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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

Fashionably Yours, 
Dru

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

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