Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fashion but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mallorie Dunn, founder & designer of SmartGlamour, an ethical, sustainable, customizable inclusive clothing line made in NYC.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
SmartGlamour is an ethical, sustainable, customizable clothing line for folks of all shapes and sizes - XXS-15X and beyond. Launched in 2014, SmartGlamour aims to create equity within the fashion industry by offering clothing to truly all people. Our customers are everyone and anyone! Most of the time - they are folks who care about ethical production, sustainable options and/or feel left out and slightly by the mainstream fashion industry.
Tell us about yourself
I am a fashion designer with 20+ years of sewing experience and 10+ years of professional industry experience. I have always been interested in clothing, personal style, and making - but have also always been uninterested in the fashion industry's exclusionary pretentious and wasteful practices. After working in corporate fashion, quitting for freelance work instead, I realized I could make a difference by creating the type of company I wished existed. Every day, I am motivated to make the industry more inclusive and kinder to the planet and the people on it.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is being able to help folks and make a positive impact on their life. Every time someone comments, emails, or DMs us - thanking us for creating accurately representative imagery - every time someone can find an item with us that they can find nowhere else - I feel accomplished in my goals.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me - the hardest thing that comes with being a business owner is learning to take time to relax and care for myself. My business is important to me because of its impact on others, so it isn't easy to take a break from that, even when I need to.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Actually care about what you are doing. Don't start a small business if you just want to make a quick buck. Find a passion - follow that.
- Find the best way to stay organized - for you. It's important to learn how to be efficient and on top of your work. You have to self-motivate and keep things straight when you're in charge. Staying organized is the best way to do so.
- Learn how to problem solve and ask for help. You need to know what you don't know - and not be afraid to seek that help from others. Don't get stuck or defeated when something doesn't go how you'd imagine it would. Pivot. Learn. Grow.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
SmartGlamour is person-forward before it's fashion-forward. We are focused on healing folk's relationships to their bodies and clothing. We are focused on disrupting the mainstream fashion industry's harmful ways. And we are for everyone - all sizes, shapes, heights, weights, ages, ethnicity, ability, and so on. We are not a "women's" brand, and our customers and models are not all women. Please use gender-inclusive language when referring to them as a group/collective.
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 email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.