From our experience with startup fashion brands we often observed some exaggerated expectations on the part of the entrepreneurs. This article may bring those expectations a little down to earth. The more realism, the more success, the less frustration.
Here are some of the most important things you need to consider before starting your fashion brand:
1. It will require a lot of time.
If you intend to start a fashion brand as a hobby it might end up being overwhelming and disappointing.
You’ll probably not be able to do it if all you have is some spare hours in weekend. You’ll have to be into it daily, week after week. There are lots of things to develop and to prepare.
A new fashion brand needs some months to just get the first products at hand. If you try to rush things, you might end up making too many mistakes. So plan your time carefully and leave some extra time in your plan. You could even take a good rest before starting, since no one knows when you get another one.
2. You must be ready to face more steps than you may have considered at the beginning.
It will be a long walk. Unfortunately, you can’t just take your idea and turn it into a physical product by waving a magic wand. It will take a good amount of time and different people to help you fulfill that task. Besides the artistic challenges along the way you may face some pure technical aspects were you might need assistance. To learn more about these steps please read this article: How to build your own Fashion Brand: a step-by-step guide.
3. Fashion business is a quick changing business – you must follow upcoming fashion trends.
Study your product and the upcoming fashion trends that can influence your designs. Keep in mind that you have to plan all the collections for at least one season ahead, because it takes time to produce and prepare them for selling. You must be a visionary. Propose to your customers such designs they don’t yet know they want, but will accept them with enthusiasm. It doesn’t have to be avant-garde or futuristic. Just remember, the things you wear today might seem a bit old-fashioned next year. So keep your focus on the future.
4. Start small.
Don’t take on yourself more than you can carry. Start with a small collection or just a few designs, test the ground, have some feedback, learn the process. There is no need to spend an enormous amount of time and money for an overwhelming project that can end up being a cause of burnout instead of joy. You’ll have your chance to develop bigger collections later. But first, you need to build a base on which to develop more designs.
5. Target a specific market and learn it.
A fashion brand is where art meets business. Don’t just do something you’d like to have. That way you might end up simply adding a couple of new and very expensive pieces to your personal wardrobe. Find your customers and learn what they need and want. Then combine that knowledge with your personal point of view to create a potential best seller. Consider the age and financial state of your potential customers, so you can deliver modern, affordable designs.
6. Don’t expect too much profit in the first year. Here patience comes in play.
Before starting to have some profit from selling your fashion brand’s designs you’ll have to invest in them. The first year or so you’ll be giving a lot and you have to be patient before something comes back. Even if you already start selling, it will be a while before you can say that you are making profit, since you have to cover all the expenses you had before that point.
Don’t get discouraged though! You can definitely get to making profit if you stay focused, patient and continue working towards the future.