WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS?
ALEXANDRA SENES - KILOMETRE.PARIS
In the fashion world, you need some money to start. It is an expensive business. There are just costs that you can’t kill.
AGATHA KULAGA - OVENLY
Take time to really think about the company and culture you want to create. Work on that vision and rework it on a regular basis because it's going to change a lot! Be sure to identify your company values early on. Those values will help guide decision making around things like company financing, growth, and staffing. Reach out to other entrepreneurs and listen to people's experiences in business as early as you can. Those can be incredible (and free) resources and will help you build a support community. And embrace vulnerability. Don't be afraid to ask for help!
AMAN ADVANI - MINISTRY OF SUPPLY
Fashion and retail is a very difficult industry. It’s going to take you awhile. There are a lot of steps between coming up with the concept and getting the right products made. Buckle up.
christina bryant - st frank
Starting a company is a really scary and lonely experience, so people want to start with someone else. But a lot of people I talked to want to start with a friend who doesn’t have a much differentiated skill set. They just want companionship. One it will probably ruin their friendship, but two if your business partner doesn’t have a clearly differentiated skill set from you, you are going to resent them and need someone who does. Push yourself out of the comfort zone and date different co-founders and decide which one is going to complement you. It needs to be a good partner who shares your vision and brings in a totally different skill set to the table, especially if you are a pure creative.
KATIE DEMO - BRASS CLOTHING
It’s really important to lay a strong foundation of your business. Make sure to know your goals and have a vision of what you want your business to be. Align yourself with people in other business, especially people who also believe in your goals and values.
LINDSEY MARTIN - BLOOM
You have to stay passionate. Do something that’s fulfilling for you. Follow things that make you excited. Don’t give up when it gets hard, because that usually means you’re at the point where you’re about to have a breakthrough.
lisa ann markuson - the haiku guys + gals
Don’t be afraid to even try something, even though it seems crazy. Some people could not believe how we are a company of haikuists on typewriters. If you find your niche and find something that solves a problem and creates a tangible response in the world, run with it.
Daniel Zaltsman (Co-Founder): Put yourself out there. And when you see people putting themselves out there, embrace those people. When we were at that festival in Vermont, Lisa Ann didn’t leave us at all, she embraced us. Be mindful and understand the people you work with.
MAX POLLACK - MATTE PROJECTS
Don’t assume you know what you are doing. A lot of times people try hard to define exactly what they are doing and have almost too strong of an idea. But things change constantly. You need to have the ability to be flexible and try out new things. Don’t spend so much time mentally figuring it out before you take the first step.
MIA DAVIS - TABÚ
Know what your goals are and what you are willing to sacrifice. You have to stay committed to it. Talk to other entrepreneurs that you trust. Be honest. You don’t want to sound like you don’t know what you are doing because you want people to believe in you, but at the same time you need to be honest, otherwise you can misleading and not get the help you need. It’s a balance.
OLIVER MAK - BODEGA
You should write your business plan and fill out every section so that it gives you clarity, but no one can prepare you for what it really takes to become an entrepreneur. You will sacrifice a lot for your dream. That’s something schools won’t teach you.
RITA PINTO - VANITY PROJECTS
Be prepared. Do your homework. Know exactly what you’re doing in advance. Be patient with your business. Dedication and commitment are really important.
ROSE WANG - CHIRPS
Right now in the media, there are these unicorn stories that we are obsessed with. The truth is the majority of startups don’t have that crazy growth. That’s not something you should be striving for. You should strive for creating values. If you can create the right value for the right people, the success would come. Don’t be so enamored with your legacy, ego, and the fast cash.
RUTA LAUKIEN - LIQUID ART HOUSE
Do as much research as you can. Have a deadline and just go for it. Don’t wait for the perfect time and the perfect opportunity. Just go for it and keep moving forward. Don’t be afraid of failures.
SOPHIE ZEMBRA - ANTIDOTE
When you first start your company, everybody wants to give you advice. But your company is about you. You need to create your own way to manage. Don’t be shy. Don’t be scared. The worst is failing, but at the same time you learn. Just follow what’s on your mind.
ZACH MACKLOVITCH - SAINTWOODS
As someone who’s lived the ups and downs, I want to warn people about the reality of the business. I found success after ten years, but it took seven years before everything really started catching. Make sure being an entrepreneur is what you really want. Can you handle stress well? If the answer is no, then don’t. You need to be aware of the real fiscal, emotional, and social stress that comes with launching a business. Until you are successful, being an entrepreneur is a part time job. So many people would work on their own company while having an actual job. You would be working double the hours, and the first money that needs to feed is not you, it’s the company.