kickstarter

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

small biz advice

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

 

 

This is NOT a sponsored post, just sharing a awesome kickstarter project!

 

leakfree

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.

leakfree2

     How did you get started in this business?

I’m a fashion designer by trade that focus on sleek, eco-friendly design that breaks stereotypes. I was fortunate enough to have my works shown in the Mercedes-Benz New York fashion week.leakfree1

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.

How long have you been in business?
 
Leak Free has been in development for less than a year. 8 months to be exact.
leakfree5
What do you plan to do with your business after your kickstarter campaign ends? In the next year? In the next five years?
After the Kickstarter campaign ends, we will work with our manufacturers to make sure we deliver a quality working product. Hopefully by next year we can get traction from people outside of our backers either by word of mouth or blog features. We’re not a big corporation but we do have a big dream of bringing Leak Free to adolescent girls in rural areas as part of our 1 to 1 campaign. Hopefully that passion of helping girls while saving the environment will fuel our next moves in the coming years. That being said, we’re willing to face the challenge of not having enough marketing money by delivering an innovative, quality product that would benefit women and girls from 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?

Build something that would benefit people. Profit is good but the feeling of contributing to something important is a better feeling.
leakfree3
Padkix Design Lab  has 5 days left in its kickstarter campaign, back the project Here to get your own leak free period panties

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!

 

QCUT

How did the idea for your brand come about?

I spent last winter in Cambodia. I think most of us know our clothes are made in countries where the wages are less, but I didn’t realize they aren’t even enough to live on. Everyday when I walked out of my apartment, the soldiers suppressing the protests by garments workers to increase the minimum wage from $3 a day. Since I’m an experience designer, I naturally thought about what I wanted the experience of buying clothes to be like. It was immediately obvious we could do so much better.
How did you get started in this business?
I’ve been a designer for the last 15 years. The apparel sector is new to me, but making products and service people love is the same regardless of what you’re selling.
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
The last six months been a crash course in apparel production, marketing, and how to be a CEO. I’m fortunate to have the support of many mentors from various skill sets and a fantastic executive coach.
qcut1
How long have you been in business?
Six months
What do you plan to do with your business after your kickstarter campaign ends? In the next year? In the next five years?
We’ll shift our focus to the production of the jeans. Our first task is to analyze the measurements our backers give us and choose iconic body shapes. We’ll manufacture samples and try them on those women to see how to improve the fit prediction formula.
In the next year we’ll be opening our own factory + store, likely in downtown Portland. I want the sewing machines and giant digital cutters which cut our patterns out for each customer individually to be right in the front window. We’ll have a full set of the 400 sizes there for women to try on in person.
In five years, we’ll have expanded to other types of pants like chinos, plus shirts and dresses. We will feature small independent designers on the site. Like Project Runway, you’ll be able to get to know their personality, story and style, but instead of the judges making decisions real customers will vote by pre-ordering the clothes.
What are the biggest challenges for running this business?
It’s a challenge to assemble the right team. There are so many different skills needed to pull this off, from a factory supervisor to customer service people, to skilled sewers.
Any advice for anyone wanting to start a business?
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 Has 20 more days in its campaign so there is  plenty of time to back the project and get a pair of perfect fit jeans (Makes a great gift!)

 

This is NOT a sponsored post

Today I interviewed the wonderful ladies behind Saffron Fix

SF Box 2

 

“Saffron FIx is a meal-kit service specializing in Indian cuisine. You pick a recipe and they will send you chopped ingredients, measured spices, breads and rice, to make fresh and delicious Indian meal at home! You can look them up on Facebook at www.facebook.com/saffronfix. So dont order Chicken Tikka Masala next time, cook it yourself with Saffron Fix!

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