Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in clothing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Daniel Rakauskas, CEO of C2A Clothing, located in Hingham, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a sustainable luxury women's clothing brand whose initial product is women's swimwear. Our customer is a smart, confident woman who cares as much about the environment as she does about personal style.
Tell us about yourself
My business partner Jill Palese has been designing women's swimwear for over 25 years. She is directly responsible for many of the brands women have worn over the years. Her vision of embracing slow fashion and making swimwear that is gentler on the environment while still being fashionable drew me into the industry.
I'm motivated day in and day out by Jill's passion for changing the way clothing is made. We currently have one patent and have two patents pending around reducing the impact clothing has on our planet, and we're just getting started.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Our biggest accomplishment as a business was freezing our initial product launch and instead reallocating all of our funding and producing PPE for local hospitals during the pandemic. We produced and donated over $300K worth of FDA-approved medical gowns to our local healthcare heroes. This solidified our principles and spoke to who we are as a brand. And we managed to accomplish this without putting ourselves out of business.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Saying no is the hardest thing I find as a business owner. We come up with a plethora of good ideas, but we only have so much money to execute those ideas. This means we have to say no to a bunch of quality ideas as we need to allocate our funds in a responsible manner.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find a good partner. Find somebody who compliments you and not duplicates you. Find somebody who can do the things you can't do and who can't do what you do. And make sure you get along well, as you'll spend an inordinate amount of time together.
- Make sure you have funding secured and be willing to put your own money in first. Cash flow is critical to the survival of any startup, and having funding secured will help alleviate some of the stress associated with launching a company.
- Understand startups aren't for the faint of heart. Not everybody is suited for this lifestyle, so make sure you understand what you're getting yourself into before you take the leap. Talk to others who have done it and see if it's truly the right fit for you.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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