We've all been there...that feeling when we lack the motivation to drive forward with something that's important to us. When we have taken a break from something like our business it can be hard to get back into the swing of things. We often feel a whole mix of emotions like guilt, doubt and laziness which leads us to ask ourselves are we really cut out for this?

The good news is this is completely normal and to be expected. The even better news is you can turn these thoughts around to get past this roadblock and here I share my top tips to move you forward.

Accept Perfect Doesn't Exist

So many fashion startups are waiting for that "perfect time" when things will be quieter, you'll be richer, the kids will be older, your 9-5 is less hectic and you've lost that extra stone (OK maybe that one is just me!). But guess what? That perfect time just doesn't exist because there will always be something new to come along and fill that time gap, to spend your money on, eat your attention etc. The best fashion startups I have seen flourish are the ones run by parents with full-time jobs because they get shit done. They accept it's full-on and hectic but they do it anyway and make it work. So if you're sitting there waiting ask yourself this - how will you feel in 6 months time if someone else launches your idea? Gutted right? Accept this won't be easy but it will be worth it.

Remember Your "Why"

It can be hard to stay motivated 24/7 so in times you're feeling a bit "meh" remember why you started this. Imagine it's a year from now and you've launched, how will you feel? What will life look like to have brought that amazing idea to market? How will you feel seeing people wearing your collection? How many lives will you improve by bringing your innovative idea to life? How will building a legacy for your future make you and your family feel?

Remembering the bigger picture really helps put the day to day tribulations in perspective and refocus your attention on the reasons you are pursuing this. If you need some further help thinking bout your why then I recommend you read "Start With Why" by Simon Sinek https://simonsinek.com/product/start-with-why/

Go Easy On Yourself

It's so easy to forget that life happens and can often get in the way of our best-laid plans. Acknowledge that sometimes you need to take some time out from your business. That may be due to illness, perhaps your family needs you, maybe your job is super busy or maybe you're just exhausted and need to take some time off. This is OK and it's important to give yourself permission. The main thing is to put a time limit on it and understand you'll get back on it by a specific date.

Make A Commitment

Have you heard the saying "what get's measured gets done"? If you make a commitment to yourself and write down goals which you then regularly review, you're far more likely to achieve them than if you're really vague about your plans. Think about your week and decide if there is any regular time slot where you can carve out some time to work on your business. Be vocal about this activity with friends or family so they know you have something important to do during that time slot and try to stick to it.

Using a planner can be a great way to do this and keep track of goals. I personally love the planner from Carrie & Co. https://carrie.co/product/perfectly-planned-2022/

Be Realistic

We only have 24 hours in the day so work out when you can realistically work on your business. Setting goals is great but if we constantly strive for perfection then this can feel really demotivating. Instead, look at your time and plan what you can realistically achieve in the day or week. Be the tortoise, not the hare and chip away at things one task at a time. Break larger tasks into smaller bite-sized chunks that you can work on when you have a spare hour. In a few weeks, you will have achieved far more than trying to tackle impossible large tasks.

Hopefully you can use these tips to stay motivated with your fashion brand. If you ned any further help then why not book in for a power hour to discuss your fashion brand and get help with anything you may be struggling with. You can see more about this here https://www.thefashionexpert.com/product-page/tailored-consultation-1-hour

Michelle Ramsay - The Fashion Expert®

#freelance #fashiondesigner #thefashionexpert #thefashionexpertuk #michelleramsaydesign #fashionbusiness #fashionconsultant #fashiondesign #startupfashion #thatsfashiondarling #startupconsultant #fashionpreneur #fashionstartup #startupspecialist #launchyourbrand #clothingline #fashionmentor #businessoffashion #fashionbusinesscoach #techpackdesigner #fashioncads #techpacks #businessadvice #emergingfashion #sustainablefashion #startafashionbrand #launchaclothingline

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Let's explore what start-ups need to prepare to get their collections manufactured.

A lot of fashion start-ups make the mistake of approaching a factory with a rough sketch or photograph and expect the supplier to quote a price and produce a garment from this limited information. Unfortunately, this approach is very unrealistic and can be frustrating to factories that don’t have time to coach you through what is involved in product development and manufacture. A factory needs to know exactly what your design entails, and the way to convey this information correctly is to prepare a tech pack for each style.

What is a tech pack?

Sometimes referred to as factory packs or style packs, a tech pack is like a blueprint for any garment you want to produce. It creates a plan and good foundation upon which great collections can be made. It should contain 3 main elements, although this can vary depending on the complexity of the style.

1. The colour cad

This is a digital fashion flat drawing of the garment. It is in colour with accompanying textile Pantone codes and shows both front and back views. It also details fabrics to be used.

2. The tech sheets

These are black and white drawings of the garment and drill down further into the design details so the factory can understand how to construct the garment. The tech sheets communicate which techniques you want to use on things like prints and embellishments, and specifies information on any branded elements like zip pulls, badges and labels. Seams, stitching and buttons are referenced along with design details such as pockets, collars, cuffs, openings and fastenings.

3. Size specification chart

Often referred to as a “spec”, this size chart documents all the points of measure a factory will need to create a pattern, make your garment to the correct sizes, and calculate important information such as fabric consumption and an accurate price. Each point of measure is an industry-standard point on the garment such as chest, armhole, waist and length. It also covers some measurements you may not be familiar with such as front neck drop, back neck width and collar point.

A size spec is not the same as a size guide that is often displayed on retailer’s websites. These size guides are very generic guides on body sizes only, whereas a size spec concentrates on garment sizes and is tailored to each individual style.

A size spec is usually prepared in your desired sample size such as medium or large for initial sampling, then graded once you are ready to go to production.

All 3 elements are combined into one PDF document for each style.

What can go wrong without a tech pack? Trying to create a garment without a tech pack leads to many problems and can waste a lot of time and money for both the factory and the start-up brand. If you don’t tell the factory exactly what you want, they may have to potentially fill in the blanks for you. It’s best to be in control of those decisions from the get-go and avoid miscommunication or a very lengthy sampling process. Often factories just don’t have the time to devote to holding your hand throughout the process because that is the job of a fashion designer. Usually, start-ups neglect the correct design process as they are either unaware of what they need to create or trying to save money. But the money you invest in decent tech packs, in the beginning, will save you a lot of time and money in the long term. It will also show to prospective suppliers that you are serious and committed to your brand, and increase your chances of forging good relationships with them from the beginning. Get ahead of the competition by adopting the approach the fashion professionals follow for manufacturing their products and make sure you prepare detailed tech packs for your fashion brand.

If you have any questions, comments or feel you need help with tech packs for your collection or any aspect of launching your fashion brand then get in touch and we can discuss your requirements - info@thefashionexpert.co.uk or Book a free discovery call by clicking here.

Michelle Ramsay - The Fashion Expert®

#freelance #fashiondesigner #thefashionexpert #thefashionexpertuk #michelleramsaydesign #fashionbusiness #fashionconsultant #fashiondesign #startupfashion #thatsfashiondarling #startupconsultant #fashionpreneur #fashionstartup #startupspecialist #launchyourbrand #clothingline #fashionmentor #businessoffashion #fashionbusinesscoach #techpackdesigner #fashioncads #techpacks #businessadvice #emergingfashion #sustainablefashion #startafashionbrand #launchaclothingline

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The question every business wants to know is will they achieve success, and that's no different for fashion startups. During my consultations and mentoring sessions, I get asked a lot if I think a client's idea is a good one, so here are my tips on success for fashion startups.

1. Have Belief.

First and foremost, you need to believe in your idea, brand and product. If you're feeling half-hearted about it then it's not the road for you. The clients who have most success are those who relate to a passion in their life. You might be a gym buff who's dream is to see your brand worn in an athletic setting. Or how about your passion for yoga? Do you live in your studio apparel and want to launch your own line?

Starting up a new fashion business takes courage, determination and commitment, so make sure you're choosing something that will spur you to keep going.

2. Understand Your USP.

In business circles you'll hear that you need a U.S.P. to become successful. But what is that and how does it relate to fashion? A unique selling point is something that sets your brand apart from the rest of the world.

This U.S.P. can come in lots of different formats and relate to both the product and the business. Some examples of what can make a business unique are:

  • your products fill a gap in the market

  • your prices bridge a gap in the market 

  • the way you sell is different

  • the types of fabrics you use are unique

  • your brand supports a charity

  • your brand is ethical in trade and manufacturing processes

  • your brand is eco-friendly, organic or fair trade

3. Innovate.

I'm always amazed by my clients when they come to me with an idea for something totally new, that's never been seen before.

Innovation is a great way to boost your success. If you've tried to buy a product and couldn't find it, then you've identified a gap in the market to fill, and that's half the battle. Chances are, you're not the only person looking for that product, and there is an untapped marketshare waiting to buy it. You just have to get it out there!

  • Clothing that includes new technology or fabric development

  • Garments that perform a function

  • Apparel that is for a certain age, size, body type

  • Clothing that solves a problem