THE BUSINESS OF FASHION, UNFILTERED


The REAL life of an entrepreneur

When most people hear the words ‘designer’, they think of days spent pouring over luxurious fabrics, flicking through fashion magazines and looking fabulous 24/7. The reality, however, is not quite so glamourous. The business of fashion is challenging, complex and life-consuming – and, while I wouldn’t have it any other way – there’s a whole side to dog&boy that people don’t see.

In this post, I’ll share some behind the scenes insights about running a scarf empire and what it REALLY takes to build a successful brand. Hint: blood, sweat and sometimes, often!, tears are a genuine part of the dog&boy story!

Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable

Far from hiding behind gorgeous scarves, being a fashion designer pushes me way outside my comfort zone. A recent example is a TV interview I did with SBS, which aired on 15 April 2018. It was a huge honour and it went well – but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t scary! Being on TV is definitely is a big deal and I had all fears you’d expect to have. What if I sound silly? What if I look silly? What if the camera really does add 10 kilos?

Being on TV is so far outside my comfort zone, it would have been tempting to say no – but I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I had to get comfortable being uncomfortable, which is something my business has taught me to do. It’s not always easy, but it’s usually worth it – and ‘putting yourself out there’ is part of being an entrepreneur. If you’re interested in watching the interview, check it out here: for the love of scarves.

You can also read a recent article I wrote for YMag about My Surprise Career as a Scarf Designer. In this piece, I get pretty personal. I share my fears about starting my business, losing my mum to brain cancer and my big ‘why?’ behind dog&boy. Again, not the most comfortable thing to do, but a great chance to connect with readers, tell a story and hopefully inspire some budding business owners.

Doing ALL the things, all the time

As well as wearing many scarves, I also wear many hats at dog&boy. I’m the founder, designer, quality controller, marketing team, sales manager, logistics department and more. I’m lucky to get great support from family, but I’m still always outrageously busy. I love what I do, but truth be told, it does get overwhelming at times and really just have to stop and just switch off from everything for a while (cue the Netflix binge!).

    I used to work some pretty outragous hours during my former life, but I can’t remember EVER being this busy. My usual pace as an entrepreneur is somewhere between ‘mildly panicked and completely frenzied’ – and the only reason I keep up is that I’m completely obsessed with what I do. There are buckets of tears and screams of joy, and everything in between.  But when you’ve got passion, and drive anything’s possible – but you have to be prepared to put in the work.

    Always evolving, forever refining

    One of the main things I’ve learnt since starting dog&boy is that the hard work is never done. There’s always room for improvement – and if you want to create something truly special, you can’t afford to rest on your laurels.

    The dog&boy brand has evolved a lot over the past 2.5-years and I’m so proud of what it’s become. The fabrics are pristine, the prints are timeless, and the brand is building great momentum. Despite all this, I always want to do MORE – especially when it comes to the brand experience. Believe it or not, the thing I love most about dog&boy is not the scarves. It’s the connection I make with the people who wear them, through storytelling and shared experience.

    Whether it’s through social media, blogging or having real conversations with real customers, I’m always refining dog&boy to be a better version of itself. That means listening to feedback, embracing change, and inviting dog&boy lovers to help shape the brand’s story. And that work will never be done.

    As branding superstar Scott Bedbury famously said, “A great brand is a story that’s never completely told”. Let’s see where this story goes. 

     


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