Words from a College Entrepreneur
I was a second-semester senior in college when COVID hit. I wasn’t sure where I would end up or what I would do, but I knew that I would be working in fashion for a while and eventually start my own company. In March 2020 I thought I was coming home for spring break, but I never ended up returning to school. I was stuck living at home alone with my mom for months, but luckily kept busy completing my design courses. Life was moving at such a fast pace before COVID but living in a time when each day crept up, I found myself having a lot of extra time to express my creativity. First, I started sewing animal masks and embroidering on them. Then I started taking on larger projects hand sewing and embroidering. Eventually, I began sketching clothing designs and spending hours getting lost in that. It was the most exciting part of my day. I kept thinking about how amazing it would be if I could bring the pieces to life and share it with the world.
I remember the day I graduated my dad asked me, “So what now?” I had worked in fashion every school year and summer of college and honestly wasn’t excited to start another entry-level job. However, I didn’t see many other options, so I started to work at a startup clothing brand and stayed there for six months. By the time I left the job, I was running the show. My title was “intern”, but I had a clear leadership role and took on a lot of responsibilities. It started to become clear to me that I could run a brand on my own and actually care for the product. Quitting was scary because I was losing that financial stability and routine, but I didn’t take time off. I quickly reached out to multiple manufacturers and production companies and eventually found a good fit. I then trademarked the name “Shop All My Love,” bought the domain, registered for a business license, etc. It took me almost a year to launch this company. Taking this leap on my own forced me to rely on my past job experience and education, which I am so grateful for.
I am now one month into running a fully functioning clothing brand, and it’s been amazing. It’s hard not to get ahead of myself and to live in the moment when I am so excited for what is to come. I keep reminding myself to be patient and trust that this will take off when it’s meant to. So far, I am getting more sales than I expected, but I still have many goals I haven’t yet reached. Every day is a learning experience, but from it I’ve learned two big lessons. The first is that at some point you’ll learn everything you can from work experience, but you’ll never learn how to start or run a company until you actually do it. The second is that if you want to be successful in this industry, you have to work hard, and sometimes that means missing out. It really is all worth it though, and I hope my journey can inspire you.