Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fashion but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Megan Castro, Co-Owner of Stellarly Studio, located in Atlanta, GA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Stellarly Studio is a clothing and apparel brand. The customers who shop with us are usually looking to add something bright, humorous, and quirky to their wardrobe. I love to create art and designs that bring people laughter and joy! My products are intended to connect with people through dreamy pastels, intergalactic imagery, and a whole lotta nostalgia.
Statistically, I attract young people aged 15-25 and millennial queer-identifying folks. My clothing patterns have been described as modern nostalgia (retro-inspired prints with a modern twist), and my other products contain a range of inspirations from magic and the occult to cheeky ragings against the patriarchy, capitalism, and the military-industrial complex, but always with a hopeful undertone looking towards a brighter future for everyone!
Tell us about yourself
As an artist and maker, I have been creating in some form or another for most of my life, and having a business to share my creations is a natural fit for me. I am motivated to keep going with Stellarly Studio because I love to see peoples' faces light up when they first see my products. That joy I feel fuels me to keep going and to keep making and being as innovative as I can.
Stellarly Studio is all about moving beyond inspiration. We currently attract a lot of other creative people to Stellarly Studio, and I want people who might not think of themselves as creative to be inspired to create!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Stellarly Studio was originally built around my tarot deck, Interstellar Tarot. It took me two years to illustrate all 78 individual cards, and I am now awaiting my second print edition of the deck! My business partner and husband, Andres, also made a desktop app and an Instagram filter to go with the deck. The app contains keywords for all the cards, 1, 3, and 5 card pulls you can do directly in the app, and a history log so you can go back and see all the cards you have pulled!
The Instagram filter (Interstellar Tarot) is a fun, complimentary filter for people to randomly generate a card for the day and be able to share it on their social media! It has been really important for me to make this deck as accessible and fun as we can make it. I hope that people can see all of the love and hard work both me and Andres have put into the Interstellar Tarot. I am currently awaiting the delivery of the second edition. We will have it available just in time for the spooky season!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Finances and social media growth. I'm sure everyone can relate. Having to be okay with where the business is currently at and waiting for consistent growth. I have so many ideas that I wish I could move forward with, but where we currently are financially, we just have to wait. We are always working and looking for new ways to grow, and it has made us creative and crafty to work with what we have and to look for new ideas to try.
Thankfully, we have found people to invest and aid us in accomplishing small milestones and goals, and if we can invest more in our social media outreach, I think we will be unstoppable! We are incredibly grateful for all the love and support we have received from our community, and we look forward to all the future growth in store for us!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't wait to be "ready." You might have a vision for what you want and are waiting for everything to be just right to launch. Still, there are a lot of growing pains with just getting a business started that even though you have something perfect and just the way you always dreamed, you might come to find out it doesn't quite work and will most likely need to change it down the road anyways.
- Meet with a designer and a brand strategy expert. This person helped me tremendously with figuring out a general look and the direction I wanted my business to go. I have tried to start other businesses before, but I never started by consulting someone who specialized in brand strategy, and the difference has been night and day.
- Ask for help, ask for support. You don't have to do everything by yourself. That's exhausting. I know that as artists and makers, especially, you might feel like you have to make every aspect of a product every step of the way, and it can be difficult to get caught up in feeling like you're on your own and it's you and your business against the world, but if you don't know how to do something and you know someone who does, ask them. If you can't afford their rates, see if they are open to a payment plan or swap. The freedom you will find in having that time to invest in something else that you are good at and avoiding the headache of trying to learn a new thing that you won't be using beyond the task is a liberating feeling.
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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