Before social media, word of mouth stands the test of time in advertising. As much as social media has increased awareness in many businesses, the true mark of success comes outside what the business says about itself….it’s what the clients say about the business.
Stand on a chair, beat on your chest, tweet, IG, update all day long about how great your “brand” is….
But the most valuable and meaningful endorsements come unsolicited and usually unseen on social media. For me, it’s that ‘Thank You’ from a hard to fit client or that ‘Aha!’ moment from a student learning a new skill, even engaging a customer with a smile and friendly conversation who says, ‘I’m glad I stopped in, I will be back’…
These are what keeps a business moving forward with even the occasional unsatisfied customer being considered an opportunity for growth.
There are tons of successful professionals, in several areas who haven’t even touched social media….their hard work and return clientele attributing to their longevity.
No tweets needed.
Likes and follows are great, but they ain’t paying my bills.
Aren’t you glad? I am.
When running a business, especially as a creative, there are times we have to learn to postpone that new design idea to actually RUN THE BUSINESS.
The dream of many is to become fashion entreprenuers because we LOVE WHAT WE DO, but the irony is, some actually spend less time creating and more time tending to the needs of the business.
Here’s a few other things to consider discussed in my recent article in coolcleveland.com.
Enjoy! Let me know what you think.
Starting a business, including a fashion-based business, can be a bumpy ride. You are stepping out in the world as an expert in the field, so it’s important to have a real look at your skill level. Awesome designs can get you in the door, but there are other factors to consider to keep you in the door- successfully.
Here are a few things to truly ask yourself when deciding to throw your hat in the ring as a fashion entrepreneur. It’s quite a journey, but rewarding nonetheless.
1. Am I ready to make the transition from designer to CEO (and everything else)?
As business proceeds, one thing that I’ve learned quickly as a designer is there are less times you actually design and more days doing everything else. Even with the budget (and luck) to have a staff, you will find that most of your time will be devoted to actually running the business (paperwork, marketing, etc.) You will realize quickly that as an entrepreneur, TIME is your most precious commodity.
2. Do you love it?
Running a business, especially in the fashion industry, is a 24-hour, seven-days a week commitment. Even at rest, you are constantly thinking about your business and how to improve, new ideas and the next move. With your social life on hold in the early stages, you will need to devote a great amount of time to making things work.
3. How fast can you adapt to change?
Fashion, is an ever changing cycle — what’s new, what’s hot, what’s not. You will have to be able to spot what works for your customer quickly and what doesn’t. No matter how you may love and think one thing is a great unique idea, your customers may tell you otherwise. In that case, you need the knowledge to be able to change courses and come up with something else. And fast.
4. Are you tough?
Falls, bumps and bruises aside, owning a business take a certain amount of mental tenacity and self motivation. Any entrepreneur will tell you there are good & awesome days and then there are days you feel like staying in bed. When these occur, you must remain positive and be willing to return to the scene of the crime for more.
Pssst: it doesn’t last long and hopefully, the turn-around is swift.
5. Are you ready to sell?
The shop is set, full of merchandise, but it’s no good if no one knows about it. Outside of social media — which is one piece of marketing — be prepared to find other ways to let the masses know about your shop, services and products. The competition is fierce in the retail world, be ready to learn to grab your customers attention.
ABOUT THE WRITER:
Dru Thompson is a fashion designer who owns and operates Dru Christine Fabrics and Design, a design studio and boutique located Cleveland’s flourishing Waterloo Arts District. Through community involvement, Thompson has firmly established herself in the arts and fashion community as a writer, educator and mentor for aspiring entrepreneurs. To learn more about Dru, go to druchristine.com or Facebook: Dru Christine Fabrics and Design, Instagram or Twitter @druchristine.
To read more articles by Dru Thompson on coolcleveland.com, click here.
Have you ever wondered what goes through the mind of a creative?
Endless ideas. One after another. And another and another.
Oh. A leaf.
Then a few more ideas.
What was I doing again?
Some people choose to keep notebooks on hand to write ideas down as soon as inspiration strikes.
This is a practice I adopted for as long as I can remember and over the years, I have began accumulate dozens of notebooks full of ideas, lists, names and more.
My sister teases me that if I ever would commit a crime, look for a notebook – somewhere because I have surely written all the details of the crime.
But, finding WHICH notebook is half the battle and now the notes app in my phone has also become an accomplice.
In the mist of training and (attempting to) tame a creative mind while remaining productive, here are a few ways retaining your ideas through note taking can benefit you in the long run.
Write it down– in a notebook, journey, notes in your phone. Anywhere. The details you think you will remember a few weeks from now will be lost when you begin to execute.
Get your funky off – Writing notes for your own personal viewing keeps down the urge for those COMING SOON or STAY TUNED posts on social media. Followers will look for the next project – as directed. With too many preview posts and not enough DOING posts, you will lose credibility with your audience and lack of interest for when you REALLY have something tangible to be excited about. (Kind of like that Boy Who Cried Wolf type of thing).
Pay attention – There are some days and times your mind is most productive. Take a few minutes during those sleepless nights to jot down ideas that have been swirling around in your head. That MAY be what’s been keeping you up the last few nights. Maybe. (Or you had Mexican Food for dinner.) In either case, give writing ideas a try.
The mind of a creative is a complex, yet beautiful thing. Training your brain to minimize distractions and stay on track is a huge task. Start small and the results will come. Eventually.
Now ending the blog post that started as a note at 7am. (See what I did there?) –
Dru Thompson- Now booking for Black History Month and Women’s History Month
From Fashion and Style to entrepreneurship,
Dru Thompson offers a variety of speaking topics and workshops for your event.
To learn more about speaking opportunities and workshops, visit: http://druchristine.com/book_dru_christine
Motivation is needed everyday.
As we observe, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and his contribution to the world today, check out his most memorable quotes that can be applied daily.
Today is also The National Day of Service.
– DO SOMETHING.
As WRHS commemorates the 150th Anniversary of being the regions storyteller, the textile and costume collection opens its closet (with 13,000 dresses and counting) to create Wow Factor: 150 Years of Bold Fashion exhibit.
The collection premiers in April of 2017, but, here’s a chance to check out some of the dresses and accessories in advance.
To learn more, visit: www.wrhs.org.
Enjoy. Stay tuned for more info about this event.
Just here for the clothes.
As we head into the awards season – starting with The Golden Globe Awards tonight, check out this fun article about the history of The Red Carpet.
We all are familiar with “What are you wearing?” coined by Joan Rivers, but, did you know the tradition of the red carpet dates back over 2,500 years?!
Check out this great read we found! Enjoy!
Red Carpet Ready (from my couch) –