aim high quote

The truth about starting a business

Snow in London - that time of year (decade?) when everything comes to a standstill. Nothing but a white blanket draped over the city. The city is paralyzed; sometimes a positive - when else do we get to hit pause on our hectic, can't-ever-stop Londoner lives and reflect?

I can't believe it's already March. As cliche as it sounds, time FLIES. And when you're running your own business, time can be a very stressful thing in life.

A lot of people ask me - how did you decide to start your own business? A lot of people, those who know better, instead ask me "why (on earth!) did you decide to start your own business?"

The truth is - no one can prepare you for what it's about, and what it takes. And people look at you and think they have you all figured out but they have no idea. You walk into your office / co-working space every morning and you have to somehow seem positive and happy, every single day. People expect you to be. People will ask you how it's going, you're expected to say it's going well. (Does anyway ever reply "it's going sh*t" to that question?) Social media - especially for a fashion brand - is all about the rose-tinted / life-is-awesome filter; look awesome, and be the person other people want to be like, no?

People will look at you and say "how great that you have your own business - it must be amazing!". And don't get me wrong, it is amazing, ABSOLUTELY amazing, doing what you love, doing it your way...

But in reality, there is also this part of it that you don't often talk about; the stress, the pressure, the sleepless nights where you are re-considering every single thing you've done and what you could have done differently, the ticking time-bomb that you face every day. And every day you have to remind yourself of the reasons why you started this business. In my case, a romantic idea; the idea of helping people, helping to preserve these beautiful traditions and crafts, working with artisans to produce ethically-made, sustainable pieces that people would love to have. And because I wanted freedom. Not the freedom to choose my own work hours - believe you me, I'd pick 9-5pm any day - hell I'd pick 9-9pm any day - but the freedom to be creative, to be myself, to do what I love and do it how I want, when I want.

Had I known the ups and downs, would I go back in time and do it again? Yes I would. Truthfully I would. Would I do it differently? Of course. It's a steep learning curve, there are moments (like today) when you have to remind yourself why you are doing this. Have I made mistakes? Tonnes. But I love what I do and what I've learned is this; whatever you choose to do in life, do it whole-heartedly and with passion. Not every day is good, but there is good in every day. And if you believe in something enough, if you put enough work and genuine passion into it, people will eventually get it. And that's me being romantic again ;)

Stefani x