Launching my brand was not easy. The testimonials of meetings in the world of fashion and jewelry really guided me in my choices and helped me a lot to develop the brand. It is my turn, with the hindsight of the past two years, to bring you my advice and observations.
1. Having a creative approach, but not only
2. Surround yourself with the best partners
Finding the manufacturer that will allow you to develop your project is not an easy task when you are starting out, when you are young (I was 24 at the time) with little knowledge. experience and that the brand is under development. You have to reassure them, show them that you have ambition and find out well beforehand to show them that you know what you're talking about so as not to be fooled.
Personally, I didn't find it right away. I came across a first manufacturer who did not respect the quality to which he was committed. After several customer returns and tests with laboratories, I managed to prove to him that what he was selling me did not respect the “gold-plated” designation and therefore to be compensated and thus compensate my first customers..
I have had other similar experiences with manufacturers who sell very well and give you a good impression and once they give you back the job badly done, discredit you by telling you that you only have two years of experience, that you therefore know nothing about it or that you are not Hermès and therefore do not have to demand such quality. When that's what he was selling you beforehand: excellent craftsmanship with the price to match.
To avoid this kind of experience, it is best to trust your manufacturer from the start and establish a contract with him.
3. Protecting your creations
The idea is not necessarily to do it in order to attack any brand launching similar creations because honestly when you're a young brand, you hardly have the budget to afford this kind of lawsuit.
I recommend it more because other brands can attack you. When you are a young brand, few competing brands know you and monitor your creations. It can therefore happen that on designs as minimalist as mine for example, certain brands have released similar designs just after or at the same time.Fortunately, a video posted on youtube in 2018 allowed me one day to legitimize my creations with another designer. A deposit of models at the INPI is not always mandatory even if I recommend it. If you don't have the budget at the start, an online solo envelope at 15 euros on the INPI website or content sharing on social networks such as Youtube is also possible.
Feedback from other creators or actors in the environment you are getting into is essential! There are so many choices to make when building your brand. And every decision you make will guide your development. It's hard to go back once you've started everything. I am thinking of the materials used, the designs that we want to develop first, the choice of suppliers, etc.
Don't hesitate to be curious, make your network work, contact other creators, talk to professionals.
If you are interested in what they do, they will always be happy to share their experiences.
I also think that you have to listen to the feedback you get and for that, you have to compare your creations with those close to you. Not necessarily to have an opinion on aesthetics, but especially in terms of comfort, the development of sizes or other.
5. Beingpresent at trade fairs
Even if it's a hell of a budget when you're starting out, trade shows are super important. This is what can really make the brand known. It was the Première Classe lounge that allowed me to have resellers all over France and to be sold to the Louis-Vuitton Foundation and Printemps Haussmann.
6. Be independent
Because it's very hard at first to set yourself challenges and to be "your own boss". This is why the integration of an incubator can give a rhythm to the beginning.
7. Be self-taught
You will be faced with several problems that you have never faced before. In these kinds of circumstances, your best friend will be Google or Youtube. I trained alone on a lot of subjects such as the creation of a website on WordPress. And all this, thanks to Youtube tutorials. It's really life when you go for it and you don't have anyone above you to teach you their skills.
8. Being multi-task
At the beginning, it is hard to hire. You therefore find yourself on all fronts: communication, marketing, product development, customer support, and of course the creation of new collections. You have to allocate your time well to prioritize what will really sell and develop your brand.
9. Knowing how to delegate
Even though it's hard to hire, there are some things you need to delegate to free up your time. It is easy to find interns when we start, to help us in the development of social networks or in marketing.
10 Be patient
Unless you raise funds, it is said that it usually takes 3 years before you can pay yourself, and if that does not happen, it is better to stop your activity.
The profits that we produce are generally immediately reinvested in order to develop the brand and increase the capacity of the product stock. It is therefore very difficult to get paid at the beginning. It is therefore better to be patient and have other sources of income.
So, don't wait any longer, get started, surround yourself and share your passion!