Why I Almost Shut Down StartUp FASHION This Year

I almost shut down StartUp FASHION this year.

I was feeling a certain way and my personality tends to be to make a decision and act on it even if I haven’t fully thought through the impact. As a business owner, sometimes that’s great, other times it’s problematic.

Anyway, that almost happened with StartUp FASHION, a business that I have built up to be both financially and personally fulfilling over the majority of my professional career.

But luckily I didn’t do that and instead decided that it’s time to make a big change to StartUp FASHION, rather than shut it down. And I want to tell you all about it.

OK, the fast story– I’m launching StartUp FASHION on Substack.

To tell you the longer story, let me backup a bit.

Over the past year or so I’ve been feeling a bit lost and disconnected when it comes to my work with StartUp FASHION.

absolutely love being connected to so many of you and sharing my knowledge about how to launch and run a successful fashion business.

Working with independent creatives who have big dreams of running your own successful brands and teaching you how to take an idea and bring it to life, gives me so much joy.

And I have been doing this exact work for 15 years now. 15 years!

And while that is really incredible and I feel so lucky to get to do this work, something changed for me.

It just started to feel so difficult to connect with my StartUp FASHION community. Things had shifted in the industry – a lot of noise. And it was exhausting.

I didn’t feel the joy that came with having a true community anymore.

Followers and subscribers and members are great (and much appreciated!) but if we’re not talking to each other, if we’re not connecting and sharing and learning from each other, then what’s the point?

I was starting to believe that my work was done and this part of my life was complete and I should just close the whole thing down and move on.

But then I thought about all of the people who email me and DM me every week saying how much the content I put out there has helped them to pursue their dreams and goals, which is not just very humbling but also brings me so much joy and excitement.

Doing work that encourages people to pursue their dreams is incredibly special and I feel lucky to be able to do it.

So I decided not to close down StartUp FASHION but to change it.

I wondered how I could get back to our roots of being a real community, where I talk to you and hear from you and have actual conversations with you. Where you all talk to each other and wind up meeting for coffee if you’re in the same city or collaborating with your businesses or simply becoming online best business buddies.

I want this back.

And so Substack came to mind.

A few months ago, I started using the platform for a personal project where I write about midlife and connect with other women who are 40+ and facing a new stage in their lives.  

And I absolutely love the platform.

If you haven’t heard of Substack it is very much along the lines of old-school blogging. Remember blogs in 2010 where everyone was talking to one another around a common interest? Yeah, it’s like that but better because of all the new technology out there!

So I thought, why can’t I use this same incredible platform for StartUp FASHION?

Why can’t we have that sort of closeness and connection for the independent fashion business community like we used to have?

We can!

So I am.

I have decided to move the blog and email and community to Substack. I have also added a membership tier for anyone who is interested in connecting more deeply and learning from me (and others) in a true community setting.


Starting this week, May 10th, I will be posting on and emailing you from Substack.

I will write helpful how-to posts about fashion business mindset, product development, marketing, sales, and business operations once a month and these will be sent to you via email for free.

You will also get my fashion business owner musings sent to you via email twice a month on Fridays now (instead of Sundays).

On these posts, you are invited to comment and ask questions about what you read and I’ll check in once or twice a week and respond to you.

If you are a current StartUp FASHION email subscriber, you don’t have to do anything. Just happily receive emails of new posts and comment if and when you have a question or something to add.

If you want more, you can choose to join our paid membership and receive:

  • weekly fashion business musings
  • weekly how-to posts
  • the entire archive of past posts
  • the Launch Your Business Blueprint, made up of 35 masterclasses and workbooks!
  • the private business chat where we can talk to each other daily, you can ask me questions and get help with your business, and you can connect with each other and create your strongly connected community of business besties.  

There is no pressure to join the paid group, you can remain a free subscriber and get your monthly dose of fashion business guidance. No problem. 

But if that next-level connection is exciting to you(!) then you will see an option to “upgrade to paid subscriber”, you can do that at any time and I look forward to chatting with you one-on-one in the group!

And that’s it, really.

This change has brought a new energy to my work with StartUp FASHION.

I feel so much excitement about getting back to our roots; to talk to you all and have conversations and know that we are a close-knit community of fashion business owners navigating this industry together.

I look forward to connecting and chatting on Substack!

As always– wishing you 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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