Over the years, and despite the fact that public speaking doesn’t come to me naturally, I’ve lectured at conferences and universities across the country and around the world. Invariably, during the question and answer section at the end of each talk, someone raises their hand and says, “I want to have a collection. What should I do?”

My answer has always been the same, “Get a copy of QuickBooks (or any accounting system) and a good accountant; make them both your friends.” You see, the truth is that you will spend much more time working on cash flow, and projections, and working in your business than you will designing and working on your business. (Unless you have a really good partner that runs the business for you.)

But, in the future, when I am asked that question, I will answer, read The Business of Fashion series  “How To Set Up A Fashion Business.”

The series is created in nine parts called “The Basics:”

Basics 1 – Setting up your own fashion business – what do I need to know first?
Basics 2 – What is a business plan for and how do I go about writing it?
Basics 3 – How do I find the right investors and partners?
Basics 4 – How do I decide where to allocate my capital?
Basics 5 – Design and development
Basics 6 – Sales
Basics 7 – Production
Basics 8 – Marketing
Basics 9 – E-Commerce

Start with “Part 1 – Setting up your own fashion business: What do I need to know first?” And study this question:

 “Do I really want to run a business?”

P.S.: Subscribe to emails from The Business of Fashion to get a front row seat and visit The School of Making to find classes on embroidery, pattern making, and, occasionally, the business around fashion.


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  1. C Sinclair

    Thank you for this. I retire in June and have, for the past 2 years, worked toward starting my own line…a dream I’ve had for many years and now I plan to use the next 3 years to determine if it is going to fly. This is helpful. As I have run a large organization for 18 years, I have much practical experience. I live in St. Petersburg, Fl, of which this town is just bursting now with creativity. I thing the timing is right.