Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Advice for aspiring designers

I am most often asked, "What advice would you give for aspiring designers?"  Here is a short, but sweet (and hopefully helpful!) bit of advice to guide you through at the beginning!

I tell all aspiring designers to start small.  Sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in "doing it big" right away, but you don't have to. Start small, and let your business grow!  Try to keep a low overhead at the beginning.  It's easier to experiment with a few things, and really get an idea of what you like, and what you're good at making.  Do a lot of research!  What stores are there, what magazines and blogs are out there, wardrobe stylists, showrooms, other jewelry designers, current fashion trends, etc.  Also, let everyone know what you're doing.  People can only respond to what you give them, so getting the word out there is key. A small handful of friends can work wonders, even if you only have a few pieces to show.  

Another thing that is important is being the person that people enjoy working with. Nobody likes working with a diva, including myself.  The more positive relationships you create, the more devoted your customers, buyers, and stylists will be. All relationships are key, as every person could be a potential customer, or can lead you to someone or something else!  You don't have to schmooze and "network" all the time - most of the time I just show up places and see where things go.  Treat your buyers, sales reps, stylists, customers with absolute respect, but don't let anyone walk all over you either!

There's an amazing quote in a recent issue of Elle magazine, written by the genius advice columnist E. Jean: "Be (Jean-Michel) Basquiat in your ambition, (Sandro) Botticelli in your dedication, and (Warren) Buffett with your bottom line." 



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