During the 90s, German-born Fineé Schuektanz was a frequent visitor to Thailand, enjoying some of the many beautiful islands and, like so many other people, she quickly fell in love with the country, its natural beauty, the people’s kindness, the culture, food and the warm climate.
When she reminisces about her first visit to Thailand, Fineé recalls feeling immediately at home here.
Returning to Germany, she couldn’t stop thinking about how good it would be to find a way to live in Thailand, and to run a business in Bangkok.
Growing up in an entrepreneurial family near Düsseldorf in Germany, Fineé is a natural born business woman, with a strong will and living by the motto: ‘Nothing is impossible.’ In 2003 she started to look for business opportunities in Asia that would combine pleasure with practicality.
She booked a one way flight ticket to Bangkok and said “Auf wiedersehen” to Germany.
Some time later, she had a visit from a friend, dressed in the most gorgeous outfit. Fineé doesn’t surprise easily, but she just dropped her chin at first sight of her friend’s dress. “Where did you find this outstanding dress?” she asked.
Her friend told her about the collection of a French-Khmer designer, Ms Romyda Keth, who had become very successful in Asia due to her feminine style and high quality textiles she uses in her unique collection.
Fineé couldn’t forget the dress and she promised herself that one day she would find out more about this.
Fineé went out to look for a suitable and affordable private showroom where she could receive family and friends. She started out in a very low key, even shy way, but soon extended this into becoming an exclusive official licensed partner for this label in Thailand under the name of Ambre Jolie.
Today, she proudly notes that ever since her first day in the showroom, she has been lucky to greet many women of different nationalities. To make the label more attractive and better known, Fineé organizes regular events both in and outside her showroom.
Often her girlfriends dress up in an Ambre Jolie outfit and meet at a restaurant or coffeehouse for dinner or afternoon tea, which always made heads turn by their entrance. Items from the Ambre Jolie collection are feminine, classy, and beautifully designed with a sexy touch.
“I’m so happy to work with something that is not a struggle. The joy it brings every time I introduce a new collection is amazing,”
Fineé says. Fineé has been busy with work since arriving in the City of Angels. She admits that it wasn’t easy to start a new business in Thailand, and her working hours are long.
“Yes, you can completely forget about free weekends,” she says with a smile.
It’s not easy for foreigners to start a business in Thailand as there are so many regulations and conditions to follow.
“I hope that, for fashion in the future, people will think sustainable products and go for clothes of quality. It’s often much more economical to invest in a quality outfit, even if it costs a bit more than clothes made out of synthetic fabrics that you only wear a few times and later throw away. It’s also important to be assured that it has been produced in factories where owners are responsible to their employees and absolutely do not use underage children from less privileged families.
“Every time a piece of cloth goes into the washing machine, if not of sustainable material, it leaves a huge amount of micro and neoplastic in the water which goes directly out into the oceans. This should remind us of the importance to invest in quality:
“I enjoy seeing all women, tall, short, slim or a bit plump in an Ambre Jolie outfit, as I know they are wearing clothes from a company which cares about our environment and at the same time flatters the women.
“If I could pick a woman, anyone, to dress her up in Ambre Jolie, it would be a CEO, someone who needs to look good at work and may need to rearrange her outfit for an evening event. In which case the outfit would be a classic dress or an outstanding suit.”
Fineé has become a specialist in helping customers to choose the right outfit that highlights their personality. She can’t help smiling when her clients take a look in the mirror and not recognizing themselves, say: “Oh, is this really me? I look fabulous!
“This gives me great satisfaction and I feel proud. The long, hard working hours are forgotten” says Fineé.
Ambre Jolie Showroom: 23/1 Attha Kawi Soi 1,
Sukhumvit Soi 26, Bangkok 10110