Starting a fashion brand, and managing it may not be easy as owners make it seem. A lot of factors have to be put in place, hence, many mistakes are likely to occur.
However, it is always best to learn from mistakes and put in more effort in order to avoid them later in the future.
We spoke to fashion designers – designers of clothes, bags, shoes and other accessories – on the mistakes they made while starting their brands, how they have learnt from those mistakes, and how they use technology to promote their brands.
Simisola Sogbesan, the owner and creative director of Hafsat Signatures, which is a fashion brand that produces handmade functional bags and fashion items that complement the lifestyle and meets the needs of Afrocentric individuals, had this to say,
“Delegating, registering for training sessions and getting quality materials from a trusted source are some of the things that would have helped my fashion brand greatly if I knew earlier.”
“I have realized now that delegating helps to save more time and energy. And previously, I used to source for materials from different suppliers at outrageous prices, but, sticking to one supplier has helped me get good quality materials at a cheaper rate”, she said.
“Also, attending training sessions and classes has helped me greatly as I’ve gained a great amount of knowledge, I wish I knew that when I started my brand. At Hafsat Signature, we mainly make use of social media to promote our products, we run advertisements and we’re also verified on Google.”
Lucy Chawe, the owner of Asahi Tailoring, a Tanzanian fashion brand that specialises in ready-to-wear and custom-made clothing wears, shared this with us,
“When I started my fashion brand, I didn’t do a lot of advertising, to get my work out there for the world to see, and it really affected my brand in the beginning. Also, poor pricing affected me, I was trying desperately to give unneccessary discounts just so the customers would keep coming back.”
“But I realised that working on the quality to be worth the price did that job well. Realizing my mistakes made me more careful, carefully plan out solutions and work on them. As per promoting my brand now, we share our outfits and services on social media”, she added.
Olorundipe Kehinde, the creative director of 54 stitches, a contemporary women’s fashion brand that specialises more in outfits for the African woman, shared her experiences with us,
“One thing that would have helped my brand greatly, if I knew about it earlier, is social media marketing. Up until last month, I didn’t take it seriously, but now I’ve acknowledged my errors and drawn up plans on how to improve my social media presence.”
“I’m also taking a few online courses, as well as doing more research regarding social media marketing. To promote the products in my brand, we mainly make use of email marketing and our social media pages.”
Temitayo Johnson-Laleye, the owner and creative director of Tjl Signatures, which is a fashion brand that creates bizarre fashion accessories, like bags and jewelry for adventurous students, shared this with us,
“At first, I thought our products were for everyone, that is, I didn’t really recognise our target customers, but later I got to realize and accept that our products aren’t for everyone but mainly just students.”
“From my mistakes, I’ve understood the fact that the journey won’t always be perfect, but you need to see that as a challenge to do better. We make use of our business website, as well as social media pages to reach potential customers”, she said in conclusion.
There you have it, some mistakes made by fashion brand owners when they initially started, and how they pushed past those mistakes!