Being an entrepreneur comes with loads of challenges. To create something from nothing, and have the ability to turn that entity into something profitable, is extremely demanding. It takes time, commitment, hard work, and hopeless optimism. Oh, and don’t forget the blood, sweat and tears.
When it comes to being a fashion entrepreneur, you’re adding an entirely new level of difficulty. The global apparel market is valued at 3 trillion dollars, (source: https://fashionunited.com/global-fashion-industry-statistics) and if you think you’ve got what it takes to be a part of that, well that’s the first step!
If you’re an aspiring fashion entrepreneur — or have already taken the leap — here are 10 characteristics we’re willing to bet you posses:
- In an industry this tough, you need to have self confidence. It needs to be oozing from your pores. You need to truly believe that you deserve to be there, and that you’ve got what it takes to succeed — no matter what. You’re smart enough and talented enough to handle whatever comes your way.
This is something that can’t be taught, learned or memorized. Your passion is that inner force that pushes you forward; it’s the reason you jump out of bed every morning. It’s something you were born with, and it drives everything you do. You’ve got to have a wild amount of passion to thrive in the fashion industry.
You’ve got to know where you’re going, and how you want to get there. If you’re creating a brand out of nothing, you need to have plans, values, goals and vision to lead you. You’ve got to have clarity, and put in hard work to ensure your vision comes alive. You must truly believe that your radical, grandiose and ambitious dreams can and will be brought to life.
- Although passion may drive what you do, you’ve got to have the business mindset and knowledge to go with it. In order to grow any business, regardless of the industry, you need to understand budgets, sales, manufacturing, design, and much more. The systems and processes involved to go from idea to product would be mind-blowing to someone with no experience in the industry. A fashion entrepreneur must understand how all of this works together, and have a plan for every step of the process. Reaching the point of having product to sell is a hurdle — but it’s a small one compared to actually selling what you’ve produced. Then, they’ve got to consider the financials. Unless you’re independently wealthy already, you can’t move forward without the proper financing or investment. No one will even look at you without a comprehensive business plan.
Strong communication skills are a vital characteristic all successful fashion entrepreneurs posses. There will be countless people involved, from the initial design concept to having an actual end product. It’s critical there is open, effective communication at all times. When there is a large amount of creativity involved, communication becomes even more critical, as unique individuals can perceive the same situation quite differently.
All fashion entrepreneurs are highly creative. They can draw, sew, and visualize colour schemes the rest of us can’t. That’s what makes them special. Even for those that are more business focused, they tend to think creatively.
In the fast-paced world of fashion, things happen in the blink of an eye. Successful fashion entrepreneurs will always be decisive in their actions. You’ve got to make decisions (especially the right ones) in order to keep moving forward — otherwise you get left behind.
This is a big one. The fashion industry isn’t just competitive. It can be cut-throat and dirty, and you’ve got to be ready to get back up if you get knocked down. Rejection is tough, but you’ve got to be strong enough to keep pushing forward, even when the obstacles seem insurmountable.
Fashion entrepreneurs posses natural inquisitiveness, that never stops. They’re always wondering, dreaming, questioning, and pushing boundaries. They don’t accept things at face value and are always trying to read between the lines.
Last but not the least, is independence. Any successful fashion entrepreneur you meet will be extremely independent, and not counting on anyone for survival but themselves. They’re following their own dreams, bring their own visions to life, and creating their own pay checks. They don’t want to answer to anyone but themselves — because after all, it’s their vision and theirs alone.
What do you think? Any others you would include on this list? What qualities do you posses as a fashion entrepreneur?
Lets get talking in the comment box below!
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