I thought I would start a series around building your brand as a children’s clothing designer. I will start off by saying that I am a horrible business person. I just don’t have a head for it. I think I stood line line at least 8 times when God was giving out “creativity”. Apparently I skipped “business and logic” day entirely! My dear friend and Director of Operations, Crysty, is my “business sense”. She takes care of anything numbers related…anything remotely associated with logistics. She also is amazing at customer service!
I am good at ONE thing and one thing only……creativity and design. I am a former visual artist, so I pretty much exist in “create-land”. I have been in the ZozoBugBaby business for almost 4 years now. It took 3.5 of those years to nail down HOW to run my business.
One day….you decide to start trying to sell what you create. With some work..you start getting orders here and there. Then the “alternative orders” start working their way in. Alternative orders are really “custom” orders that don’t really fall into what you usually do. As a startup, customs can be a great way to build business. As you move along and grow, they become more difficult to execute. You get busier and customs take more time. For years you can ride that line of “I’m so busy I’m working 15 hours a day, yet my profits don’t allow me to hire extra help”. I rode that line for a LONG time. I hired help a few years ago and that was the beginning of the transition.
Once you have established yourself as a business (meaning, you have a registered business name, tax ID, etc…), you need to decide HOW you want to proceed. What is your end goal? Do you WANT to be in boutiques? Do you just want to do retail on your own website or Etsy? How big do you want to be? Do you (and can you) accommodate wholesale orders? THIS was the piece I was missing for a long time. I didn’t have a clear goal. There isn’t a lot of direction out there for startup designers. It’s even vastly different now than it was 4 years ago when I started!
I have a few posts coming up that relate to all areas of running (and starting) a business! I am not an expert, by any means, and learn as I go, but I do have a lot of experience and hope that it can help some of you!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask! Email me at email@example.com! I am SUPER excited about my next post…….”ADVERTISING and BRANDING~!”.
See you soon!