We all know big companies are making high pressure on small brands by making cheap fast fashion and even by copying their styles. This also happened recently when Zara copied the pin designs from a small LA based artist. And these weren’t just instagram reposts. So how to survive the jungle?
Let me tell you one thing: It isn’t easy. I started off with a small t-shirt label and I also founded my very own BMX brand (and imported frames from the USA), but both didn’t work for me. Now I found my passion with my blog and want to share a few tips with you.
Love what you are doing. Okay, that’s nothing new. You would say why should I run a business without loving what I do? Well today there are lots of people, who just want to make business and fast money – all they think about is numbers. I can speak from my point of view as a fashion blogger. There are lots of Bloggers who just started for products and money. What happens next – the work starts. The first few posts are easy and fun, but then you have to keep it up. Also the Instagram “influencer” world is full of people who are just in for the money. They reproduce pictures which work well and use all kinds of cheeky methods to gain followers – but what’s missing is the love and passion for the subject. In the end that’s all that matters!
Free your mind:
Let’s face it all our minds are full of sh**. Wether it comes from education, from your relatives or from media. Everyone tells you how you have to be and what you need (including me now ;)). Maybe your ideas are fucking stupid and your designes are absolutely weird, but the future will tell if it’s really stupid or weird. So just try and it will work suddenly. For example Helmut Lang started his designs, because he wanted to have a perfect pair of jeans and t-shirt for himself. In the beginning he never believed in himself, so for his first shows he invited all his relatives and friends just to make sure someone would show up and yet in the end he became the biggest designer of the 90’s and the fashion world is still inspired by him.
Small is beautiful:
A lot of people are just concerned with how big they are and talk about what and who they will become. Go baby steps, but steadily walk. Today it’s not so important to gain lots of followers or clients, it’s important you get good ones. I always think when I would have a million followers I must have done something wrong – when everyone likes you you must have done something wrong. Take the radio for example: The bigger the station gets, the worse the music is. Because they try to play music which isn’t great, but just doesn’t bother anybody and sounds just okay. Do you want to be just okay?
Keep on going:
If you love what you’re doing (first steps) you will automatically keep on going – so nothing to add here!
I hate that part. Yes, you also need structure and someone who keeps you in tracks. I think you don’t need business plans, but you have to calculate well and also organize and prioritize. I’m still working on that part.
Nothing exists by itself:
So you need other people. You are not an expert in everything – nobody is. So make sure to surround yourself by good people (and trust your gut on this selection). As a blogger you need a photographer and maybe an assistant or a manager for your emails and collabs. Well and I’d recommend a tax person as well, let me tell you (if you need a tip, I have a great one!).
Make yourself heard:
You have to be visible. You can design and create the most beautiful things out there, but if nobody sees it – it won’t help you and you will die an homeless artist (happened too often in the past). So go out there and scream or if you can’t do it, find the right person to do it – like influencers (hint hint ;-)). Find the perfect fitting social media apps for you and use them on a daily basis. Everyone knows Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat, which are the most important for a visual person right now, but also try new apps like Steller, where you have a real chance to grow fast!
Connect and let the crowd feel you:
Now you have to be real and authentic. Maybe you want to become the new Martin Margiela, anonymous and only known for his designs. But then you have to be consequent and make sure that you would never be seen by anyone.
Otherwise and for sure the easier way today is to show people, who you are. Show them you are a real person, not just a lifeless product. Create a vision around your product and yourself something people can relate to. Also when you are just the normal girl next door – show them. Create relationships and not just content.
Now go out and create!!!
About my outfit
On my last trip to Graz I found a small brand called Haazenbaerts and they sent me this awesome lightweight backpack. The cool part is that it was not available like this before (in men’s version), but without any consideration they customized it for my needs! Open minds – they could also say that’s our line it’s like this – take it or leave it! No worries now the bag is available in their line and it’s called “Leone” (I don’t know where that comes from ;)).
The pullover I’m wearing here is from a young creative designer living in Vienna called Raphael Frommann Caric, who recently made his first women’s collection and I think we will hear more from him soon.
My how to survive Look:
Location: Amtsgericht Günzburg, Germany
Photographer: Lady Venom / Marion Vicenta Payr