DIFFICULTIES OF STARTING A CLOTHING BRAND

IMG_1158PHOTO FROM INSTAGRAM @JONAHHDELEON

WHAT IS UP?

Yes, if you don’t already know, I am starting a clothing brand. And no, I’m not as depressed as the picture depicts. Lmao…

But the truth is, I’m feeling tired and demoralized. It’s been about 7 months since I had this idea of starting an apparel business. And to this date, money, time and hustle have been invested into this brand but nothing is being launched yet.

I’d wake up at 6am in the morning to a boring job I dislike and then head to school in the afternoon. I’d study and work on this business all the way till 10-11pm at night before I go back home to rest. And most of the time, I’d have to continue work at home. On weekends, while everyone is out partying, I’ll be home working. Been doing this for the past 6 months and still, the results were not to my expectation.

It’s like studying hard for your exams but producing no results, it’s like chasing the girl you like but having no progress, it’s like giving your all but nothing just seems to go your way. And to add, even after it manages to go well, nothing in business is guaranteed to succeed. Who knows, all that effort and resources invested could just go to waste.

But after much reflection, I’d say, there’s nothing that I could’ve done differently to make the result change for the better. For someone like me, this being my first serious business, and having no prior knowledge of fashion, creatives, sourcing, production, and business itself, all I had to bet on was my intuition, work ethic, the desire to learn, and to network with people better than me. Clearly, I’ve given my all.

But then again, that’s what it is about starting a business right? – Just learning on the job and giving your 100 percent every single day.

Though I sure felt pretty burned out, there’s much I learned from this. And it’s having patience and hardwork. It’s also seeing the bigger picture, and remembering the vision you had in mind that got you started in the first place.

These are the things that everyone already knows (hardwork, patience etc.) but until you actually experience the friction, you’d never fully understand what it actually means. I personally have experienced what it means to have my patience and work ethic tested before, but these past few months just took it to the next level.

On the more “practical” side of things, I’ve also learned so much on developing a clothing business. Experience and mistakes sure are the best teachers.

From another perspective

But well, to put things into perspective, I’ve only been hustling for about 6-7 months and complaining, just makes me look bad. (Typical millennial? LOL)

Especially after reading the Elon Musk book, I learned that Tesla actually missed deadlines and took a long time before they even sold their first car. (I know they’re creating an innovative car and I’m only producing t-shirts but c’mon, I’m a beginner here bro.)

This taught me, business development or anything worth having in fact, will take time, especially when you want to make sure that the product you offer, is something you can take pride in. I’d rather take my time producing something of quality than force something out quick but not providing value to the end customer.

As the saying goes, “Good things take time”.

This journey sure is tough but it’s only the beginning and if I truly want this, I won’t give up and I’ll keep working and learning.

The actual difficulties I faced starting a clothing brand/business

These are the difficulties/problems I faced both previously and currently for my clothing brand and maybe, if you are looking to start your own brand, you can take some of these points into consideration before you embark on this journey.

  1. Skills
    1. Photoshop
    2. Adobe Illustrator
    3. Photography
    4. Videography
    5. Fashion Design
    6. Graphic Design
  2. Creating a T-Shirt Mockup.
  3. Knowing what the hell is a vector graphic.
  4. Creating Tech Packs.
  5. Different types of production methods for your product. E.g. T-shirts = Heat transfer? Screen print?
  6. Fabrics.
  7. Sourcing for the right manufacturers. (Toughest part to me)
  8. Your brand’s business model.
  9. Digital Marketing.
  10. Content Marketing.
  11. Guerrilla Marketing. (If you want to)
  12. Basically, all the ways of marketing to make sure you know how to build a brand.
  13. Financial Planning.
  14. Your different channels of marketing and selling.

These are just a few of them. If in anyway, you need help or am able to help me out, do hit me up (@jonahhdeleon on Twitter and Instagram) and we could connect. This journey will always be better with others. #stayhustling

“Eat shit for 24 months and eat cavair for the rest of your life.”

-Gary Vaynerchuk

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