This week, DeAnna McIntosh, Chief Global Strategist of The Affinity Group International, is back! DeAnna is a merchandising expert with over 13 years in the industry, and is passionate about the same mission Indie Source is – YOU!
The limits to your potential are self-imposed.
Sometimes we all get caught up in what we seemingly can’t do or can’t see. What we don’t realize, is that by doing that, we are limiting our own potential. You know how talented you are. You know that once you launch your designs into the market that you will make an impact that is felt all over the world. There may be a million designers, but none like YOU.
The good news is that you can. You just have to commit to it and run as fast as you can towards your dreams. The only limits to what you can do is inside your own mind. Clear those thoughts today with me.
You Are Not Limited by Your Location
A common misconception is that you need to live in a major fashion city like New York, Los Angeles, Paris to “make it” in fashion.
That is simply not true. Especially in today’s digital age, you are not limited by where you live. I posted on Instagram a few weeks ago about sourcing some brands for an upcoming project, and I received a direct message from a brand in Pakistan. We chatted via email and WhatsApp the next day! A few days ago, I received a discovery call request from a woman in Morocco who wanted strategy help in launching her online boutique. Business is borderless.
From a manufacturing perspective, Indie Source makes it so seamless to start and build your line from anywhere! They offer virtual meetings with the project manager and virtual garment fittings via FaceTime or something equivalent. Since they are based in LA, you can literally go check in to see how production is going at your leisure (You wouldn’t be able to do that if they were overseas).
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there wherever you live and emerge as an expert and leader there first. That will make your brand look even more attractive as you begin to grow and look for new opportunities. You don’t have to live, nor be based, in New York to show at New York Fashion Week. You don’t have to live, nor be based, in Florence, Italy to exhibit at Pitti Uomo. Make yourself a travel budget so that you can be present in those locations when you need or want to be, and then take that inspiration back to your home. You will know when the time is right to make the move.
You Are Not Limited by Your Resources
Yes, you absolutely need money to start your business, but be strategic about every dollar that you invest into it.
View your business expenses as investments
Every expense you have your business should have an explanation and a reason. If you’re deciding to invest in an expert, for example if you were to work with me on your business plan and merchandising strategy, you should have a reason as to why that would be essential to your business.
Don’t be afraid to barter with other businesses that you have gotten to know and built a relationship with. Often times small brands are in similar stages where they need help but don’t have the budget at the time. You’d be surprised all that you could offer to another business in an exchange and vice versa.
Get creative with what you have! If you have a full-time job, allocate a certain percentage of your salary to your business investment fund.
Your next resource could come in an unexpected way. You could meet someone while shopping at the grocery store and come to realize that they are a textile manufacturer in your city. Think outside the box when it comes to finding whatever you need to start or expand your business. Resourcefulness is an essential train of a successful entrepreneur.
You Are Not Limited by Your Talent
You’ve always had that fashion eye (countless people have told you). You’ve gone to school for this. Lack of talent and vision has never been an issue for you. Your talent can only blossom from here. Take advantage of workshops and mentors in your area that can teach you about the areas of running a business outside of design to make sure you are fully prepared to launch and grow. Often times creative minds lack the business knowledge and sometimes can become a hinderance. But there are plenty of resources out there online and offline to give you that knowledge.
You Are Limited by A Lack of Strategy
If there is one aspect of operations, or even of your launch process, I could guess that IS limiting your potential is a lack of strategy. You can have the most amazing ideas and design, but if you don’t have a detailed strategy of how you will make that come to life, it will always result in a stand still. Work with a merchandising consultant such as myself, who specializes in product – based businesses and can review your plans and ensure that you have covered all your bases for a successful, and most of all, sustainable launch.
DeAnna McIntosh, Chief Global Strategist at The Affinity Group International, is a driven, entrepreneurial, and creative brand strategist with a strong eye for design, and over 13 years of progressive experience in merchandising, marketing, and event management. Her proven results as a strategist for numerous Fortune ranking retailers will drive tangible growth for your business from day one.
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