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N. Devi Sarla | Malaysia | Invent Your Own Journey

Graphic Designer | Fashion Designer | Photographer

Entrepreneur | Crafter of Fashion Forward Jewellery at SARLAZ Hi! I am the Founder and Designer of SARLAZ. My entrepreneurial journey has been very challenging, inspiring, intimidating and exciting all coined into one. I started my career as a graphic designer. I pursued my creative streak in graphic design after my formative school years and upon qualification, began my career with a leading English daily. Holding down a full-time position as a graphic designer for the past 20 years did not prevent me from exploring the world of fashion and design. Upon completing my fashion design course, I delved deeper into fashion, creating a ready to wear collection. Thus began my love affair with the camera as I embarked on directing fashion shoots locally and internationally (Milan, London, New York, Paris, Venice and Arizona). It was what I did after my official working hours that defined my destiny as an entrepreneur. In 2019, I took a leap of faith, left my corporate job as a graphic designer and established Sarlaz Fashion. A non-traditional fashion brand devoted to the new type of sophisticated fashion consumers. The creations are fashion forward and one of a kind handcrafted jewellery, inspired by nature. To me, the best part of being an entrepreneur is the ability to rediscover myself and explore new things every time. It made me very resilient and encouraged me to grow both personally and professionally. I get satisfaction from waking up every morning, knowing I am working incredibly hard to create the future I want. Despite the overwhelming challenges, it feels good for my soul to do what I love and to be able to express and share it with the world.

What were the biggest initial hurdles, and how did you overcome them? It has been a journey fraught with financial challenges. Starting a business can be one of the most exciting, yet nerve-wracking, experiences of our life. You will make less than normal profit for some time, through many sleepless nights. In the process, I am constantly learning more about the technicalities of the business. You just have to be aggressive in promoting and marketing your brand. I put in stupendous effort and I had an opportunity to expand my brand to London and was about to move there in 2020. However, bracing through the pandemic effect that came upon all of us, I realise I had to reinvent the business here. Picking myself up from the big disappointment battled against all odds, my brother and I have now opened a showroom, showcasing every creation handcrafted by me. My designs are made using mainly clay, prioritising zero waste. Thus, sets SARLAZ apart from fast fashion (i.e. not mass-produced) collections.

What books are you currently reading? Follow your heart by Author: Andrew Matthews What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?

Dress for the life you deserve, and you have to love what you do wholeheartedly. There is no easy way around it, no matter how talented you are, it’s going to fail you if you’re not skilled and dedicated to be better every day. If you experience defeat and failure, keep working tenaciously, and you will definitely rise. Harsh reality, the harder you fall, the higher you bounce up. Be passionate and take pride in what you do, and things will fall into place.

Although business is about making money, you also need to gain insights and resonate with the emotions of your consumers. Remember, you have to see the business like it’s all about your consumers, and not about you. Last but not least, don't cry for money, it never cries for you, just make it work for you. Social Media Handles: Website > Facebook > Instagram > sarlazfashion PRESS / Media: As seen on


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