Wearing Many Hats…or Pants
It is inevitable when starting a business that you will eventually do something that makes you wildly uncomfortable. At the beginning, when you are still asking for favors and trading products in order to meet needs, you learn to be the "everything person". This is the best case scenario at first because you learn every part of your business backwards and forwards. You must build a business block by block. I have tried to speed this part up before or skip certain sections to get to the top faster. This doesn't work; you will only end up building an unstable business and will need to revisit and rebuild these blocks later which is always more difficult than doing it right the first time. It is in our nature to build block by block. We actually should learn to crawl before walking. I didn't do this and when I was 7 I had to learn to crawl because it affected the way I processed things. How weird, right? Most things are the same, there is an order to the disorder.
Usually, I hire when we can afford it and also if I would be unbearably miserable with or terrible at a task. When it came to photographing our newest product line, we spent what we had on the photography portion and for the models, I asked girls I saw in the town we live in if they would do it. Not surprisingly, these strangers didn't end up coming, so alas, there I was. My husband’s cousin was there, and she agreed to do it with me! She was amazing. We split the jeans. I didn't want her to be even more uncomfortable, so I took all of the small jeans meaning I had to model in pants 5 sizes too small, considering I have never even liked being in photos!
It was funny and important in its own way though. I tried on every style we had, putting the customer's comfort front and center. I also learned a lot more about photography. This will hopefully help me be a better entrepreneur and make better products. Since our products are designed on second-hand denim, I hadn't considered the style of denim we should focus on, like soft and stretchy for example. I just took what we could get, more focused on keeping clothing out of landfills and doing the embroidery than thinking about the raw material. This could be an important lesson, maybe not now but later when we can be a bit choosier.
More importantly though, I learned to do something that made me uncomfortable and at the end of the day, business is about more than selling. It is a personal journey that teaches so many lessons along the way. If we are open to following the process and being curious about the block right in front of us, we will build good businesses and also learn much about ourselves. Even in pants 5 sizes too small. But, hey! The pictures did turn out great! Check out our Shape Shifters collection to see the results!