Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in clothing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rona Chang, CEO of Otto Finn, located in Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
OTTO FINN is an Asian American woman-led art practice dedicated to creating sustainable fashion. Our one-of-a-kind pieces are cut and sewn by our small team in Pittsburgh, PA. At OTTO FINN, we transform vintage blankets into wearable pieces of art. We make our jackets by using colorful kanthas with intricate hand-stitching. Kanthas are quilts traditionally from the Bengal region upcycled from old saris with a running stitch. They become the centerpiece of a capsule wardrobe. Our customers are creative and conscious consumers who want a unique foundational statement piece for their collection.
Tell us about yourself
My bi-cultural background and experience growing up in Taiwan and New York City developed my openness to the cultural exchange of ideas. Likewise, my extensive experience working in a museum environment and working with and visiting many art collections developed my style at OTTO FINN, which emphasizes textiles with stories and bold prints. The Japanese woodblock prints and Indian paintings in the Asian Art department at The Metropolitan Museum of Art have served as a source of inspiration ever since I worked with them.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Running a business by myself and being the primary caregiver to my two kids. It is a tremendous task to grow both a business and kids. I am thankful not to be in a vacuum and have a wonderful community to lean on. I am continually inspired by the women who have come before me and those who work alongside me.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Wearing all the hats! My time is finite, and I don't always get it all done, but this work feels so right, and growing it is my priority.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- It's a learning experience, you won't hit the mark every time, and that's ok.
- Get yourself in the company of a group of other entrepreneurs who you can safely ask questions or get honest feedback from.
- Start a newsletter. Don't rely on someone else's platform to communicate with your audience.
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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