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What are some tips on how to start your own business?

I’m trying to get into the fashion design industry and I’d like a few tips on where to start.

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Alex’s Answer

Hi Zharia,

I've worked for a couple fashion brands in my career one massive one (Nike) and one DTC start-up reporting to the CEO. There are a couple of different ways to approach building a fashion start-up from scratch. A couple of the biggest things that need to get figured out are (1) where is the money coming from to help you build it (2) what other people do you need on your team to make it happen and (3) where are your customers going to come from.

To help address where is the money coming from you can either raise money from friends and/or family to get your business of the ground. Begin by budgeting how much you'll need and only raise enough money so that you can produce enough product to validate if you customers love your product. Another option is to get a loan from a bank, use credit cards, or another financial institution (e.g. Shopify Capital). Lastly, you can have a main job working for a company to make money with the purpose of funding your entrepreneurial idea.

To address what people you need to make it happen – think through everything that will need to be in place for your product to actually get made. Do you need to find a manufacturer? Do you need to have a warehouse to store the product? Do you need someone to keep track of you finances? Do you need a product developer to help you with materials and construction? To get these people to come along you will most likely have to either pay them or bring them on as a partner in whatever you are building.

Lastly, where will you get your customers. It's best to get scrappy here. Can you use your social media following? Can you do pop-ups with other companies? Can you partner with an influencer or gift product to help you get noticed by others? Paying money for ads on Facebook or Google or TikTok can be very expensive so finding an alternative method if you don't have a lot of capital will be of great use.

Hopefully this is helpful! New fashion brands pop-up every month so it's 100% possible but it takes a strong determination to pursue through all the challenges.
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Janie’s Answer

Hello Zharia! It's a pleasure to meet you! I'm Janie. While I don't personally run a business, I've had conversations with people who've went through their entrepreneurial journey and are now successfully running their own businesses. I'm happy to share some of the starting points/insights I've picked up from them.

No matter what industry you're in, there are online platforms that can assist you in selling your design pieces. For instance, Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/) is a popular choice for people to sell their unique, handmade gifts. If you're not particularly interested in selling, there are alternatives. Many people use social platforms like Instagram or YouTube to create engaging short or long videos showcasing their fashion expertise. For those who are more inclined towards writing, fashion blogging or writing about fashion trends is also a great option.

I sincerely hope this is helpful to you. Hope you have a wonderful week!
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