Am I crazy? Starting my own business.

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
320 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@dannielle89:  I say follow your dreams! About a year ago when I was planning my own wedding I decided to open a shop on http://www.etsy.com to bring in a little extra cash. I didn’t plan for it to be a big thing, but the more I started selling my items, the more I realized that it was my dream to expand my shop and make it more successful. It has been the most rewarding experience of my life. Yes, it is hard work and it takes lots of time and dedication, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Opening my business was the best decision of my life (besides marrying my DH of course.) My advice to you is have faith in yourself and your business decision. Best of luck no matter what you decide!

Post # 4
Member
3249 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@dannielle89:  Learn the business.  Go get jobs in dress shops.  Take a few classes on dress making – enough that you will know how to identify levels of quality and value, etc.  Do as much as you can to know about the business, and very much make a point of working for others who already are in the business.

Also take some courses in business administration, marketing, and accounting.

Post # 5
Member
320 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@dannielle89:  Sorry for the second post, lol, but I forgot to address some things in my last one. I am also young (21) so don’t think age has to hold you back! Also, I don’t know if you are planning to open your own website or what, but if you are looking for a place to do business I highly reccomend Etsy. It is so convenient and the fees are not bad at all. It’s also very popular so you are likely to have people find your shop on there. As for you not being plus size, I don’t think that matters at all. As long as you are able to provide fashion forward, appealing clothes, I think you will be fine. Your customers may not can relate to you as easily, but it may make them feel good that someone outside their ‘group’ isn’t judging them and instead really wants to help make them feel beautiful, too. (They ARE beautiful, after all, and deserve to have clothes that make them feel that way!)

Let me just say this – nothing happens over night. Running your own business takes time and patience. It’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t see the results you were hoping for immediately, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Just keep your head up and keep your faith, and I’m sure you will be successful!

Post # 6
Member
59 posts
Worker bee

@dannielle89:  

I don’t think you’re crazy at all, But I think that you should have some sort of knowledge of your target demographic.  I’m not plus size, but the women in my life who are often complan about the lack of fashionable or fashionable and affordable clothing available to plus size women. They’d love other options, although I’m not sure if shopping online would hook them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post # 7
Member
584 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I had a similar idea a couple of years ago for the U.S. market! I actually did a bunch of market research on it and it became my senior thesis. Then I went to graduate school for business, and now I’m soon to start a job in the field. I intend to gain an understanding of how the business works and then start my own!

So obviously I think it’s a great idea and you’d do well! There are a lot of logistical issues involved (where do the dresses come from? how do customers receive them?) but starting small on something like etsy and then working up could be a good chance. I went the formal/academic route but it’s not the only option.

Post # 8
Member
2057 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - British Columbia

@dannielle89:  It is an exciting venture!

Gather a focus group of plus-sized women. Solicit their ideas: listen to what their frustrations with clothing are. See what kind of fashions they like. Where do they shop currently?? Do they like where they shop?

I am happy to help you with general business questions, if needed. (I work in accounting and am working on a strategic-focused/management accounting designation) Though the onus is that I’m not familiar with Australia’s taxation rules; I’m only familiar with Canadian… and I am not certified yet. ;p

Are you planning on focusing on just plus-sized clothing? Do you have a specific niche you’re looking to target; i.e. vintage-inspired clothing for plus-sized women? Maybe you could also specialize in maternity clothing?

Post # 9
Member
783 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

I don’t think it’s completely crazy, but I do think you may have an issue with your demographic. Have you ever been plus sized? Do you know the fit concerns that come with being plus sized? Do you plan to make the clothing yourself or outsource to an experienced team (with experience patterning and tailoring for plus sizes)?

Post # 10
Member
7406 posts
Busy Beekeeper

@dannielle89:  I think your biggest obstacle would be why would I as a customer buy from your store at Australian prices when I can order online from the USA for half the price. If I am going to buy clothing online I am most likely going to do it from a cheaper site and a wider range.

There are also a number of plus size stores already in existence who have online sites and physical stores. Also retailers are starting to realise that there is a market in plus size. Shops like target, best and less, Myer, DJ’s and several others have expanded their markets into plus size. Most large chains have increased sizing up to size 18 in mainstream clothing whilst also having seperate plus sized sections up to size 28.

As for getting started I would get in contact with Fair Trading NSW and ask what assistance they can be. I would also get in contact with the economic development department of your local council. They may be able to advise you, get you a mentor, have knowledge of business grants and offer courses.

If you have never run a business before then I would also suggest a TAFE course on business management. It will be useful in the future if you decide to have your own practice as a psychologist.

And I agree with pp’s about focus groups and testing the market.

Also will you be making the clothes yourself, getting them made locally or importing them? Because you have to factor in excise if you are importing them. But without large volume buying capacity you will be paying top dollar for each piece and may even find importers wont deal with you.

Good luck but definately do your research before sinking any money into it.

Post # 11
Member
226 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

When I read this I got the goosebumps. I would love to start my own thing but too scared. I don’t have the balls to do anything risky. Don’t be like me!

Post # 12
Member
226 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

You’re story is very motivating! I absolutely love Etsy. I was on Etsy all the time looking for wedding stuff. What did you sell on Etsy? And I can’t believe you’re only 21 way to go! Is your shop on Etsy your full time work or is Etsy work on the side for you?

Post # 13
Member
226 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@futureMrsMason:  

You’re story is very motivating! I absolutely love Etsy. I was on Etsy all the time looking for wedding stuff. What did you sell on Etsy? And I can’t believe you’re only 21 way to go! Is your shop on Etsy your full time work or is Etsy work on the side for you?

Sorry to repeat that so I could tag futureMrsMason.

Post # 14
Member
320 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@PetalFace:  Thank You! I sell a religious alternative to the unity candle called a Cord of Three Strands. I am still in the process of expanding my shop, but it has come a long way since I opened it last year! I am also a student, so Etsy is currently my only form of income. So I guess you’d say it’s full-time although the pay doesn’t always seem like it (LOL.) My husband is definitely the main breadwinner in our family, but my earnings from Etsy do help a lot, and it seems to be growing every day!

Post # 15
Member
9412 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@Duncan:  +1. You need to do a lot more background research and understand (from professionals and folks who have done it) exactly what you are getting into.

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