Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in custom apparel but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Subi Imam, owner and founder of The Six Prints Inc., located in Toronto, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We create custom apparel for all types of brands and businesses. We help with consulting, design work, printing and custom labeling. Most of our customers are clothing brands looking to sell the products that we make for them and as a result, our primary focus has always been quality. We try to work with our clients every step of the way on their project and it's exciting to bring their vision to life.
Tell us about yourself
To tell you the truth, The Six Prints was never really my initial goal. I always wanted to start my own clothing brand and I started to research all the different ways that I could create my own pieces. I ended up discovering different printing techniques like screen printing, embroidery, vinyl etc. and got super nerdy about it. I was wasting away a lot of materials just trying everything and making lots of mistakes. And I was running out of money haha. I was just a student at the time and I could only spend so much. So I started to offer my very basic printing services to people in my circle to drum up some money and everything just grew from there. I upgraded my equipment little by little and started to get more orders in. At that point, my initial plans of starting my own clothing brand was put on the back burner because I just didn't have the time for it anymore. But it's making a comeback soon!
That's how The Six Prints was born and even though it wasn't the initial goal, I still love what I do as I get to work with so many different brands every single day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think my biggest accomplishment was moving out of my bedroom and moving into my first commercial shop. That was the scariest thing I have probably ever done. I went from having almost no overhead to having over $2000+ that I had to come up with every month. I had just graduated and I had decided that I would quit all my jobs, forget about the field I studied and just deep dive into this. It was definitely rough in the beginning and there were many instances where I almost packed it all up to move back to the bedroom. But I stuck to it and here we are.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I think the hardest thing is the sacrifices you have to make, especially when you're just starting out. I don't have kids just yet, but I'm going to try and equate this to having a kid haha. You can't just go and hang out with your friends whenever you want anymore. You go on vacation, you gotta bring the kid. You gotta go to the bathroom, bring the kid. It requires all your attention, 24/7 and it's a lot of hard work. But it's also worth it. You get the idea.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I'm still young and still learning, but my top 3 tips are:
- Take care of yourself, don't burn your self out to a point where you don't care anymore.
- Take it slow, be patient.
- Understand the core values of your brand and stay true to it. Your brand is the foundation and everything else builds on top.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; 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.