The IDEA of Owning a Fashion Business vs. the REALITY 

If you design a product and own a small business, what’s your REAL job? Sure, we start because we’re good at making and creating something. Then you launch an actual company based around that skill and wait a sec… 

Turns out that the IDEA of a business and the REALITY are 2 different things. 

Watch the video now for a reality check and some helpful #MondayMotivation…


Every week I get asked about ways to sell more stuff – shortcuts, simple strategies, and the insider info on what’s working now.

I get it. We all want the easy button.

And it’s TRUE that there are shortcuts and simple strategies that can help. It’s also true that selling your product is a big job. It’s not something you can just do “when you get to it”, “after the product is perfect”, or “when you’re ready”.

Many of you don’t want to hear it, but in many ways, selling and marketing your line IS the job. It’s not just about creating products – not even close. And if you really want to JUST design, you can get a job as a designer. If you own a small business, you have to do be willing to do more and do it well. When I had my  womenswear line I spent about 15% of my time on the actual collection and the other 85% on other stuff.

If I were to start over again, I’d still spend 15% on the line and I’d bump marketing and selling my line up to about 75% of my time. The other 10% would go to professional development in the form of learning new skills that would make me money — like taking classes to learn how to sell more stuff that would, you guessed it, result in making more money. Then I’d use that money to outsource the tasks I didn’t have time to do.

Because, ya know, all my time is spent on either the product or the sales. That’s it.

In the video, I give you an assignment.

1) If you’re an established brand – when was the last time you emailed your list and kept in touch? DO IT TODAY. Then leave me a comment below and tell me what you did.

2) If you’re a startup – GOYA (get off your arse) and head to the nearest place where your “perfect” customer hangs out. For me, it would be a Starbucks in a fancy part of town. WATCH THE VIDEO for specific instructions of what to do, then leave a comment with what you did!!

As always, thanks for watching and reading,





24 Responses

  1. Great video! Hits home…looking forward to your new class in the Fall. See you at the DG Expo in a couple of weeks… Kaye

  2. Great video! You gave me this advice to visit areas where my target customer is, which helped me get a better idea of their lifestyle and buying choices. Now, I’ll do more to start conversations with those people. I’m looking forward to the class about selling online, direct to consumer.

  3. KISS … u nailed it; selling (marketing) is the ONLY thing that brings in the money, & money fuels & grows your business!

  4. Very true—-there are days I spend all day, tweaking my websote, social media ( which I have given this piece to someone else to manage) and emailing customers.
    I would say, watch your sales numbers and you will know your marketing is lacking when the numbers are down. Also, even though I have someone helping with social media, I find it best for me to send her the photos, hashtags and captions for the week. I know my business by the season and what to promote 🙂

    Have a great day

    1. Hi Joni! Great to hear from you!

      It sounds like you have some pretty good systems in place. Being the brains behind what goes on social media, but not the actual practitioner seems like a great balance.

      Keep it up and please send me updates! I love the way you run your business and I love hearing what’s new.


  5. The take away for me was, “take imperfect action”. I used to get stuck in trying to be perfect all the time. It was making me immobile. These days I practice “just being”. It’s hard, but this way I am more productive.

    Thank you.

    1. Truth, Yeefah!! It’s hard to put work out there that’s not seemingly perfect, but it’s the only way. The only way…

  6. I love watching your videos and this one especially rings true as I had (have) trouble getting myself out there and selling but I am a one woman, start up, fashion brand at the moment so don’t have the luxury to sit back. This really inspired and motivated. I am going to a gallery opening this evening and will have my networking head ON! Thanks Jane and….GOYA!! <3

  7. This course is amzing and I am learning so much. I am definitely interested in the course this Fall “Get more sales”. I am starting a small business designing clothes and even though I have a strong fashion background and degree…I still need this course to get started with my own company. So thank you for being an awesome resource.

    1. Awesome, Nakeia! I’m so glad this course is helping you. I can relate, because I have a BFA in fashion design from F.I.T. It was terrific training on the technical aspects of design, but I didn’t know a darn thing about starting or running a business.

      Watch your email for updates on the new course coming late September, and please know I’m rooting for you and your new business all the way!


  8. OMG! Jane! I just watched my 1st video of yours! Thank you for being a real person! And the content was awesome. I really needed to hear that. I have been the one who waits to get everything just right before “starting”. Thank you for the encouragement! Lee from ElleH

    1. Go Lee!!! Here’s to shaking that need for perfectionism right outta ya! No one wants to produce or show the world something crappy, but the urge to make things just perfect will absolutely kill your productivity, your momentum, and your motivation.


    1. Thank you so much, Karen. That means a lot to me. I LOVE your concept and wish your product was around when my Dad got sick.

  9. So true Jane! I’ve been in medical sales for 15 years and it always makes me think, everything is really about selling and marketing. We start as kids selling our parents on what we want but somehow as we get older most don’t want to “sell” anymore

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