3 Things To Consider Before Launching Your Own Fashion Brand
By Melissa B. Manuel, Ph.D.
Launching a fashion brand can be exciting, rewarding, and lucrative. It can also be stressful, time consuming, and challenging because of all the moving parts. However, it can be done successfully when you have the right mindset and resources. Before you start crafting your business plan, here are three things you may want to consider.
1. Consider whether this idea will be a long-term commitment or just a hobby.
People have ideas all the time. They have ideas for inventions, new clothing designs, new apps, just new stuff. For some, it’s full speed to the market because they want to sell their product or service for profit. For others, their idea is a hobby they enjoy tinkering with for fun. If your idea is just hobby and you have no real intentions of committing to the demands of high volume production, be honest with yourself upfront. Why? Because launching a fashion brand requires a large investment of time, energy, finances, relationship building, and pure grit. The commitment is not to be taken lightly because there is no one that will stand over you to make you follow-through. You have to call the shots! You have to be a self-starter with clear goals, a manageable timeline, and a solid system for tracking your progress. You can do this, but make sure you’re ready to go all in.
2. Consider finding a mentor or multiple mentors
Launching a fashion brand can be a steep learning curve if you’ve never done it before. In a new fashion startup, you are more than just the designer. You are the business manager, the accountant, the marketing manager, the publicist and much more. Find mentors who have already mastered the product development process and can give you strategies for success that will help you to avoid costly mistakes. A good mentor could save you time, energy, and money and help you to grow your business sooner rather than later.
3. Consider a partnership
If you don’t have all the skills it takes to start the type of brand you envision, no worries. Find someone who has complementary skills to partner with you to get the business off the ground. Be sure to discuss each partner’s responsibilities, iron out timelines and expected deliverables. Also, be sure to write a detailed contract with all the specifics intact. A word of caution: Don’t just assume your partner is as pumped about your new venture as you are. Be sure to understand what goals they have and make the partnership worth their while. Any partnership needs to be a win-win for all parties involved.
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