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The Danger of Starting Your Fashion Brand Before You Do This First

By Maria Pesin | Business

For those who read my blogs you know I speak to potential clients all the time.  Most of my blog ideas come from real issues that my clients bring to me.  What better to write about then the challenges these clients have.  Chances are many of you have the same issues.

Most of my clients are new emerging designers.  Many of whom have little of no experience in the industry.  They have no clue where to start.  So a lot of them start in the middle, rather than at the beginning.  Trust me there is a beginning.

You have no idea how many start ups come to me with product on the shelf and no idea on how to sell it.  They aren’t even sure who their customer is.   Or they form an entity, maybe design a logo, or even visit factories. But, still have no plan for their business.

Well, I am going to let you in on a little secret.  The very first thing you must do before starting your business is research!  Notice I bolded this.  That is how important it is.

You need t0 research the market you want to be in before you do anything.  Your research needs to include the following:

  • Your competition
    • Their prices
    • Fabrics
    • Styles
    • Stores they sell to
    • Demo and Psycho-graphics
  • What will make your product unique
    • Styling
    • Quality
    • Fabrication
    • Forms of distribution
    • Prices
  • Production
    • Where you will produce
    • How will you produce, especially the technical aspects?
    • What are the minimums and lead time?
  • Selling
    • What is the best way to sell your product
    • Will you go the traditional route of selling wholesale or maybe you will opt for a subscription based selling platform (think stitch fix)
  • Your customer
    • Who are they
    • What are their needs
    • Where do they shop
    • What are their demo and psycho-graphics
  • Fiance
    • How much money will you need
    • Where will you get it

Doing your due diligence (research) before you start a business increases your chance of success.  Knowing the answers to these questions will help prevent costly mistakes.

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About the Author

Maria Pesin knows fashion, especially the business side of the fashion industry. Do you know how Manolo Blahnik got his start in the industry? How he leveraged a paltry 3 grand into one of the world’s most famous luxury brands? While she doesn’t take credit for Manolo’s success, Maria has walked a similar path on numerous occasions. The world of fashion is not silicon valley, and it has nothing to do with Madison Avenue marketing. In this industry there is ALWAYS room for something new and exciting, but you have to have your ducks in a row. If that’s what you need, believe me, Maria is the General Patton of fashion ducks!

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