How to deal with isolation when starting your label

Expert Advice

Many young design students want to start their own fashion label without any idea of what that really entails. Once they start to run their own label they are often really surprised at how hard, stressful and often lonely it is.

Designers often express how isolated they are in the early stages of running their business, with little support, no network to share problems with and fear of sharing ideas in case they are copied.

This is a very common experience for many small business owners and one that can be managed or overcome.

  • Build your network – love it or hate it, networking is important and can be invigorating and inspiring if you pick the right events. Try networking at workshops or talks as it can be a great opportunity to share and learn with others in a similar situation.

  • Find a mentor or advisor who can act as a sounding board as well as provide advice, information and motivation

  • Manage your workload so that you have time away from the business. It could mean that you arrange to have a quick coffee or an early evening cocktail with a friend, but that time away from the business can help you remain motivated

  • If you have the budget for rent, find a shared workspace or incubator unit to work in that offers you the chance to work alongside other start up brands where you can network and provide mutual support.

  • Or spend a few hours a week working in one of the many social work places that are popping up. Many hotels now offer communal work spaces in their lobbies where you can work alongside other entrepreneurs and start-ups.