Fashion Business Owner Musings: Doubt and Dismissal Always Seems to Come First

startup fashion business owner musings

Someone recently asked me what I would being doing if I wasn’t doing StartUp FASHION. It threw me a bit because I really wasn’t sure how to answer that question. I love what I do so much that I’m not sure what I’d be doing otherwise.

Then I got a little sad. Because I thought to myself, why aren’t you able to answer this question?

So I sat and thought about it, realizing that I love the other creative things I do- weaving, dyeing, sewing, and all kinds of other textile arts, but that that none of those are really things that I want to make a career out of (anymore). But writing is. I love to write and would love to be “doing” that, if I wasn’t doing StartUp FASHION.

Then I thought, nah, I’m not a trained writer, I can’t write books or tell stories. Where would I even start?

And then it I realized that I had fallen victim to everything I have been preaching against- the thought that I can’t do something because I’ve never done it before, that something I love to do couldn’t possibly be a career, that I wasn’t good enough at something to pursue it professionally.


I spend so much time encouraging designers to work hard towards their goals, to believe in themselves and their abilities, and to look past the fear of failure, yet I am guilty of it way more than I thought I was.

Sure, I’ve had doubts about building the StartUp FASHION Community, I’ve wondered if I could succeed at building this business, I’ve hesitated, and worried, and almost talked myself out of a lot of things when it comes to this business but I always seem to get past it and push through and do that thing that I doubt I can do.

But for some reason, when I think about writing as a career, I dismiss it as a silly dream. I think of it as something I couldn’t possibly do if ever StartUp FASHION came to end.

Why do we do this? Why do we assume “I can’t” long before ever saying “I can.”?

Why do we have to go through a period of doubt and dismissal before thinking that maybe this thing is possible?

Why can’t we look at a challenge and believe in our gut that we’re completely capable and totally ready to take it on?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. Mainly because I want to make sure that I’m using my time on this earth as best as I can, and not letting the time slip by unaccounted for. I want to do the things that make me happy and not concern myself with whether they can be done “successfully”.

Here’s what I’m thinking we need to get better at in order to live up to that outlook on life…

It requires the ability to re-adjust. Though change comes easy to some of us in some aspects of our lives (myself included), in other areas, the ones that require us to constantly adjust the way we think about something or the way we approach something, it’s a lot harder. Maybe because in these areas, we’re putting ourselves out there a lot more that we’re usually comfortable with. I don’t know. But whatever the reason, re-adjusting life and outlook needs to become a simpler and calmer process.

It requires reflecting on what you have accomplished already. Every time you get through a hardship, you gain a sense of freedom. You now are able to recognize one more thing that you’re capable of, one more thing you can handle.

It requires trying something with the knowledge that it may never work exactly how you think it will. With this whole writing thing I’ve been mulling over, I signed up for a full day creative writing workshop here in New York. I’m terrified. What if I have to write a story and share it with the class? I’m already getting nauseous. What if I find out I actually really suck at writing?

We have to work on getting better at saying “Oh, well. Who cares?”

And I think it requires the ability to do the thing without caring about the outcome, without concerning ourselves with what others are thinking about it.


Do the things that interest you and do them with all your heart. Don’t be concerned about whether people are watching you or criticizing you. The chances are they that aren’t paying any attention to you. – Eleanor Roosevelt

All my love and encouragement,

Nicole Giordano
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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