Her Startup Story: The Epic Fails That Almost Put Me Out of Business

Her Startup Story: 5 Epic Fails That Almost Put Me Out of Business
Things in my fashion business that almost made me quit

If you sell a physical product or want to launch a line, you’re in the right place. This week, I’m starting a new series of episodes called “Her Startup Story”.

I’m planning to dive into YOUR stories, so I figured before I do that, I’ll start with mine. 

Learning how I loved to dress my Barbie dolls as a kid doesn’t sound too exciting for you – so instead I’m sharing the underbelly of my fashion business.

In today’s video + podcast, I’m going to tell you the 5 most EPIC FAILS that happened when I owned my clothing line and retail store. Each one – in its own way – pretty much almost put me out of business. 

Some were my fault, some just happened — a burglar is a burglar, just sayin’…

I’ll tell you about:

  • my whirlwind first year of business
  • why my second Fall Season’s designs were a NIGHTMARE
  • how I listened to my frustrated team and was REACTIVE rather than actually looking at the sales data
  • the very, very hard way I figured out that more sales do NOT necessarily equal more profit – ouch.

You’ll definitely learn something from my epic fails. Watch the video or have a listen below. 

You can also listen on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Spotify, or on Soundcloud

Want to Work Together?

  1. If you want to launch a profitable clothing line, we have a program for new designers, called Launch a Line. It’s a step-by-step course that gives you the blueprint to a successful launch so you don’t make the same mistakes I did when you start. You get unlimited access to the course for 3 full years plus a great community of like-minded entrepreneurs.
  2. If you’re currently selling online and want more consistent traffic and sales, you can join The Content Club. You’ll get expert training, LIVE marketing Hotseat reviews, Study Hall, a private Facebook community, and accountability to grow your online business. 

Quotes From This Episode: 

  • “Fall season comes around and I just whip something together as far as products — not realizing I could repeat a lot of styles that I did the first season. I thought I had to come up with everything new. I rushed it. And it was a nightmare”
  • “I wasn’t looking at the real picture, which is how much money is left over at the end of the day. It took me a long time to realize that when I niched down my product offerings my sales went down BUT I actually had more money left over! So the lesson was that SALES so not equal PROFIT.”
  • I said to myself that I can’t continue this pace with a baby and the travel and do the designing and managing my own production. I had reps in five different cities. I was selling wholesale all over the world, all over the country. Really. I was like, something’s got to give.”

Perfect is good but DONE is better. I’m rooting for you 100%!


P.S. I’d love to hear from you! Do you have a great STARTUP STORY? Let me know in the comments below, OK?



2 Responses

  1. Loved hearing your startup story from this perspective Jane! As a business owner and new mom myself it was very refreshing to hear how you navigated that particular season of your life. I’d love to share my own story with you (and your audience?) if you are interested. I’ve been in business for 2.5 years with a retail shop for the past year (yes, I opened a brick and mortar in the midst of a pandemic) and just hired my first employee (who is a literal angel) at the beginning of this year. We are growing but have definitely had our share of challenges.

    P.S. I’ve been following you and listening to the podcast for a number of years and am from the Chicago area 🙂

    1. Hi Sarah!
      You sound like a total badass. I’d love to hear more about your startup story — we will email you. Let’s get you on the show!

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