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Five Tips For Fashion Start-ups

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Each time a celebrity launches a new clothing line, we designers have also thought to ourselves “it should have been me”. We have dreamt of becoming famous, rich and fabulous just like these fashion personalities who look so mesmeric, happy and having a ball of a time strutting down those runways. Most of us still have the dream alive. I surely do.

But what I have realized over time is that most importantly, I want to be the brand and the name the models wear on the ramp. The glitter and glam will follow when my brand will hit the sky. Thus, I decided to start my own fashion brand with no second thoughts. Yes, I rushed into setting up a fashion business with less or no knowledge of how a business works.

Now, let me break the bubble for you, it is not as glamorous and fun as it seems. I took my first baby steps towards the journey to be a fashion entrepreneur and there’s been no looking back.

If you are my fellow designer and dreamer, get off that couch, turn off Fashion TV and make the jump. This is how I did it!

Start Small: If you do not have a high bankroll, a phenomenal business plan with tons of flow, and breakneck designs you have worked on for years, stick with a few designs off the bat. Create a handful of designs and test the waters. Get people excited about your brand. Gauge the acceptance level and then take the bigger leap.

Be YOUnique: Create your own style because only you have your own style. Don’t rip someone off blatantly. It is important to have a strong vision of your brand’s identity from the start. Who are you? Why are you creating a brand? How will you do it? Answer these questions. It is crucial to crafting your business concept, a concept that is unique.

Run the Show: If you are in the business of fashion, you are on your toes all the time. Be a jack-of-all-trades. Running a fashion business means punching in codes at 2 am, pouring through excel sheets and more. You will likely spend less than 10% of your time designing, while the rest of the time you will be managing production, sending reminders and emails, dealing with suppliers who want their money (now!) and trying to eat and bathe in between. In order to be successful, you should think of yourself first as an entrepreneur, and then a fashion designer.

Live Two Lives: Be ready to be completely drowned in the waves of design, production, business and more. You would want to resurface and do things you love to save your sanity. Ideally live two lives, personal and entrepreneurial.

Frame Your Mind: Keep a tab on your emotions and ego while you are in your entrepreneurial mode. It is natural to be fond of an idea or design you have manifested, but it is key to leaving emotions out of the design process and approach it in a more realistic and logical manner. Bringing in ego in your workspace is a sure shot remedy for disaster. Be open to suggestions and opinions. Be a people’s person.

And voila you’re almost there!

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