It’s a rollercoaster of emotion. WGSN Director of Footwear and Accessories Jacqui Ma – founder of urban cycling accessories brand Goodordering – reveals all
You’ll be so proud when you get your first order, but you’ll also learn how to become the ultimate sales person (*fact it’s nothing like The Apprentice).
1. You’ll be on a budget so expect to do everything yourself. Your brand logo? You designed it on Photoshop. Your business cards? Again that will be your own handiwork because any money you save will be funnelled back into your business.
2. Dealing with rejection will be like water off a duck’s back. There’s nothing like creating your own start up business to make you tough. You’ll have to deal with stores saying no and people picking up your samples at trade shows, giving it a closer look and then shaking their head.
3. But then the rollercoaster of emotions will go up, as that pivotal store calls up and places an order. Then another store follows suit and soon you have a list of regular stockists.
4. You will become a master juggler. Because chances are you’re balancing a full-time job with this start up, so you’ll need separate to-do lists. You’ll also need to keep track of incoming and outgoing payments to make your business profitable. Excel spreadsheets and organising apps will become your best friends.
5. Your friends will become part-time employees and you will pay them in pizza. Everything from unpacking shipments of samples to helping you answer emails, your #squad will be roped into everything, and until you get paid, they get paid in pizza.
6. You will learn to love admin. From finding the best lawyer, accountant and shop insurance to the best fulfillment warehouse to store your samples, you will research, research, research and be up until all hours making calls.
7. Sleep is a long-lost luxury. Being a master juggler is tiring, but when you have orders coming in from different countries and continents you need to stay up and get the product out.
8. Going to tradeshows is your new normal. You’ll learn to be your own best salesman, showing off the product and chatting to customers and stores all the time.
9. You will become a pro at taking a perfectly filtered product shot on your phone. Because social media is the new shop window, so your Instagram feed will be a priority.
10. The first time you see someone wearing your product you will be so deliriously happy you’ll want to run up and hug them because they confirm that all the hard work and long hours have been worth it.
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