Last month I announced the launch of “Small Talks,” a new series where I hit the road to talk to successful small business owners about their unique journeys. I shared an interview with Spencer Johnson of Sota Clothing, about turning an idea into a profitable business, and another with Chuck Runyon of Anytime Fitness, who discussed his leadership style and how to create a successful franchise business.
Now I’m delighted to share two more exchanges from that series, featuring a couple of fearless fashionistas.
Anna Hovet: Hovet Fashion Studio
The first one features the wonderful Anna Hovet. She is an inspiration in many ways, particularly in how she’s not afraid to reinvent her business model to serve her consumers. She’s done this multiple times, recently by transforming Hovel Apparel into Hovet Fashion Studio, which gives her the opportunity to teach classes to aspiring designers.
Watch my full Small Talks interview with Hovet here:
I especially loved her tips on what business owners should ask themselves before pivoting their business:
- Do you still love what you’re doing? If not, your customers may not either. Giving your business a makeover could reignite your passion.
- What are the trends in your industry? Hovet noticed that people were buying fewer clothes so she reinvented her business to focus on providing experiences.
- Is your business as efficient as it could be? Learning to delegate was one of the most important things she’s learned. It freed up time for her to plan her next move.
Emma Olson: Hazel & Rose
I was delighted to visit Emma Olson, who also is a fashion-industry entrepreneur. In 2016, she put it all on the line, leaving a stable, corporate job at a national retailer to open Hazel & Rose in Northeast Minneapolis. Olson was nervous about leaving a good job but she did her homework (and other smart planning) before taking the leap, which to her is the secret to success. She told us three great pieces of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Here’s our full interview:
If you’re thinking of leaving a day job to start a business yourself, here are Olson’s top tips:
- Learn the basics of business first. She suggests spending some time in the working world, learning all you can. Additionally, reach out to other entrepreneurs to learn from their experiences. How did they make the jump from employee to business owner? What were their stepping stones to success?
- Adjust your personal budget. You need money to start a new business, so plan carefully. Olson thought through income changes and decided to pour her salary into savings for months. This gave her and her husband a comfortable amount of time to get used to their new budget and lifestyle. And it helped her save a nice chunk of change to put toward her business.
- Adapt. You can’t prepare for everything. When things don’t work out as planned, roll with the punches. Olson had only ever worked in a team setting, so she didn’t know how she would react to running a business alone. She welcomed co-owner Bobbi Barron in 2017 for that very reason. Being able to share ideas and responsibilities with a business partner made a big difference.