Every up-and-coming fashion entrepreneur is faced with a difficult decision. Should you rely on your own abilities and start a fashion brand by yourself? Or should you study fashion design at a traditional fashion school? If you don’t want to spend a lot of time and money on a fashion degree, you should know that it’s possible to start a fashion business as a teenager; with no prior training or business know-how. Here are the steps you’ll need to take if you want to be a successful fashion entrepreneur before you graduate from high school.
Apply Your Time Effectively
Is it your dream to become a world-famous fashion designer or brand owner? If so, it’s natural to throw everything you have toward that goal. Failing to focus on other aspects of your development, however, could come back to bite you in the long run.
It’s great to focus on your goals from an early age. But the life of a teenager is filled with all sorts of other requirements. Requirements that will help you develop as a person. For instance, it probably isn’t a good idea to drop out of school to start a fashion brand. Not only will this choice limit your options in life if you fail to accomplish your dream, but finishing school is also an accomplishment that will help you build self-confidence.
Metering your time effectively will ensure that your goals won’t choke out all the other important aspects of your life. You won’t be able to appreciate your success as a fashion entrepreneur if you’ve abandoned your friends, accomplishments, and family ties along the way.
Leverage Your Skill Sets
As a young designer, you have one big advantage over your competitors: your age. While it’s true that established fashion entrepreneurs have lots of valuable experience on the job, younger people have a better grasp of technology. And you’ll be able to use your generational attributes to your advantage as you start your fashion career.
Older designers might get stuck on simple problems, for instance. But your ability to multitask makes it easy for you to find answers to deep questions. Younger people are more hooked into the benefits of the internet than older people. When you have a question that you can’t answer, your prodigious skills with smartphones, tablets, and laptops will come into play.
Even if most of your competitors are only 10 years older than you are, you’ll still have the drop on them when it comes to your ability to effortlessly interface with technology. Succeeding in the world of fashion is all about having access to information; the faster you can read up on the latest trends, the better you’ll be able to act on them and access niche markets.
Keep in mind that even fashion entrepreneurs in their 30s might have information gathering skills that are far inferior to yours. While older millennials might be able to perform Google searches like pros, they are commonly flummoxed by Generation Z standbys like Reddit, Snapchat, and Instagram. Use your age to your advantage.
Start Networking Early
In fashion, it’s all about who you know. It might be unrealistic to expect to be on a first name basis with Tom Ford. Especially before you graduate from high school. But you should make networking a big priority as you emerge into the fashion field.
Your proclivity for social media will help you in this effort. Tools like LinkedIn and Facebook are great for making connections; with suppliers, designers, and other people who will make up integral parts of your supply chain.
You should also try going to a few fashion trade shows. These in-person events are great for meeting people and trading contact information. And everyone will be impressed by the commitment to fashion that you show at such an early age.
By branding yourself as a young, up-and-coming fashion designer, you’ll be able to turn heads. The people you meet might be able to help you fill in your gaps. Older, experienced fashion entrepreneurs will be attracted to your youthful vibrancy, and you’ll be able to inspire other people your age to shoot for the stars as they pursue their own dreams.