It was kind of odd having felt pretty upset/scared/excited leading up to the time to have ‘the’ meeting with the Capital Funding person I met recently at a women’s meeting. It was fresh and exciting to learn that to make businesses grow and develop, there was a possibility to sell the idea to potential investors to get funding.
So I thought, wow, that’s fantastic. I’d love that opportunity to make happen my idea that I had for the last 7 years.
In uni days, I learnt that t-shirts were the bread and butter of any business. My thesis in my Honours year was on Generation Y – fashion. Through research and looking at what’s out there, I realised that Gen Y fashion was simple – t-shirts and jeans.
My third year research was in Consumerism and what it meant. That thought me a lot about branding and how the industry was all about that. It was the gimmick about products that motivate people to buy, rather than just a need for something.
In 2008, I went on my holiday to Japan and that was when I first learnt of Uniqlo. The first time I walked into Uniqlo’s store in Harajuku, I was amazed at how big it was and how awesome the tubes looked against each other on the shelves. I honestly cannot remember how I first learnt of Uniqlo – it must’ve been through researching innovative brands. It was Uniqlo that inspired me to go forth with the T-shirt business. Then I had a friend who wanted to invest in it – but I really had no clue what I was doing. (In many cases, sometimes today, I feel that I have no clue what I’m doing).
We looked at a manufacturer in China somewhere who screwed up the samples – way tooo big. And I just couldn’t get designers to design what I was thinking (once again possibly my fault for not having a clear enough picture and too high an expectation.
It went no where. I felt unsupported. I had no idea what I was going. No idea how to run a business. I was going through a lot of mental frustration that every time we had counselling practicals at counselling college – that’s all I spoke about. Eventually I decided to stop with the idea and I found RedBubble.
Redbubble was a cool site. I got to upload a variation of the artwork that one artist had done for me. I didn’t sell many t-shirts at all and the commission was very small per t-shirt. Perhaps lucky to have $1 – $2 per t-shirt. It was definitely not an outlet to make money. It was an outlet to design something and SELL A T-SHIRT to prove that it was possible.
But as time went on and I started to lose track of time and lose track of the will to design. And I stopped.