The beginning is a STRUGGLE. There is no actual formula to start a successful clothing brand. People realize originality when they see it. Doing the same thing over and over again makes the audience lose interest. Eventually you and the brand will die out. To sell, you must be different.
B E O R I G I N A L O R T R Y T O B E
You've probably heard "be original" over and over throughout your life, but it's true. Originality comes within your personal connection to this world and sets you apart from being mainstream. We owners Alex and Lexi, came to this realization during our last year of high school. Original designs and ideas can take the longest time to come up with. Sure, you can input your brand name into logos such as: North face, Coca Cola, Patagonia and Supreme, but that is over used. It's almost like taking the easy way out. Taking time and not rushing the work is the key to making a great project happen.
Becoming the next popular clothing brand over night is impossible. Unless you have a friend group of movie stars, pro athletes, or you-tubers who wear the brand and advertise it at the same time, which most of us don't. We figured out we needed to do the footwork to establish the brand in our own way. Starting from the bottom and building up is frustrating, but every step you take is a step you will appreciate later. Skipping steps is crucial and can even end up costing you more time in the end. In our previous blog post, we mentioned that we started with a small budget/knowledge about the industry. Even though we started out knowing absolutely nothing about running a business, we quickly learned by putting out designs from our own personal experiences. We didn't start a brand in hopes that we'd make a lot of money, WE STARTED IT BECAUSE WE ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT IT. There are thousands of other brands that want the same thing as us. The ones that stay true to themselves will succeed in the end.
F E A R W I L L B E T H E E N D
First, it was scary and intimidating, but we only let that motivate us further. Once we got past the nervous point of introducing our brand to others, nothing could stop us from achieving our goals. Put yourself out there to show people that you want your brand to be known, they will appreciate what you're doing. We opened up our minds and found resources that we could learn from. If you want your brand to be known, talk to anyone and everyone you can about it. Most importantly, we asked questions we didn't know the answer to. You may think the question is not important, but go ahead and ask. We took advice from people who've been in the game before, we learned quickly from others who made mistakes.
O N E B R E A K F O L L O W S M A N Y B R E A K S (stay consistent)
Every minute you don't spend on your brand, is a lost minute. LAZINESS WILL DESTROY YOU. You feel lazy one day and decide not to go the extra step for the brand. It becomes routine shortly after. We made an agreement to sit down and write out what we wanted to get done each day for the next two weeks. Going to work without a plan is silly. We set boundaries for our company! We knew deep down we were capable of doing all these tasks, so we did it! Get up and get out of your comfort zone to be a leader of the brand, it's worth it in the end. Take your time and figure out what way works best for you. If you feel like its not right, take a step back and reset.
S O C I A L M E D I A
In the world of the internet it's so easy to get caught up, set limits for your usage on social media. Social media is a great way to expand a brand quickly, but you don't want to post so much to where people get annoyed. We post a picture or comment every so often to remind people of what we are up too. Personally, we stay active on our social media by updating our audience with the latest releases and quality photos. We started our social media reputation with crisp and simple photos. We had a vision for the brand, nothing to crazy or too boring. Clever Fools is stylish, but doesn't scream MAINSTREAM.
F O L L O W Y O U R G U T
Rushed work is never a good idea unless you're really good at coming up with great designs in minutes. Create multiple versions of each design, then sit on the idea for awhile. If you're still not talking about it the next day then erase it and start over! When you know a design is good, it will click in your head and encourage you to perfect it. Follow your gut instinct, most of the time you will be right. IF IT DOESN'T FEEL RIGHT DON'T DO IT. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. Our brand is our reputation; therefore taking too many opportunities is not always the best route. We focus on the opportunities that will better or add value to the brand.