Sarah Ashcroft was one of the original fashion bloggers. As an early adopter, she started her fashion blog in 2013. She created collections with two online fashion retail giants in the UK, which sold out immediately, proving her selling power and giving her the confidence to start her brand.
Ashcroft decided that she wanted to create financial security for herself and her brand and needed to develop her product to sell to her followers. Understanding the power of social media marketing, Ashcroft wanted to put her stake in the ground and not depend on promoting other brands and creating her own.
Ashcroft created SLA The Label in 2019 that started with athleisurewear. Being aware of the fast fashion industry waste it produces, Ashcroft loves to make clothing you wear more than once. SLA The Label creates high-quality pieces that you can keep in your closet for years as Ashcroft appreciates quality and wants their items to last. They only make what they need and are cautious about waste. Because of this strategy, SLA is selling out their lines quickly because they only stock what they need.
Ashcroft operates SLA as the CEO and rolls up her sleeves to learn the role. She admits that she winged it as she knew but loved the adventurous side of the business at the beginning. She was ok with making mistakes and learning from them. Ashcroft learned the importance of planning and forecasting for her company for the year ahead and believes that all businesses need to do this to improve their profit line.
If you are thinking of starting a fashion business, Ashcroft leaves these tips for you:
1. Think about the core product
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Ashcroft encourages you to focus on one main product rather than expanding into an array of products in the beginning. Having tried to sell too many different products initially, she learned the hard way that it would have been more cost-effective to focus on key pieces first and then expand your line once you start getting traction. Don’t diversify your products until you get known for that one essential product.
2. Be careful where you put your money
As with all startups, the cash outlay, in the beginning, is burdensome. It’s essential to carefully plan your expenses so that they do not get carried away and you create a cash flow issue. Cash is the lifeline of the business, and proper cash planning will keep you in business for the long haul.
3. Go for it! Don’t let fear hold you back
Having identified herself as a risk-taker, Ashcroft believes in firmly going for it and chasing your dreams. You learn nothing when you hold yourself back and allow yourself to play small, and big goals get rewarded through action!
The bottom line is that starting a new business can be one of the scariest things you do in your life, but it can also be the most rewarding. With proper product planning and a business financial plan that outlines the financial management in the business, you will increase your odds at business success. Be sure to approach this new venture with a carefully planned strategy that includes a bit of risk-taking because you can’t let the fear of the unknown hold you back.