Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fashion start-up : The Light at the End of the Tunnel

After five months of intense work to get the business under way and the g-zip garment line in production, there is a light visible at the end of the tunnel! On Friday (two days ago), I signed a lease for commercial office space for the company - so from June 1st, we will have what the French call "pignon sur rue", that is, a street address and a home base for the company that is different from my house. Although a commitment, this is a huge step forward for setting the company on its feet. Production is finally ramping up after having vetted the patterns by a specialist and producing versions of the pattern for all three targeted sizes - small, medium and large. We have a confirmed date for the company's official launching (August 25, 2011), and the online store is scheduled to go live by July 31st. So all the hard work is coming to fruition. The only major source of uncertainty (I say that with my tongue in my cheek, however!) is how well our products will sell! (And hence whether we shall still be in business this time next year!)

Still, starting a company bears with it the risk of failing, and it is a risk I understand and accept. If it fails, it fails - it won't be because we did anything less than we could have, because we have put months of hard work and effort into getting it ready!

This is interesting, and I think a comment on the nature of the stress I've been dealing with. The stress doesn't come from risk of failure. The stress comes from needing to be sure that if it fails, it doesn't do so as a result of anything I could have done differently. And likewise, if it succeeds, it does so as a result of the effort we've put into it. Anything less, and I would feel disappointed in myself.

So the light at the end of the tunnel is not necessarily the light of success, but the light that indicates when the success or failure of the business is no longer strictly within my own hands. Once the public weighs in, we move forward with a different spirit, or not at all. I am confident we WILL move forward, that our product WILL be a success. Through our current efforts, the product is not only innovative, it is also of high quality manufacturing. I am also confident we have done our best to position the product well in terms of marketing, and recognize that we will continue to need to do this, especially after we launch the product line.

We are already at work on designs for the second, and possibly third, garment lines, as well as extensions to the first, so there will be no difficulty fueling the development of the company and its product sales from the production end. It is the sales that will be the determining factor, and the launch date is fast approaching!

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