Fashion Business Owner Musings: Be Aware of the Emotional Costs

spacerNot too long ago one of the brand owners in our membership group expressed to her fellow members that she was struggling with something. A couple years prior she had a really poor experience with a factory and that experience impacted her finances and left her without some of the inventory she ordered– about 50 pieces of a 500 piece order.

Even though 2 years had passed, this member was still engaged in a back-and-forth conversation with the factory.

She’s found it difficult to let go, hoping to get back some of what she lost.

It was especially hard to let go because the factory was apologetic, which made the ongoing conversation feel at least somewhat hopeful. But regardless of how apologetic, the factory has not righted their wrong in 2 years and months will go by without hearing back from them.

She was struggling. She wanted to know: Does she keep the conversation going, trying to get back what is owed to her? Or does she let it go and move on?

My advice: Move on.

Accept it as a hard lesson learned and let it go.

I understand that whether we’re talking about a couple of years or a couple of months, when things like this happen, we tend to dig our heels in and want what’s fair.

I totally get it, and I’ve done it myself.

Whether we’re talking about paid-for samples that never arrive or a product we lend out for photo shoots that are never returned, these things cost us money.

As independent businesses, there is usually no wiggle room for things like this. It’s infuriating and often crushing.

So this is not to say that you don’t spend any time on righting a wrong. Of course not. But it’s when a thing like this goes on and on and on, without a resolution, that it starts to become a bigger problem than we may realize.

There’s something you need to understand…

It’s important, as you grow your fashion business, to be aware of the emotional cost of things.

When you spend months or even years stressing over things that you can’t really do anything about, it’s costing you something more than just money and time in your business- whether you realize it or not, there’s an emotional cost.

Emotional cost is a real thing, and it can have an even more negative impact on your business than the loss of money or time.

Just the other day I found myself spending 35 minutes talking about something that someone did that was very unprofessional and had a negative impact on my business.

Instead of accepting it and moving on, I wasted even more of my energy (a very precious commodity for business owners) thinking about it and talking about it to a member of my team (therefore wasting her time too).

I spent so much energy on this that, upon realizing that was the case, I actually felt embarrassed.

I said to myself, “Stop. There’s nothing to be done. Move on.”

As you can see, this is a practice that we all need to try to get good at.

I am still trying to get better at being aware of the emotional costs of things in business.

So my hope is that if you see yourself reflected in this story, you’ll also try to stop and move on. Remind yourself of the emotional cost and save yourself the stress of it all.

Lots of love and encouragement,

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Nicole Giordano

Nicole is the founder of StartUp FASHION, an online resource and community supporting for independent designers around the world with building their businesses. A deep love for the craft of fashion paired with an adamant belief that success is defined by the individual, led her to found StartUp FASHION, where she helps independent designers and makers screw the traditional fashion business rules, create their own paths, and build businesses they truly love. More than anything else, she’s in the business of encouragement and works every day to remind makers and designers that they have something special to offer the world and that they can, in fact, do this thing!

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