Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in clothing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ayana Ames, creative director, and founder of Am.A-line Collections, located in Cincinnati, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Am.A-line Collections is a clothing brand primarily focused on menswear. Our clothing is designed to speak to the core personality of who's wearing it. We're all about bringing out the essence of a person and boosting their confidence.
All of our styles are versatile and transitional from day to night and event to event. They're easily dressed up or down with the perfect selection and personal touch of accessories. We design them to be light enough to transition into the next season, saving you space in your closet and keeping you stylish all year long.
Tell us about yourself
I began working on my clothing line after graduating college. I found my passion for menswear during that time as well. However, I really started focusing on my business in 2018 to build it and scale truly.
Taking that leap of faith to start catapulted me into my position today. Even when COVID-19 hit, I was inspired to push through it all and dig deeper because there was time available to better my efforts and reach more people. To share that spirit of caring, a sense of confidence that exudes brightly with what one is wearing, and a new definition of comfort in style motivated me during the pandemic.
As far as daily motivation, I'd have to say that it's more of a discipline and regiment for me. There are days I don't feel motivated to work, however, I push through it because we will never always be motivated, but we can always be disciplined in every action we take. So I tend to follow that train of thought. I know if I don't work on my business, I'll be behind, and in order to grow, I have to give a little each day. A little is always better than nothing at all. However, it helps that I do love what I do, and seeing my designs on people inspires me to continue forward.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
So far, I would say that my biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been creating a network for myself. Each phone call, event, and email has taught me something new. It's forced me out of my comfort zone to the point that I'm more comfortable speaking to anyone about my business and selling my products.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I would say one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is giving myself grace and knowing when to stop working. As an owner, there are so many benefits to a flexible schedule; however, for me, that means I still may end up working more than not. There's no such thing as a 9 - 5 for me because there's always something to be done, and depending on the time of day, I may be more productive at night or very early in the morning.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make sure you have all the information you need for each stage of growth. Take your time and don't feel rushed because the more information you have, the more prepared you will be.
- Don't let fear run your business. Leaps of faith are a constant reoccurrence and should be welcomed.
- Not every opportunity that presents itself will be the best option for you, and it's ok to say no and walk away from it. A new and better opportunity will present itself. Just know that at any time on your business owner journey, you'll want to quit some days, but know that you're right where you need to be, and there's a reason you started in the first place.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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