A year ago I took a leap of faith and made the decision to pursue my dream of owning my own business. It was a journey filled with lots of hard work, many successes, and even some failures along the way. This article covers the milestones I achieved in my first year of entrepreneurship, including selling clothes in a shop, attending various fairs, and finding the perfect mentor for Karmina!
I am proud of what I have accomplished in my first year, and I am excited for what the future holds. I am grateful for the opportunities that I have been given, and I will continue to work hard to make a difference in the world.
Here are some of the things I’ve done in the past year to grow my fashion line:
Developed a strong brand and strategy.
Creating a strong visual identity for my brand was one of the first things I did when starting my fashion line. I wanted people to instantly recognize my clothes when they saw them, and know that they could expect quality and style from my brand.
The logo was designed by my best friend and graphic designer Damjana Žorž. Karmina’s logo is clean, simple, and minimalistic. It represents scissors as a sewing tool and the sign of infinity as a timeless design.
To learn more about marketing, I visited online courses and programs.
I started my fashion line with no big experience in the online fashion industry and very little money. I read books and talked to people who were already in the business. (Mila Vert) I experimented with different techniques and strategies until I found what worked for me. Initially, I created a list of garments. I made prototypes and hired a photographer Rok Peric, and one month before the launch, I started promoting my line on social media.
I designed a cohesive collection of clothing that reflects my personal style and vision.
I designed Karmina as a system – simple, rounded shapes as a capsule that will work together year after year. First, I wanted to make sure that the clothes would be versatile and could be mixed and matched to create different looks. Second, I wanted to choose items that would be comfortable and easy to wear. And finally, I wanted to select pieces that would reflect the client’s personal style. By following these guidelines, I was able to develop a capsule wardrobe that was both stylish and functional and can be worn for every ocasion.
I found a seamstress who could help me sew my clothing to my standards.
I make all the sketches, and prototypes, draw all the patterns, choose the right fabric and try to sew for you. However, since I also had to do many other things, I decided to get some assistance. This was not so easy, but I eventually found a seamstress who was very precise and knowledgeable.
I built a website and online store from scratch.
My background in graphic design helped me build my own website. I also started making websites for others. Check out my portfolio here.
I created an effective marketing strategy that has helped me reach new customers.
I think it took me a year to figure out what works best for Karmina, how to speak to my customers, and how to represent my clothes…The most significant thing was that I connected with another fashion designer Gaja Ganzel with her label FI by Gaja. We put together outfits, hired photographers together, went to different events, and discussed our business a lot. Gaja produces sustainable bags that perfectly fit Karmina’s clothes.
My business was helped by mentors.
I’m often asked how I find perfect mentors for Karmina. As you already know, Karmina was a Start up project in Gostart up business program.
The best way to find these kinds of mentors is to get involved in your local business community such as Primorski tehnološki park and to attend networking events, meetups, and conferences. It’s important to get to know as many people as you can and build relationships with them.
Of course, not everyone you meet will be a perfect mentor for you. But if you keep your eyes open and know your focus, together with Startup Community Manager you’ll be well on your way to finding the mentorship you need to succeed. Here you can read all about choosing the right mentor for your Start-Up.
I would recommend you take the time to find mentors who can offer you valuable insights and feedback. It can be helpful to have someone who has been through the ups and downs of starting a business to provide guidance and support.
Looking back on my first year of business, I am so proud and thankful for all that I have achieved. Throughout the journey, there were many challenges but also moments of joy and celebration. Establishing my own business has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life and it is an ongoing learning experience. With hard work, dedication, perseverance, and resilience one can make their dreams a reality.