The Death Of a Fashion Business And How To Avoid It

By Maria Pesin | Business

May 23

Though I have had many successes launching and building multi million dollar businesses, I have had one failure.  Sometimes you learn more from your failures than you do from your successes. Here is my story.

I opened a shoe store in a very trendy town that had a lot of tourists as well as wealthy homeowners.  It started out out great and business increased each month.  Until November 2000 when the election happened and we didn’t know who our President would be for a week.  I swear that was the exact date that my business fell apart.  Then the market crashed in 2001 and the final straw was 9/11 when the twin towers fell and  tourists stopped coming to New York.

The mistake I made was not keeping a good reserve of cash for any downturns.  I believed I would continue to be successful and didn’t husband my resources.  It was a big mistake and forced me to close my doors.  It broke my heart but ultimately I learned that life is about risks and sometimes those risks do not pan out.  It is what you do with failure that help us be more successful in the future.

So what did I learn?  Well, several things.

  •  One is I started too big.  I was so eager to get started that I rented a space that was more than I needed and ended up not being as centrally located as it needed to be.
  • I also took a space that was way too large and my rent and expenses were unnecessarily high.
  • And as I said before I thought that my business would just keep increasing so when it didn’t because unforeseen things happened I did not have a cushion of money to tide me over through tougher times.

Managing your money is an incredibly important part of being successful.  I have seen even growing businesses not make money because they weren’t careful with how they spent their funds.  Running out of money is one of the key reasons businesses fail so be fiscally conservative and you will increase your likelihood for success.

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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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