Advice from Designers
In editing the online edition of the Designer Fact File, we asked various British designers to tell us about their initial challenges and best advice for designers starting out in business.
|Mary Katrantzou AW12
"I think it is important to understand when starting your own business that it is a creative business, as well as one that needs to prove commercially viable.
I would advise to try and understand every aspect of the sales, production and PR side of it and to be open to any advice you are given before finding your own way.
It's key to understand all the different parts of the business, so that when you can finally employ the right people for the job you understand your needs and what you can expect."
"Have a point of difference and execute it with conviction."
|Todd Lynn SS12
"Be true to yourself. Carve out a niche that belongs to you. Make the business reflect what you want to say."
"Get to know your customer inside and out.
Everyone kept saying to me that I was a good designer – however I felt like a fraud for the first year as I was so new to the business it didn't feel true at that point, I had to grow into the role."
|Temperley London SS12
Alice Temperley, Temperley London
"Listen to yourself, trust your instincts and dare to follow them.
It is a tough industry; fast and competitive, so you need to be completely committed and give it all you have got – it’s a continuous challenge which you have to learn to embrace."
"Consult your inner entrepreneur. Do you have the stomach for the often all consuming business of 'business'?
There is also no need to rush into it. You only really get one chance to launch your own line so make sure you have learnt everything you can from the best people you can work for.
Oh, and be a bloody good designer with an original point of view."
|Meadham Kirchhoff SS12
Ben Kirchhoff, Meadham Kirchhoff
"It's so important to be strong-willed and certain of what you want to do - there is very little chance that you'll ever be able to go back on your decision and there will be nothing to go back to if you fail.
Hear people out if they offer advice but don't listen to everyone who feels it's their duty to give it to you.
Always have more than one head on your shoulder - being talented is primordial but pointless if you are not willing to work very hard.
No two businesses are the same and it's important you understand the value of your own and not compare yourself to contemporaries.
It will take a fair amount of time to be taken seriously - if you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and are patient it will always pay off.
Frustration will be part of your life for some time, and being comfortable may never happen.
This really is not an easy choice or an easy life but it is rewarding in many, many ways."