Coral Turner looks at why startups are rarely 'overnight successes' and what to do if interest in your business is more of a trickle than a flood.
This is the latest in the series of Coral's Startup Diary entries about the challenges of being a fashion entrepreneur. To see her previous blogs, click here.
I’ve been meeting with a lot of my fellow female entrepreneurs recently who have been talking to me about the frustrations of their businesses, how the work they have been putting in has not been converting into the sales they need to sustain their business, and some are actually thinking of giving up.
The NextWomen Family Business & Generations Theme.
Aerospace engineer Natalie Panek looks at some of the amazing Gen Y women who are shaping the future with their innovations.
Innovation is found in those who let curiosity lead – letting the world stimulate the imagination to orchestrate change. And those whom are driven by curiosity are the fearless leaders looking to instigate change and have the ability to transform the way we envision technology or how technology can re-shape our lives.
Online fashion entrepreneur Zelfa Oliver explains how facing her fears, especially with regard to technology, is part of her entrepreneurial journey.
The shock - or just the gentle nudge - of the new. Writing a column like this is new to me. But then so is working in fashion and so is steering an internet start up, both of which I am embarking on right now. And that means writing a column is not exactly the scariest thing I have done this week - though I do have to keep reminding myself of that fact!
You see, embracing newness is a state of mind - one that is essential to most businesspeople but not one that comes naturally to everybody.
That’s what I have learned anyway.
You see, right now I am in the exhilarating throes of establishing a brand new fashion e-tailer, Zelfa.net, with the aim of bringing a wearable aesthetic to life for a womenswear audience that already feels confident and sophisticated enough to make their own choices about to wear rather than just buying whatever is “in” that week. Our mantra is to go beyond the caprice of throwaway trends and bubblegum fashion.
And it occurs to me as I write that, that it sounds like we eschew the new.
Motivated by her concern with the chemical composition of traditional nail polishes and removers, mother-of-two Jeanette Sklivanou founded Snails (Safe Nails) in 2011 in order to provide her children and the marketplace with a safer alternative.
I have always loved beauty products but never really thought a great deal about the constituent ingredients in the wide range of cosmetics and toiletries that we use every day. Having two young daughters changed all that.
T. Keyzom Ngodup showcases five women in Pakistan who are blazing trails in the world of Fashion & Retail.
In Pakistan ‘being from society’ plays a checkered role, and in the Fashion and Retail space, it invariably puts you ahead of the curve. From readily available investment capital to the country’s trendsetters spreading tales of your fine designs to their influential networks, ‘being from society’ can be equalized to venture capital support.
But talent finds its way to the top, and more importantly, Pakistan’s successful fashion houses are united not just in their extreme success and female dominance, but more fundamentally in Pakistani women’s adamant ambition to prove their country-men and the world wrong about them and Pakistan.
In that, these five female-run power houses, some ‘from society’ and others not, are trailblazers.
Celebrated as Pakistan’s biggest success stories in a burgeoning fashion stratosphere, Sana Hashwani and Safinaz Muneer, ‘from society’, the duo behind the international acclaimed fashion brand Sana Safinaz have built an empire on their five in-house labels: bridals, eveningwear, prêt a porter, furniture and the most recent phenomena – lawn. In addition, to recently winning the 'Best International Designer 2012' Award in Dubai, these very understated ladies have many achievements to their credit including the sole credit for starting the phenomenon we now know as 'Designer Lawn' in the country, now a PKR 9.6 billion (approximately GBP 63 million)worth local market. Lawn, a local version of the light and summery fabric voile, is being touted as Pakistan’s prêt a porter and was made fashionable by Sana Safinaz several years ago.
Fernanda Bohme explains how she and her sister founded a fashion retail brand which now numbers 12 boutiques across the States and turns over millions of dollars.
My name is Fernanda Bohme. My sister Vivian and I emigrated with our immediate family from Rio de Janeiro Brazil to the United States in the 90’s. Our family did not have a lot but we gained hard-working attitudes. My sister and I did many different things to raise money as we grew up, we even started our own little business ventures. But what we really wanted was to start our own retail business.
When our blogger Mary Juetten attended the fabulous Simmons Leadership Conference last month, she met with keynote speaker Josie Natori, a native of the Philippines who was the first woman vice president in investment banking at Merrill Lynch and went on to found lifestyle brand Natori.
Fashion was never in her plans
I had the pleasure of interviewing Josie Natori prior to listening to Mrs. Natori address a packed room at the Simmons Women’s Leadership Conference in Boston on April 2, 2013. In its 34th year, the conference attracted over 3,000 attendees and with a Women of Influence theme, Ms. Natori was a headline speaker.
The NextWomen Fashion & Retail Theme.
Chloe Macintosh is the Co-Founder & Creative Director at MADE.com.
Launched in 2010, MADE.com offers customers original furniture at up to 70% off high street prices. Aimed at an influential yet bargain loving London crowd, MADE.com works with up-and-coming designers and skilled craftsmen to create their collections.
Made.com was awarded the Young Startup of the Year at the ‘Startups 2012’ awards.
Chloe currently directs all collections and product development at MADE.com, as well as directing and styling all the distinctive interiors shots for both online and offline marketing campaigns.
Her career in design and product development spurred from her early training in architecture. For 10 years she worked as an Associate Partner in Norman Foster's London practice developing projects with a highly influential client list.
In 2007, Chloe joined LastMinute.com Co-Founder Brent Hoberman to develop the design tools for his new home project mydeco. She was also leading the mydeco Design Board and she collaborated with Philippe Starck, Marc Newson and Terence Conran on design projects.
Chloe was born in Paris but has lived in London for the past 16 years.
The NextWomen Fashion & Retail Theme.
When I was a little girl, my parents owned a hotel in the Scottish Highlands, where I grew up. My most prominent memory from that time was the tartan pillbox hat that my mother prescribed to me as uniform, to accompany my role as bell girl.
Growing up in and around the hotel, it must have come as quite a shock when I joined the army at 17 as a trainee nurse. Having a mixed heritage (mother is Chinese, father is Scottish) I was fortunate to have been brought up with a mixture of cultures and this only fuelled my passion for adventure and travel. During my time in uniform I met my husband, Doug, an Australian Naval Officer and we settled in Australia.
Finding myself in Sydney and pregnant with my daughter Kitty, we purchased a Federation period house in which my husband and I renovated. This encouraged me to tap into my creative side and instead of me picking up my Clarinet, I picked up a sewing needle.
The NextWomen Fashion & Retail Theme.
Andrea Kolb meets Adèle Dejak, founder of the eponymous brand which employs a team of over 25 East African artisans to create a range of handmade fashion accessories.
Adèle Dejak is an impressive woman. Originally a typographic designer trained at the London College of Printing, she has become one of the most celebrated upcoming designers of Kenya.
Born of Adele’s desire to create job opportunities in Nairobi, she spent time and investment in training and up-skilling employees to share knowledge and experience. There is a strong emphasis on sustainability and engagement with local communities including working with refugee camps in northern Kenya.