“Fortune does favor the bold and you’ll never know what you’re capable of if you don’t try.”
― Sheryl Sandberg, Author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
Outfit: Dress- C/O Dobbin Clothing; Coat – WHBM; Necklace – Zara; Shoes- Christian Louboutin
I like nothing more than a well made dress, that hits the right curves, is of the right length and is made with good material. That is exactly what I found with this almost tailor made dress I got from Dobbin Clothing. Founders Jessica Newman and Catherine Doyle started this clothing company with a simple idea: a line of fashionable staples, tailored to fit and flatter, using the best Italian fabrics, and manufactured here in the USA. Co-founder Jessica Newman was a joy to talk to and work with. A lot of us aspire to be very many different things in this lifetime, be it in our head or try it in real life. So when I read the story of how Jessica and Catherine started their company, I wanted to bring it out to you all in the hopes that if you are contemplating switching careers or starting something totally new from scratch, hear what those who have done it before have to say. I was curious and in my curiosity, I emailed Jessica about a few things and she gladly obliged with the answers. Read her replies below, and also more about them on their exclusive online website.
When you finally decided to start your company, what did you do to motivate yourself against the hurdle that came your way?
Jessica: In starting any business, there will be obstacles and it’s important to keep motivated. There are things that get us down momentarily, but in order to get product made and into the hands of our customers, we know we need to keep going. So I would say that the customers are our motivation.
In this ever growing and cut-throat retail industry, what would your advice be for someone wishing to create their own start up?
Jessica: If you want to build your own start-up, get as much experience as you can first. Especially if you’re actually planning to produce and sell anything. The process is arduous and expensive, but with training it helps get better. Also, devote yourself to truly learning about the marketplace you’re planning to enter; find a way to differentiate your product and your brand so that you stand out.
Being women entrepreneurs, did you ever feel the need to prove yourself over your male counterparts? If so, How did you achieve it?
Jessica: As a women-owned company, and one that celebrates women of all shapes, sizes and ages, we’re very proud to be female entrepreneurs. We haven’t felt the need to compete with male counterparts, but we do have to work hard to prove that retail isn’t a silly business. Look at Michael Kors’ stock price for proof of that fact.
You both have retail and fashion background, what advice would you give someone who is not in the field, but would like to make a switch and start afresh?
Jessica: I believe that it’s because Catherine and I have been able to blend our strengths for business and fashion that we’ve succeeded. I was always on the business side of the industry, and Catherine on the creative, so we were able to form a great partnership. For any career in fashion, do know that it’s a business, and not an easy or glamorous one. If you are interested in pursuing design in particular, in addition to schooling, internships and first jobs, I’d suggest taking business classes, finding a good business partner and shadowing people on the business side, in case you ever do want to go out on your own. If you’re interested in pursuing a job outside of design, I’d also suggest looking at different jobs in the industry in the areas of pattern making, sales, public relations, production management etc.
I always find great pleasure and pride in reading about successful female entrepreneurs. Getting out of the comfort zone and establishing one self is a daunting task, that is not entirely unthinkable or impossible, but surely requires, guts, planning and a lot of hard work! I wore this dress again this past Monday to work with a belt and a scarf and fell in love with midi dresses all over again. Hope you are all having a great week so far.
The content of this article except for Jessica’s responses are all my opinion.
Linking up with Lindsey , Lauren, Lulu and Shana.
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