It’s been said before and I shall stress the point, no man is an island. That having been said, there’s a cost to collaboration, outsourcing and cooperation. I certainly wish I could split myself in ten sometimes, the cost of course is a couple of sleepless nights and a migraine here or there. However, looking back after a stint of back to back sole fashionpreneurship, I often forget how crazy it’s been, until two days later, it all starts all over again. (I Should know better by now…)
Here are a few valuable lessons:
1. Always take advantage of those sleepless nights to get some planning done. For me, when the insomnia kicks in, I get my financial accounting book out and balance sheets until the mosquitoes stop buzzing n the sound of day trickles in…
2. Set realistic goals for your work flow and financials. God knows am still trying to reach them. There’s an ugly cost to not being on top of your costs and living expenses- it’s called bankruptcy n it happens to the best of us.
3. Remember you are competing with yourself first n for most, the fashion world is dynamic and fast paced. Often it feels like am a small player in an ocean size field with all sorts of predators; not to mention that there are those who have the resources (human n financial) to take off in a sprint. But am learning that I have the rest of my life to build my career and I should take it one step at a time, and at the right time, everything will fall into place.
4. Outsource n collaborate, it’s what the smart guys do to get by. After having to do a whole wedding party of ten all by myself in six weeks, I can tell you forthrightly that “sole” fashionpreneurship should not be taken literally. Find technical help you can trust, train and take them on. (SERIOUSLY)
5. Document your work. For a long time, I just gave my clients their outfits without taking pictures; trusting that when they went to their functions they would take a couple and tag me. I always ask them to, so of course I imagine that they would, but they often forget.
As a career designer I rely on my work to build a portfolio for future opportunities (READ SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS). So now I just snap away on my Android Phone, camera ready or not. Some day soon *shuts eyes in prayer* I will have the resources to do an elaborate photoshoot, theme, make up, hot model n all, but until then.. this is a little of what I have done in the last couple of months…