Tamara Kucera is the founder of Young Muse, a Toronto based clothing label that offers a curated collection of wardrobe essentials inspired by youth culture and designed for modern city life. Established in 2016, Young Muse created a forward thinking brand, conscious of waste keeping and its environmental impact while still creating quality garments. With made to order products and small batch items, Young Muse has become known for a comfortable alternative to every day street wear while contributing to the unique fashion culture in Toronto and beyond.
What led you to start your own fashion line?
I launched Young Muse in 2016 out of my bedroom. I was working as a bartender at a local nightclub on weekends, and Young Muse became my creative outlet during the week. I loved working on a project that was challenging, where I felt like I was constantly learning and growing. There was something so rewarding about making something from scratch. The possibilities of what I could create were endless and that was really exciting to me. I started by making accessories out of vintage, repurposed garments— it wasn’t until I got my first sewing machine a couple years ago that I began experimenting and made the shift into clothing design.
The fashion industry is one of the hardest to enter, let alone succeed. Young Muse has had enormous growth in the last year, tell us what it’s taken to get there.
When I originally launched Young Muse, I barely knew anything about running a business and I had no idea how difficult it would be. Because I never formally studied business or fashion, I had so much to learn. I would look up what textbooks some of the best fashion schools were using for their curriculums and would use that as a guide for what I needed to learn. You have to really love what you’re doing— seeing your dreams come alive is such an amazing feeling, but it’s also been full of stress and uncertainty. I feel as though a lot of the most recent growth has come from documenting the process and allowing everyone to see that part of it. People rarely get to see how clothing is made and a lot of people don’t realize the amount of work it takes to make even a simple garment. Social media, especially Tik Tok has been an amazing tool to share this process. The two biggest brands I’ve worked with both mentioned discovering Young Muse through Tik Tok so it’s definitely played a huge part in establishing connections I never thought I would have.
How does your brand compete in a city like Toronto?
I tend to view the competition as more of with myself than it is with anyone else or any other brand. In business, we’re always taught to look at the competition but it makes it feel like it can only be me or them and it doesn’t need to be that way. There’s room for everyone here. If anything, the competition is the massive fast fashion brands that release new styles of impossibly cheap clothing daily. My focus is more on quality, garments that people can invest in and wear for a long time. A big priority is to limit the environmental impact by producing everything in Toronto in small batches so there is minimal waste. When I think of other local brands I think of collaboration, how can we work together in a way that can mutually benefit each other? It’s fun seeing other people win and it’s really inspiring seeing so many people starting their own businesses and doing so well.
How has cannabis influenced your life?
Cannabis has been an amazing tool for stress and anxiety management. It’s influenced my life socially and I believe it has also made me a lot more open-minded. When I was younger, I widely misunderstood it and was strongly against it so seeing how much my perceptions of it have changed over the years makes me more open minded about other things in my life that I may not understand currently. It also helps me with creativity, focus and relaxation.
What cannabis products are you using right now?
I’ve been really into using the Dosecann CBD Oil 100 as well as trying more edibles recently. I especially love the Strawberry Lemonade 1:1 gummies from Wana. It doesn’t hurt that they’re also delicious!