Fashion Business Owner Musings: Only You Can Choose the Scope of Your Goals

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Here’s an unasked-for piece of advice: Don’t let others make your goals feel small.

We hear a lot about how people are building big things. They’re disrupting industries, they’re going to build a fashion empire, they’re changing the way people shop, they’re going to have a global headquarters, 150 employees, and raise a Series A of 5 million dollars.

That’s great for them. And those goals are admirable, impressive, and incredibly exciting.

But if all of that sounds like nothing near what you want in life, don’t let that make you feel like your goals aren’t important.

You’ve heard me many times for quite a few years now talk about defining your own path. This has been the message that the StartUp FASHION brand has communicated for a long time.

To toot our own horn a bit, we were really the first fashion business resource to confidently communicate this message — you don’t have to do things the traditional way and you can absolutely build a business that complements your lifestyle.

And this week I find myself wanting to reiterate that message.

Here’s the thing…

The reason that this message has been such a cornerstone of the StartUp FASHION brand and beliefs is because it is a cornerstone of me and my beliefs.

When I say that you can and should build a business that complements your lifestyle, I mean that you get to look at what it is you want in life and then build a business around it, rather than thinking you have to create a “legitimate” fashion business, doing all the things that people in this industry tell you you’re “supposed” to do, and then try to find happiness in that.

The issue that tends to arise when you start to talk about your lifestyle business is that you can sometimes feel like your goals aren’t big enough, important enough, or exciting enough.

But that’s not true.

I sometimes find myself in meetings with people speaking about things like “pursuing their seed round”, hiring their 8th employee, or opening their European offices.

It can be inspiring to see such impressive accomplishments, goals, and aspirations among the group. But I have to be honest, I don’t want to be one of them.

I have a very clear idea of what I want my life to be. And the goals around my business are all tied into how I want to live my life and sometimes that can seem to others as “small potatoes”.

Maybe for them, it is. But for me it’s not. I love my life and I want to continue to run and grow a business that allows me to keep on living it exactly as I please.

And the same applies to you.

Fashion is a wacky industry. There are so many different directions you can take and so many different kinds of businesses you can build.

And if you reflect on your options and ultimately decide that the business you want to build doesn’t require seed rounds and $100,000 runway productions, and $5,000 a month publicist invoices, and getting into Manhattan department stores, that doesn’t mean that your goals are any less admirable, impressive, or exciting than those who are pursuing those things.

You still get to talk about your business with excitement AND, you still get to share what you’re doing with confidence and pride. Decide what you want and own that decision because it’s yours and yours alone to make.

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!

  1. Billy Bones

    Always great to read your musings. I was waiting for one last Friday, but it never came.

    • Nicole Giordano

      Hey Billy,

      Yeah, sometimes life gets in the way. 🙂 I didn’t write a musing last week but glad to hear you enjoyed this week’s!


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