Since last July I have been interviewing small businesses as they launch/ expand their brands through kickstarter
In each interview I would always end with the same question “Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to start a business?”
I have now compiled all of the answers into one advice post for anyone thinking about starting a new business
Take a good, hard look at that impostor syndrome. You’re more capable than you think, and your ideas and dreams are worthy. Don’t be afraid to do things differently, fight like a girl, or stand your ground. -Fourth Wave
Don’t be afraid to try to branch out on your own!- Ellie Grace Couture
Be persistent! You will hear a lot of people say no before you hear a yes but don’t give up.-Changeable Chewables
Get advice from people outside your friends and family. They may be scared for you to leave a “sure thing” (whatever that is). Spend time with people who leave you feeling energized, full of energy and most importantly, most like yourself.-QCut Jeans
Just do it! Don’t wait for the perfect, most revolutionary idea that is going to change the world. Just pick something you feel strongly about and start experimenting. It will take on a life of its own.-Jessy & Jack
Two things that have helped us along the way is a belief in what we’re doing and who we’re serving.- Litographs
Passion drives the business, you have to love the product you make! If you believe in it, you can make it happen.-Hoodsbee
Starting a business is certainly a very rewarding experience. But before you jump right into it, do a fair bit of research to understand if there’s a market for it. Send a survey out to your friends, collect data, do research on the internet, and analyse if there’s a need and how big is the market.Once you’ve done your basic research, find talented people that you would like to work with. Finally, be prepared to juggle a lot of different responsibilities and work really hard! -Saffron Fix
I always say, just start. You are the only one standing in your way. Nothing has to be perfect to start, but if you don’t start you’ll never refine your ideas or product. You can think and think and plan and plan for ages, but it’s more helpful to iterate once you’re already in the marketplace and getting feedback.-Wildly Co.
Build something that would benefit people. Profit is good but the feeling of contributing to something important is a better feeling.-Padkix
Rebecca: Get yourself a partner. A really super awesome amazing partner. That’s all I got. Eva: Ditto – they keep you going and hold you up when you think you can’t do it. And stay positive, not just about your own work but about those doing similar things.-Princess Awesome
Today I have the opportunity to share a interview i recently did with Abby & Katie, the creators of Smak Parlour, which began as a sewing parlour for their in-house label “Smak”, it’s been five years since owners, Abby & Katie, last designed a cut and sew clothing collection. In honor of a decade of success in its Old City location, Smak Parlour is celebrating its tenth birthday by getting back to its roots. Abby & Katie are collaborating with local artists, printers and manufacturers to create a new, one-of-a-kind collection…and they are making it happen in Philadelphia.
How did the idea for your brand come about? This particular collection was inspired by a fuss-free (miracle) fabric and Philly street art! We are all about fun and our brand is equal parts girly and rock-and-roll! We had been planning to start a business together since high school! Best friends since we met at fifteen years old, we have always loved fashion and designing clothes together so it came about very naturally.
How did you get started in this business? We have been in business for over ten years! We started with a small wholesale line of clothing in 2002 that we sold across the country to small shops. In 2005, we opened a boutique filled entirely with our own designs made in-house, expanded our shop to twice its size and brought in indie designers (2010). Then, we launched Philly’s first fashion truck (2013) and are now back to designing again…everything has come full circle!
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business? We both went to Drexel for Design & Merchandising. Before, during and after college, we worked in various positions in the retail/ fashion industry in Philadelphia and New York. Specifically, we both worked in a small boutique in high school where we were given a lot of responsibility–including running the shop together while the owners were on vacation.
How long have you been in business? We started our business in 2002 and opened our brick and mortar in mid-March of 2005. We just had our 10 year anniversary for our boutique!
What do you plan to do with your business after your kickstarter campaign ends? In the next year? In the next five years? We would like to wholesale our unique designs to like-minded indie retailers. We started our kickstarter campaign to kick-start this effort W
What are the biggest challenges for running this business? The biggest challenge we have faced was getting through the recession of 2009. We are responsive entrepreneurs and brought in really affordable goods so people could still treat themselves. Right now, the biggest challenge is financing our new collection as it is expensive to produce a clothing line locally.
Any advice for anyone wanting to start a business? If you’re really ready to put your all into something, jump in… life is short! Just make sure you are able to be flexible as an entrepreneur because the needs of your business will forever be changing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
The six piece collection features two flirty dresses, two peplum tops, an easy breezy tent blouse and a high-waisted skater skirt. Prices range from $78- $128. Styles from Smak Parlour’s “Prints Just Want to Have Fun” collection will be available for pre-order on Kickstarter beginning on April 2nd. The goal is to raise $15,000 to help fund the production, design and print costs. Additional rewards include original Philly-based tees, custom paper prints and a shopping spree with Abby & Katie.
This is NOT a sponsored post, just sharing a awesome kickstarter project!
Today I got the chance to interview Amparo Maru, the Creator Behind Padkix Design Lab
she is an LA-based fashion designer whose work has been shown in the Mercedez-Benz New York fashion week.
She focuses on sleek, eco-friendly design that breaks stereotypes.
How did the idea for your brand come about?
The idea came when I was shopping for pads at a local grocery store. I saw a pile of disposable pads with different brands, features, and whatnots but they weren’t really addressing a serious problem. How come they don’t sell reusable pads? Imagine how much it cost to buy disposable pads per month and how much it affects the environment as a collective. That’s a lot! So I gather some close friends of mine and brainstorm something that would solve this problem. And that’s where Leak Free Period Panties came about.
How did you get started in this business?
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
I’m purely a designer by trade but I partnered up with a business development person and a video production person to help me craft the vision of bringing Leak Free to girls and women around the world.
What are the biggest challenges for running this business?
I think marketing is the biggest challenge because getting the word out is very expensive. We were fortunate enough to get noticed by our backers in Kickstarter even with little to no marketing money. Hopefully the support continues after the campaign.
Any advice for anyone wanting to start a business?
NOT a sponsored post, just sharing some awesome kickstarter projects
Today I interview Crystal from Qcut (Her business cards say CEO, but thinks of herself as the Cruise Director) Crystal knew she was onto something after hearing the same thing from dozens of women – “I’m hard to fit.” But there’s nothing wrong with you – the way clothes are sized today is fundamentally broken. Qcut is here to help with jeans in 400 sizes!
How did the idea for your brand come about?