The other day a fellow fashion business person, who also happens to work towards helping independent designers succeed, asked me,
What’s with all the rah-rah?
It was in response to my love letter to independent designers. She wanted to know why I had built StartUp FASHION around the concept of encouragement? In a nutshell, she claimed that what designers need is information and education.
Of course you do.
Let’s be real. Google has made access to information the commonplace. With enough time and patience, anyone can find almost anything they’re looking for.
But support, encouragement, and yes “rah-rah”, does not come from a google search. Unless of course, you find StartUp FASHION through Google. Then, that’s exactly what it offers!
I realized a long time ago that if I was going to succeed in building a lifestyle business that made me happy, I couldn’t do it alone. And “alone” is something we feel regularly. I do, you do, we all do. And needing someone or several someones to turn to when things are sucking and to jump up and down with when things are incredibly amazing, is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, when you find it, it’s something to be proud of.
It’s an important component to your business. Just as important as knowing how to cut that sleeve or draft that pattern.
Because all the talent and technical skills and perfect financial spreadsheets in the world won’t matter one fucking bit if the weight and pressure and fear and confusion of entrepreneurship is not addressed and dealt with.
When I first decided to launch StartUp FASHION, it was very much focused on resources, tools, and information. And it still is- we offer all kinds of tools and templates and guides and tips.
But (and this is a big but), it didn’t take me long to realize that what brought you all back day after day, what triggered you to become members of the StartUp FASHION Community, is the support, encouragement, trust, friendships, and love.
Reworking our brand message to focus on these assets was the smartest thing we ever did. Why? Because we started to attract the right kinds of designers, those of you who know the struggle is real and want to help your fellow designers as much as you want help from them. And having you all here, especially within the Community where the conversation is strong and helpful, has caused a community to expand into a movement.
You all are amazing. Your heartfelt emails to us thanking us for what we do are the fuel that keeps me going when pressures of my business are weighing on me. That’s my “rah-rah” and I know without a doubt that if not for your support and encouragement to me, I couldn’t keep going.
So we work hard to give you that support and encouragement in exchange.
Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like what you do isn’t important or that needing help, needing support, needing love isn’t a valid request in your business. Invest in these things the same way you would invest in tools and education because without them, it’s so hard to get through the bullshit to get to the good shit.
All my love and encouragement,