Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in clothing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Bill McConnell, Owner of Gizmo XXI, located in Kansas City, MO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Gizmo XXI is casual attire — mainly tee shirts and swimwear — with original urban and industrial-inspired designs. I'm still figuring out who my customers are, but I get most compliments from other artists. They seem more aware of the work that goes into the design process.
Tell us about yourself
I'm a lifelong Graphic Designer with a passion for bold and unique products. When the pandemic hit in 2020, I saw it as an opportunity to try new things. I love the challenge of fitting imagery into 3D forms and aiming for uniqueness. I hope that people looking for something different will appreciate the concepts and attention to detail I put into the designs.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I've gained a lot of confidence as a designer. There's still a way to go, but I'm optimistic that Gizmo XXI will continue to evolve with items you won't find anywhere else.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Covering all the different roles that are needed to keep the business functioning can seem overwhelming — especially when you have other jobs. I've found that collaborating with other professionals and finding resources for streamlining ongoing tasks eases the workflow a lot — in particular, apps and sites for social media, billing, etc. Collaborating with photographers and models promoting their own businesses has eased my workload and added fresh ideas, too.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Take advantage of all the resources you can find online! There are so many sites and apps to automate and schedule repetitive tasks. Find like-minded people to collaborate with on promotion and social media. You can't be that good at everything, so finding others with skills you lack will elevate your product and theirs. Chip away at your goals daily, if possible — even if it's only for a few minutes. It really adds up, and you'll be surprised at how much progress you make.
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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