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11 lessons from failed fashion start up

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11 Lessons I learned since launching a quirky fashion label two years ago.

11 lessons from failed fashion start up

  1. 1. 11 lessons from failed fashion start up
  2. 2. 2.5 years ago I had an idea
  3. 3. make trousers for tall skinny guys
  4. 4. 2 years ago I quit my job
  5. 5. Moved back from Sydney to Riga
  6. 6. Started work in industry I know nothing about
  7. 7. 18 months ago I launched my brand
  8. 8. Skinny Latvian
  9. 9. I started selling some pants
  10. 10. People liked idea and social media was buzzing
  11. 11. Today I called it quits
  12. 12. I’ve failed
  13. 13. I’ve lost faith in my own brand
  14. 14. And once you stop believing
  15. 15. The party is over
  16. 16. Here are 11 lessons I learned along the way
  17. 17. 1
  18. 18. Niche too niche
  19. 19. Everyone tells you to focus, be different, don’t go mass
  20. 20. Well, I took it to the next level
  21. 21. I only targeted 5% of population
  22. 22. Guys had to be above 190cm
  23. 23. Girls had to be above 175cm
  24. 24. And you had to be skinny
  25. 25. Plus, you must like color
  26. 26. And premium products, made in Latvia
  27. 27. You see what I’m getting to
  28. 28. Audience of 1
  29. 29. I was making pants for myself
  30. 30. 2
  31. 31. Quality Control
  32. 32. Consistent sizing matters
  33. 33. I made 3 collections
  34. 34. And still could not get labels and sizing right
  35. 35. People want consistency
  36. 36. 3
  37. 37. Your opinion does not count
  38. 38. You are not objective
  39. 39. You do not know what people want
  40. 40. Making stuff that you like is not a business
  41. 41. It’s a hobby
  42. 42. 4
  43. 43. Name lame
  44. 44. Skinny Latvian
  45. 45. I liked it
  46. 46. It’s quirky
  47. 47. Danes did not like it
  48. 48. Guess what they wanted?
  49. 49. Skinny Dane
  50. 50. 5
  51. 51. Emotional vs. physical discrimination
  52. 52. 95% of surf shop customers never surf
  53. 53. They just want to look like surfers to pick up chicks
  54. 54. That’s emotional discrimination
  55. 55. It’s fine, brands do it all the time
  56. 56. Now, telling that you have to be tall & skinny
  57. 57. That’s physical discrimination
  58. 58. People don’t like it so much
  59. 59. 6
  60. 60. ROI or go home
  61. 61. You’re not Twitter
  62. 62. Investment has to deliver return
  63. 63. Or have clear plan of doing so in 6-12 months
  64. 64. I’ve got 0.5 ROI on my investment
  65. 65. I invested 20,000 USD and got 10,000 USD back
  66. 66. That’s like going on a 10,000 USD per year course of entrepreneurship
  67. 67. Cheaper than INSEAD
  68. 68. But still not a viable business
  69. 69. 7
  70. 70. Buzz and success is not the same
  71. 71. Magazines wrote about me
  72. 72. Radio would interview me
  73. 73. Mum was proud of me
  74. 74. But perception is not reality
  75. 75. Your Instagram post is perception
  76. 76. Your Google search history is reality
  77. 77. You know the difference
  78. 78. 8
  79. 79. 100% commitment
  80. 80. 80% is not enough
  81. 81. 90% is not enough
  82. 82. Are you willing to sacrifice everything else for this?
  83. 83. Your dinners with friends?
  84. 84. Your PlayStation?
  85. 85. Your holidays?
  86. 86. I thought I was
  87. 87. Until I actually had to do it
  88. 88. Fashion industry is a bitch
  89. 89. Like Acting
  90. 90. Music
  91. 91. Or photography
  92. 92. You have to be 100% in it
  93. 93. For the long haul
  94. 94. 9
  95. 95. Actions not words
  96. 96. “It’s cool” does not sell
  97. 97. I heard “cool pants man”
  98. 98. An mistook it for “where can I buy them”
  99. 99. Everyone loves my Iron Man cords
  100. 100. But nobody buys them
  101. 101. They say “It’s not for me”
  102. 102. 10
  103. 103. A lone wolf goes hungry
  104. 104. You need to flank your pray
  105. 105. And know when the deer is too big
  106. 106. I was hunting alone
  107. 107. If I had a business partner
  108. 108. She would provide another perspective
  109. 109. She would question my choices
  110. 110. And help me avoid investment traps I got into
  111. 111. Get a business partner
  112. 112. 11
  113. 113. Stock is death
  114. 114. I made 600 pairs of pants
  115. 115. I’ve sold 300 pairs of pants
  116. 116. I’ve got 300 pairs of unsold pants
  117. 117. This is what kills me
  118. 118. Death by 300 pants
  119. 119. Ironic, right?
  120. 120. Do I regret doing any of this?
  121. 121. Hell, no
  122. 122. I learned so much
  123. 123. Of what not to do
  124. 124. Just kidding…

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