Do you have any experience in clothing production? Nada.
Are you starting up your own fashion label? Absolutely!
In a society of study this and get a piece of paper for that I think we can get bogged down into the details of ‘I'm not qualified’, ‘I’ve never done this before’ and ‘I don’t think i’ll be any good’ and yet our most successful global entrepreneurs are high school ‘dropouts’. They don't have degrees to their name they just have a red hot idea and are prepared to work harder than anyone else to get to their goal.
So when people reach out to me asking about the fashion course I studied and I tell them I’m self taught; the response is almost annoying for some people. I got my first job at the legal age of 14 years and 9 months and I tried a rainbow of roles throughout my ‘career’ to work out what I enjoyed doing but most importantly I worked out what I didn't like doing.
This for me has been the most useful thing I have taken from my work experience. Work out what you don't like doing - because when you find what you do like doing - you will jump into it every day with such gusto you are bound to succeed knowing there's so much passion and dedication behind you.
I’m grateful (in hindsight) that I really struggled turning up to work towards the end of my corporate career, it felt like torture. So I turned to my creative outlet of sewing; designing and patterning outfits that I was never going to wear. But the process of creating something magical was such an escape for me, it was my outlet.
I started to build an audience for some of the more practical designs I was creating and women were contacting me via Instagram asking me to create their own. Slowly I had built enough of an audience and back log of sewing that I felt confident enough to resign from my corporate job and formalise a label for my designs.
Being a qualified project manager and extremely competitive person I set my eyes on a launch date like a heat seeking missile. (The first deadline gave me 2 months to launch, I ended up launching within 6 months) My husband financially supported me (and still is!) while setting up the label, so I knew the faster I worked the faster I could get my label up and running and turning over revenue.
I worked 7 days a week, around the clock, for 6 months and that was just to get the label launched ...then the real work started! The difference in the last 6 months to the 6 months prior was my eagerness to spring out of bed. Here I am, running my own business, shaping my own brand and my future not just for me but for my husband and future family as well.
Prior to launching Marlo by Marlo I had launched an aerobics company called ‘G. Pump’, for those readers that followed the G. Pump journey thank you! (and LOL) The idea was to reinvent aerobics for the millennial woman - instead I found my target audience on YouTube was Korean men...not quite what I had in mind. I started G. Pump at the start of our Sydney chapter when we were planning for an interstate wedding and the pressure was all too much.
I don't regret one high cut lycra leotard about G. Pump because of all the business tools I learnt during the process which I now implement into Marlo by Marlo. I think most importantly it taught me to focus on where I was going with the business, not the people around me providing commentary on why I shouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. Care less, do more.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to share more insights on my journey - what it's like to run your own business and your own fashion label because you just don't know until you know and if I can shed some light on the experience to help another person take the leap - then I’ll keep writing.
‘The common question that gets asked in business is, ‘why?’ Thats a good question, but an equally good question is, ‘why not?’ - Jeff Bezos