Hi there, Maristella is here! 🙂
I’m Italian and a Fashion Business Coach/Consultant for Ebooks4fashion.com, a professor for several prestigious Fashion Academies in Milan, Italy (like Accademia del Lusso and IED, Moda Lab), a Jewelry Designer for my brand Maiden-Art.com rockmantic jewelry, a Personal Shopper for my third business MilanChicShoppingTour.com, and a Visual Artist for MaristellaColombo.it
I lead an ever-growing community where I help fashion entrepreneurs to start or grow a profitable, successful fashion business and live the life of their dreams.
As a course instructor and a professor I’ve taught more than 3K+ students and as a business woman, I’ve turned my dreams in fashion into successful and profitable fashion businesses, living the life I’ve always wanted.
But things weren’t always so sweet, TRUST me.
I want to share with You my personal experience in the fashion industry and what I learned in more than 10 years running my jewelry brand Maiden-Art.
Why i’m sharing my experience with You?
Because, I really hope that my experience can be inspiring for YOU, it can make you thinking that IT’S TOTALLY POSSIBLE to start and grow a fashion business from scratch or growing your existing one, whether is a product or service based business in fashion, only if you follow the right strategies.
When I started with my fashion brand, I was creating clothes ad accessories and more than 10 years ago, the best way to sell your collection, was at a trade show or to find a showroom/rep.
Trade shows were so expensive, from $5K to $10k per each show and if you were accepted after sending your application at least 6-8 months before, you had to book your space, paying at least 50% off the price of the show and the rest, a month before the show.
Can you imagine how much money I spent many months before the trade shows only to book a space at them, without including the expenses to stay in the hotels and the travel to go to the show, without knowing if I would have found buyers at the show, interested in my collection?
I know right now, It sounds so crazy, but when I started there were NO Facebook, Social Media, E-commerce, etc…to use and to get known from the press and from retailers, the only way was to be seen at trade shows.
The second step was to find a showroom or sales rep interested in your collection.
I’m telling You this, because when I started, the only money came from my work as a professor at IED- Moda Lab, a fashion school in Milan and the money I won from the European Funds competition for supporting new entrepreneurs.
Basically, what I did, I invested everything in my fashion business: producing the samples and booking a space at the most important trade shows in Italy and in Europe, if my applications were accepted.
My applications were accepted and so, I could go to show my collections of clothes and accessories at the trade shows.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go as I expected.
In a few years, I’ve lost everything I earned, because the orders I received, were not even enough to cover the trade shows expenses.
At one trade show (Pitti Immagine in Florence, Italy), I had to change (just a few days before the show) what I was going to show, because my samples were not ready for the trade show.
I had to produce myself some jewelry in exchange of my clothing collection not ready!
If I didn’t do that, my booth at the trade show would have been left empty.
That’s how I changed my clothing brand into a jewelry brand Maiden-Art.
To make it short: from all the trade shows, from the research to find showrooms/sales reps and from producing samples, I’ve lost $50K !
Yes you heard right $50K!
In 2010 I’ve been in debt of $50K and I am not ashamed of telling you that!
Why? Because It was for me a BIG BIG BIG lesson to learn!
From that experience, the year after, I got in net profit of $35K, so I paid all my debt of $50K plus a profit of $35K.
How I did it?
1) I invested in myself.
What I mean is: I started to learn more of what I didn’t know at all: MARKETING & SALES (I come from a creative background, I’m a visual designer and a fashion designer).
AND also I learned to shift my mindset.
I took as many online courses as possible about marketing/sales and I started to follow inspiring people that could keep me on track.
2) I started to understand better and deeper my Customers and Dream Customers.
I focused my attention to understand more who they were, their problems, how I could help them with my products, how I could satisfy their needs and giving them benefits.
3) I started to build my EMAIL LIST of potential customers interested in my jewelry collections.
I focused more my attention online, but never forgetting the offline world.
Every occasion, where I could find my dream customer, was the perfect one, to offer value in exchange for my audience’s email list.
Every day, I focused my attention to build my email list and to grow the relationship with my dream customers.
In this way, I could get back on track in my fashion business, but with a more deep knowledge of myself and more confident on what my dream customers really needed.
So, in conclusion, don’t give up on your fashion business, stay focused on your dream customers needs, provide them great value for free, build a true relationship with them and grow your email list every day!
This is what I teach in all of my courses, online trainings and coaching/consulting services and so You have come to the perfect place to create the Fashion Business and Life You DREAM.
If You want to rock your Fashion Business, You MUST TAKE ACTION NOW!
If you are fashion designer, accessory designer, jewelry designer, fashion blogger, stylist, buyer, visual merchandiser, photographer, personal shopper, image consultant, wedding planner, shop owner, fashion editor, you’re starting an e-commerce, you are a freelance or your dream is to start or grow your fashion business, I can definitely help you in the following fields and more:
– Fashion jewelry design
– Fashion design
– Graphic design & Illustrations
– Brand Positioning
– Branding & Personal branding
– Copywriting / Editing
– Fashion Advertising & Marketing (traditional & web marketing)
– Social Marketing
– Building & Managing your Fashion Blog
– Building & Running your E-Commerce
– Building & Running your Brick & Mortar Store or your Pop Up Store
– Business Planning
– Building and developing your Independent Business
– Sales, Distribution and Retail Channels ON & OFF Line
– Outsourcing & Team Organization
– Mindset for Success in your Fashion Business
To your fabulous Success in Fashion and in Life!