Start Your Own Fashion Business: 5 Little Known Facts That You Need To Know Before You Get Started!

1. Fashion is a Business!

I’m not trying to burst your bubble here, but it’s important for newcomers to the fashion industry to understand that starting a fashion business requires a balance between creativity and business. You can’t have one with out the other. While having amazing fashion designs or being known for taking great fashion photos will be key to launching you into the fashion industry, there are many other elements that are business related that you will need to be on top of to survive and succeed. You’ll need to know what it takes to maintain profit margins, how to be properly prepared to deal with legal issues (like contracts, insurance and creating a partnership or an LLC), and how to deliver products to your clients in a timely and cost-effective manner, among many other things. Taking time to plan for the business aspect of fashion will be critical to your success!

2. It Probably Takes More Money Than You Think To Get Started!

Like most things in life, starting a fashion business costs money! You’ll need to take the time to create realistic estimates on how much it will cost to start and maintain your business. Once you’ve started that process, it will also be important to start figuring out where the start-up capital is coming from (is the business being funded by your personal savings, investments from family, a bank loan, etc?). A word of advice is to multiply what you think it will cost to maintain your business by 10 for good measure, so you are prepared to be able to do whatever it takes financially to make it.

3. Most of Your Time Will Be Spent Doing Other Things!

When I was in college, I used to design jewelry and sold it to several boutiques to make ends meet. I can tell you, firsthand, that most of my time was not spent creating new jewelry designs. 70% of my time was spent on doing everything else that it takes to run a successful business. You have to be prepared to do everything yourself until you are able to hire employees. You will find that a lot of your time will be spent on paperwork, such as customer invoices and keeping track of your sales and expenses. You also have to be prepared to handle shipping, customer service, publicity/press kits and business development (building your client base).

4. You Are On Your Own! Are You Okay With That?

Starting a business means that there you don’t have a boss, which could be a good or bad thing depending on your personality and work ethic. You will need to make all the decisions that are critical to your company’s success. You will spend A LOT of time working (like hours and hours and more hours everyday) and you have to be okay with that because that is what it is going to take for you to make it. While some people prefer working alone, others can find it to be isolating…something to think about.

5. It Could Take Years For Your Fashion Line To Take Off!

True success usually takes time for most of us. You don’t really make a profit until you have paid off your start-up costs (such as fabric costs, money spent building website, press kit production/ mailing costs, etc. You should not expect that things will take off overnight. Generally, it takes a lot of hard work to get to the top and you need to be mentally and financially prepared for that.