Journey of a Fashion Start-Up: Values in Business

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Nothing in life is a guarantee. Still, the values of a business should be what remain steadfast even when everything else is going to hell.

It’s misleading when an apparel manufacturer advertises itself as one that helps independent designers produce their line domestically but falls short of that expectation. Unfortunately, I encountered one manufacturer that did just that and collected from my startup a membership fee into its program that supposedly offered discounts on learning workshops and product development services. Regrettably, my company never saw those promises come to fruition.

After a rather awkward first meeting with the director of designer relations at this small factory, I was given the date when the pattern maker would be available to begin work on my project. I thought we had reached an understanding but as it turned out, not at all. I found it incredibly difficult to get either of these two individuals to return my messages and soon realized my membership fee into their program was money down the drain but I took away some valuable lessons.

  1. Think carefully about what type of business you want your company to be. Do you want to be the type of business that stays true to its values and mission or the type that says one thing but does another?
  2. When building a business relationship, it’s important to have a face-to-face meeting. You can learn a lot about who you are dealing with from that initial meeting. Trust your instincts. If something seems off, listen because you’re usually on to something.
  3. Professionalism and common courtesy are paramount no matter what type of business. All of us have busy schedules but that should not be used as an excuse to act contrary to those two requirements, which are the building blocks for developing a healthy relationship with customers.

Despite an unpleasant experience with one manufacture, I moved on and eventually found the right one for my startup. Thanks to our friends at ADF Accessories Inc, we officially launched our first collection on April 26, 2014. Sign-up to stay connected to the world of C’est Mode Chic at www.cestmodechic.com. Thanks for your support.

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