leap. We all agreed that clothing would represent our passion best - so we started with tees. Then we did sketch books and posters.
The name Faniacs is a function of our slogan - Fans turned maniacs. The 5 tiny dots in our logo represent our team of 5, and the smiley in the center are our awesome (geeky) customers!
Who started Faniacs? How do you work together as a team?
Faniacs is the brainchild of 5 people: Moiz Mustafa, Taher Sajjadhusain, Burhanuddin Shakir, Murtaza Mustafa, and Huzefa Murtaza. While we are into geek and pop culture, we’re all also quite different. More often than not, we end up agreeing to disagree, but this is ultimately better for us.
I remember you talked about going away from other IPs, to creating your own IPs and characters. Do you want to talk more about that vision?
It's on the back burner, but we have started working on or own superhero character, complete with mythology and local spice. We are eager to see how that is received by Sri Lankan comic book fans.
Our vision is to make Faniacs a brand, both local, and international; - one that not only sells geek-related designs but also a variety of others - making us a go-to brand for those on the hunt for trending pop culture clothing.
We will not reprint designs and that the products we launch are all limited edition.
When did you start, and how have things been since?
March 2016, and it has been a pleasure. Things have not always gone swimmingly, and we have had a few hiccups along the way. But the satisfaction of seeing someone wearing one of our tees, is indescribable. We cannot be more appreciative.
Getting exposure was one of our main challenges, but thanks to Lanka Comic Con and Collectique, that is no longer an issue. Another major task was getting our website up and running. If all goes well, we hope to launch it at the upcoming Lanka Comic Con. And, while on the subject of our website, the Faniacs team would like to give a special shout out to Shabbir Sajjadhusain, for helping us bring our ideas for it, into fruition. Lastly a special shout out to our parents and friends!
Lastly, our experience of dealing with customers has been incredible. Catering to everyone’s requirements has been fun and challenging at the same time. Tell us what you would like to see on our tees, and you never know, you just might get what you asked for!
What are your plans for the future?
There are never ending possibilities. Creating our own superhero characters, looking at wholesaling, setting up a delivery system and branching out in terms of design, and other types of apparel - our hands will be full for a long while. These hopes and ideas would however not be possible if it weren’t for our customers – so, thank you!