If you are here reading this post, then I imagine the thought has crossed your mind. But taking the leap can be scary right? What if your brilliant idea doesn’t work? What if it’s already been done? What if no-one understands it or even worse, buys it?
These are questions I get asked A LOT by my clients and I get it. All any brand wants is to be successful, and that includes startups so whether you come from a design background or not, committing to a startup brand is no small feat so congratulations on getting this far!
Here are a few tips on what is needed for a successful startup strategy.
Believe in yourself
Because if you don’t then it will show and no-one else will. If you have an idea that just won’t go away, you think about it pretty much ALL of the time, that you feel fills a gap in the market or compliments your lifestyle perfectly, that you are completely and utterly passionate about then take confidence in this and just go for it. Starting a brand is not for the faint-hearted so if YOUR heart isn’t 100% in it you will not be motivated to keep going. Choose wisely!
Do your research
I cannot stress how important this is. If your brilliant idea targets a certain kind of person, for example, your idea is for ethically produced activewear or perfectly fitting jumpsuits for women of all sizes (can someone please do this.), then research this! Who is your brand aimed at? What is the age group? Where does this person hang out? Where do they already shop for clothes and other items? What is their budget? Where do they work? What is their outlook on life and so on? Get as much info as possible into your target market and make sure your products, no matter how niche or broad, fit into this lifestyle.
Have a USP
Ooh, a tricky one. It is often bandied around but what does it actually mean? A USP is your Unique Selling Point. So, if your amazing idea is for the jumpsuits that don’t cut you in half when you walk (taller folks) or give a baggy bottom to those on the shorter side this is your USP. This is what sets your brand apart from all the other jumpsuit brands. You have different lengths/ranges for different lengths of women. What a fabulous idea!!
Other ideas could be :
- Using innovative fabrics
- Closed-loop manufacturing
- Some of your profits go towards a specific charity
- Only using ethically sourced materials
- Amazingly colourful and quirky prints
- Petite brand
- Price points that bridge a gap
Invest in specialists
You can not do all the things especially if you are not from a design background. If you want your idea to be produced there are some steps you need to take and you absolutely shouldn’t try to get around them. Your budget may not include employing people, but getting good help on a periodical basis is a sound investment. These include :
- Work with a designer You may have a very clear picture of wht you want but having an expert translate your ideas into a wearable reality is worth every penny.
- Find a good manufacturer This doesn’t necessarily mean the best and most expensive, it just means the one that is best suited to you and your needs so shop around.
- Garment tech Good tech packs and patterns are paramount in accurately reproducing your idea.
- Find a mentor People who will give you honest feedback. But make sure they are in your target market or experienced in consulting or mentoring. Most people mean well but if they are not concerned with the product then their opinion is not as valid.
You are doing this because it makes your heart sing, your pulse race and indulges your passion for fashion so don’t forget to enjoy the journey. Learn from everyone you can, take note of any mistakes and put them down to trial and error. This isn’t a race to see who finishes first, it is about getting your idea out there so take your time .
If you would like to chat about starting your fashion brand, get in touch here. I’d love to hear about your ideas and advise on ways in which I could help.