Starting a fashion brand is exciting. But, it can also be quite daunting. As Sophia Amoruso founder of Nasty Gal once said, “It takes a lot more than just knowing how to put an outfit together to succeed in the fashion industry, so more power to you if this is where you want to be; just don’t expect it to be an extended trip to the mall.”
I know we love the glamour and excitement we perceive being in the fashion business will bring. But it is a lot of hard work and sometimes a lot of disappointment before you can start to see success. Here are 5 things you should know before you start.
- What is your big idea? There is a lot of competition out there. So you need to know how you will stand out. What will you bring to the table that is new and different?
- Who is your customer? Having a very clear picture of your customer allows you to build a collection that is focused on what you buyers wants and values.
- How much money do you need and where are you going to get it? Planning your financials is a critical component to your success. Making a plan for what it will cost to run your business and then raising the money first will help you with the significant outlay of capital before your business starts making money. One of the main reasons most small businesses fail is that they simply run out of cash.
- How is your product being produced? The best designers I ever worked with kept production in mind while they put together their lines. Many newbies create great designs only to find out they are not financially or technically feasible. Working closely with a good production company will save on time and money as they direct you to the best factories and suppliers for your product.
- What is your sales and marketing plan? Unfortunately many designers come up with a line and sometimes even a production run before they even know how they will get it sold. Without sales there is no business. So make a plan from the beginning.
“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”-Coco Chanel
While it is a business, for many of us, it is still a passion. If you have the passion than go for it and fulfill your dreams!