Over the last year, I've interviewed women who've started some of the most successful ventures in the industry as part of Racked's Ladies Who Launch series. These are women like photographer Jamie Beck, who landed early support from Tumblr, and Kim France, this week's subject who won the admiration of the industry while working as Lucky's editor-in-chief for ten years before starting her own site. There's model-turned-beauty entrepreneur Josie Maran, who self-funded her cosmetics company after venture capitalists laughed at her idea; fashion law blogger Julie Zerbo, who relies on her legal education to call out some of the industry's biggest names; and so many others who are making their mark by starting something of their own.
The entrepreneurs featured in Ladies Who Launch may come from all different backgrounds and career paths, but they're also able to deliver tangible advice to hopefuls and vets alike. Below, see all the best tips from women who are seriously making it.
Photo courtesy of Kelly Cutrone
On Starting Your Own Business
"Your employees are not your family. That's a mistake. When you start out and think you're all in this together, well, you're not."
"If you're not good at math and business, find somebody that is because you will not succeed without that skill set."
"A physical business should be a place that people come to and love. Make it about the people who come instead of just treating it like a business."
"Know the general knowledge of every single department in the business. You don't want to be stuck and not know what to do in tough situation."
"It's about learning from each mistake and saying, 'Okay, we messed that up, ' or 'We shipped that late, ' or 'We did this, but what are we learning from that and how are we using that to go forward? What are we building on?'"
"The whole smoke and mirrors culture of social media is a real disservice to us because we think that branding is more important than the actual product. But in order to run a business, you need to have cash and in order to have cash, you need a product. So always put product before branding."
"Always ask what's possible. If you play the same game that everyone else is playing, you won't do anything that's inspiring and you'll live in fear. If you don't allow yourself to dream, you'll never get yourself anywhere unique and important."
"Not every opportunity is the right opportunity for you. It's good to know when and how to say no. Focus on your goals and know that there are going to be many opportunities."
"Test as quickly as possible. See if the concept resonates with people. People have a lot of good ideas, but the execution is what is challenging."
"I think one of the most important things when you're starting a business is to not let the naysayers stand in your way. It would be a mistake to let other people's limitations keep you from accomplishing and doing the things you really want to do." —Mary Helen Bowers, Ballet Beautiful
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