I’m a lot of things. Patient is not one of them. And it cost a boatload of cash for me to realize that rushing toward the finish line without a solid pair of running shoes is the surest way NOT to win the race.
You see, back when I decided that I was going to design the next “IT” handbag, I needed to jump in with both feet, break both ankles and crash down on my knees before realizing that a bit of education and feedback might get me a hell of a lot farther than throwing an awful lot of borrowed money toward my dream.
Why was I in such a rush?
Nobody had a bullet to my head. I never stopped to research, didn’t bother to have any informational interviews with success stories. I NEVER considered getting feedback about the designs. Why WOULDN’T someone want to buy a Krina handbag? Best Italian leathers, trendy looks, fabulous colors, celebrity endorsements?????
But while that should have made me stop and think about a longer-term strategy, it only made me want to drive harder. Get more bags to market, edgier designs, better colors. Capitalize on the momentum!
And don’t let Katherine’s super sexy outfit detract from your opinion of the bestselling Calista handbag perched on her luggage cart!
Unfortunately, I didn’t take advantage of the resources available to me. I wasted a lot of money, learned a very harsh lesson and realized where I went so utterly WRONG.
Richard Branson recently uttered some great pearls of wisdom for a newbie fashion designer. Unfortunately, it came a bit too late for Krina but here’s the gist of what I took away from the article in Entrepreneur magazine:
Figure out your passion. Instead of rushing to make it a reality, take a step back to see if it’s disruptive in any way, shape for form. Disruption is key to innovation! A leather handbag is NOT disruptive to the fashion industry. This is why so many other indie designers crashed and burned alongside Krina.
Testing is also key. You know what you know but it is limited to YOU. Getting feedback is essential, as you are building something for a wider audience than just yourself. If someone gets excited, it may be a winner.
It doesn’t count if it is only you and your partner (my bestie, who is thankfully STILL my bestie after what I put her through!!) who are jumping up and down and popping corks on champagne bottles to celebrate the birth of your creations.