Learn-how-to-be-a- successful-fashion- entrepreneur

Learn how to be a successful fashion entrepreneur

This blog will drive you to achieve your dreams of being a creative preneur, whilst keeping your capital low, but passion, hopes and goals held high

ODD garments is a journey that has taken long hard years to build. I started out almost 16 years ago as a girl who loved fashion, a girl who wanted to create and own the creation.

Through this journey I encountered failures and quiet successes. Where we are today is the result of a very strong foundation that has been built on values that define conviction and determination.

My love for fashion and creating clothes led me to strongly believe that I can start my own business. Childhood memories of wearing perfectly tailored clothes and shopping for fabric with my mum only strengthened my roots in design.

Back when I was in college, I held exhibitions at homes of friends and relatives including my own and made my fashion hobby something like a lemonade business; a business that requires your time and you to sell and excites you with every glass sold.

My grandmother generously lent me her tailoring machine, this helped me to tailor at home and create more, soon I was supplying to a local boutique – that was my first real experience with handling stock, a bill book and unbiased cash.

With no formal education or experience in the field of design and fashion, making a mistake was the only way to learn. This method of learning made the whole process of growth and my choices steadier and more measured.

Supplying to stores was fun but it had its own perils of slow repayment, damage of goods and lack of ur own creativity.
I was running out of capital , was I naïve? Yes! Was I ready for business? Ummm well maybe the hard way 😊
My degree in economics taught me one thing well- to use resources optimally.

This actually made me start designing with my fabric leftovers working my brain hard to recreate that design in trend with whatever fabric it is that I had.

Zero waste yet make it worth the sale !

I began a part time job at a call centre and joined a pattern making course for the rest of the day, came back home and sketched and designed whatever it is that came to my mind.

I was fortunate during those times to have a lot of love from friends – who began to order personalised clothing – this concept gave me the brain-wave that I I can do orders for people and tailor make their clothes by visiting them personally and providing a sort of customised service.

I did this for a good 3-4 years but the doubt of worth kept over shadowing.

This experience taught me how to deal with different types of people and different types of shapes; the pear and apple body type.

Maybe the easiest by the book but there’s a lot more dramatic shapes out there that were tough to cater to !
I learnt how to measure on the body how to use someone’s personal material to an extent that they love it more than when they owned it just as material.

Looking back this experience helped me build client relations that I think is the key to any business.
While I was busy doing this and that- a family trip in India helped me discover some beautiful textiles and fabrics; they were so amazing that I wanted to buy all of them, but buy how many meters and keep them where exactly?

But my love for them made me buy them to sell them to others.

Now the entrepreneur fairy was circling around me; I sold so many fabrics and beautiful ones to tons of local designers who loved my selection each time.

I would order these fabrics, pack my suitcase and travel to cities and sell them to local designers. This allowed me to earn money on the side that I would then put back into my design and tailoring.

I continued to keep busy in my creative projects everyday – a phone call later I used all my savings and booked my very first international ticket to Australia to visit my sister and hold an exhibition for her friends and the locals there.

Travelling 13000 miles to sell things I created – bags, beach umbrellas, beach mats, scarves, clothing, embroidered textile patches and a lot more was an excitement high. I was a carrying a flea bazaar with me…the response out there was eye opening.

A market where people had no tailors; they didn’t wear suits or cotton kurtas they lived practical lives and wanted practical things – they bought from brands they respected.

A walk at bondi beach market led me to chance upon a local brand – a brand that sold clothes that looked so familiar – I went up close and saw the clothes carefully and found just what I was looking for – “Made in India” with all the strength and courage in my body I looked at the girl and said “Hey I can make these clothes for you” and I can make them much better with excellent finishing.

Yes, that took a truck ton of confidence to do , the client and I are great friends even today !

After a long talk and almost a month later I had my first international client who was ready to do a sampling collection with me which if successful would lead to production and for that I would be at par with her existing Jaipur export house.

“Export House”!! – are u kidding me! That’s unreal and I made an instant call to my dad and he was so proud and so excited it\’s like I had re-lived a part of him!

I started my workshop with a sampling order in hand with 4 machines and 5 workers in my garage.

I did thread cutting and packaging on my dining table

Gradually work grew, clients brands grew alongside and I moved to an industrial space with more machines and more workers.

However the ropes of business was not easy, paying rent and other bills, higher wages and longer credit periods took its toll and I had to cut costs sooner than I thought.

From a Garage to a 1100 sq ft space I had to move back down to a 750 sq ft space with half the workers and fewer machines. I had to take on all kinds of work that came my way – I was desperate to get back to where I wanted to be.

With a new space came a new lease of creativity – I began taking on projects that I love and not worrying about the business of things.

I worked with some amazing people and did work that is dream-worthy. From making Spring summer collections, to clothes for chihuahuas, uniforms for a spa, canvas prints for an eye mask company, merch for a rock band and lots more – it\’s been the best time of my journey!

If you need help with yours, trust me I’m ever ready to guide you through (Link to quick services design consultancy)

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