Many talented creatives are postponing (or even giving up) their dreams as they think money is a critical factor in starting their fashion brand. I do not disagree; building a successful Brand, in general, is already a very challenging task. However, you should not get discouraged by the lack of capital. It is not entirely impossible, and I can assure you that the journey is totally worth it. So here is a little guide with some good ideas to encourage you to take your first steps.
The first and most crucial stage does not require investments. This means you don’t need money to start your own business. Before you begin to do anything, make sure you have the basics. Your Brand is not a brand without its DNA. So take your time and answer the “Golden Circle Theory” questions, i.e., Why, How, and What.
This step usually requires a reasonable amount of time, but it is fundamental. These critical and complex questions are very often connected with your own values. So get ready to dive deep to deal with the “Golden” trio. Let me help you with a more detailed explanation of each question.
The Why is the core of the Brand. It represents its mission. The deep-seated purpose, cause, or belief that drives the whole company. The How reflects the unique way your Brand fulfills its Why. Showcasing the Brand’s overall values and philosophy helps it differentiate itself from its competitors. And What means the tangible product itself. It underpins and highlights the Why and the How, which are the real reasons for emotional connection with the customers.
Great News! #2
The next few steps won’t require investments either.
At this stage, conduct high-level market research, identify your target audience, outline a simplified communication strategy, and polish your business plan. Accomplishing the following activities will help you with the step you are concerned about the most – funding for your fashion startup.
Moving forward, let me give you some potential strategies.
Strategy #1: Funding
Remember your polished business plan with a clear vision and goals? It will help you raise money for your fashion startup project through crowdfunding networks, angel investors, or venture capitalists. The main reason you want to try is the vast network of industry connections. It’s not an easy task, but remember this precious strategy even if it does not work at first. It can play a crucial role in your journey in the near future.
Strategy #2: Exclusivity
Let’s say raising the money is not for you. In addition, you have a small budget to produce your first samples on your own. While a valid option, more is needed to produce in quantities to approach retailers. Here’s my advice: you can always position yourself as a Brand that only accepts preorders. By making the experience of your first clients more personalized and offering customization of the sample styles, you will attract an audience that will realize value as a keynote of your DNA.
Strategy #3: Collabs
In case the first two strategies do not sound very attractive to you, there’s also the magic of collaborations. Here are a few examples of winning strategies and the answer to why someone would want to partner with your Brand. Collaborating with fabric suppliers and using their “dead” stock makes your Brand sustainable.
In addition, it offers the fabric seller an additional source of revenue. In collaboration with the manufacturer, you can also offer to share the profits or commit to being a loyal customer, which is valuable in any business. To that end, you can attract as many partners as you need to test your ideas. You will be amazed how many like-minded creatives and industry professionals will stretch you a hand or simply be interested in participating.
The Wheel Will Find Its Way
In summary, the “wheel will find its way.” Starting a fashion brand with no money requires a reasonable amount of time, persistence, and inventiveness to deal with many challenges. Without a doubt, talent and creativity are essential as well. Be creative, think out of the box, and never stop chasing your dreams.