Inspire

How I started a clothing line while unemployed

How I started a clothing line while unemployed

When I started B.FREEDOM, I was unemployed and my account was in the negative. 

At the time, I had been out of work for 6 months, I’d ran out of unemployment benefits, and I didn’t know what was next. 

I was going back and forth between going back to school or going back to corporate America. But to be completely honest, I didn’t want to do either.

If I went back to school, it would be because my parents wanted me to, but if I got a job, it would be because I thought I was supposed to.

I had no peace.

During this season of confusion, I wanted to spend time doing what I loved, so I dusted off my sewing machine and started creating. I never thought this would turn into me starting a clothing company, but through time, God made it so clear. 

I decided that this was the perfect time to follow my dream of starting a clothing line. I didn’t have everything figured out, but I knew that, through faith, everything would fall into place.

So here is how I did it.

I used what I had.

I had a sewing machine, a bolt of fabric I had from 4 years prior, and an idea. I used this fabric to sew the Parker jumpsuit and decided that it would be my debut piece. (I consider this the baby of my line. I still carry it today.)

I couldn’t afford a 20-piece collection, so I started with 5 pieces. This allowed me to get my pieces out to market quickly so I could see what my girls liked and didn’t like.

When starting something new, it’s so important to leverage the resources you have, do things yourself, and exhaust all the free things first. Being resourceful is how you grow a business.

I got a new job.

When I decided to start B.FREEDOM, I didn’t have savings and didn’t want to take out a loan, so I decided to go back to corporate America. At the time, I lived at home and had minimal bills to pay, so 70% of my paycheck would go to B.FREEDOM, and 30% would go to bills and day to day expenses. For me, this was the most logical way that I could afford to start a clothing line. From 8-5 I would go to work, and after I would work on B.FREEDOM.

It's important to be real about your process. Many business owners don’t talk about the reality of starting a clothing line, its expensive. When starting a business, I’m an advocate of using your personal finances first before asking a lender.

I had faith.

Many people want to follow their dreams but are standing in their own way because of fear or false assumptions.

If you think you need a lot to start that dream, remember that a big step is comprised of small steps.  

If you’re scared to follow that dream, just remember that success is not in the destination, it's in the process.

You have to love the process more than the destination (especially since the destination is a moving target).

So rather than waiting for everything is perfect, start with what you have.  

Talk soon,

Xoxo,

Mimi

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