I've been asked time and time again 'how did I decide to start a business' or 'what made me finally start my brand.'
Before I can get into my advice for anyone thinking of starting a brand we should get one thing absolutely straight, which is that if you're hesitant, or weighing the pros and cons, it's probably not the right time... because there is no right time. I don't think you can wait and compare the options - just do it! If you aren't ready for that, then you aren't ready for the new brand rollercoaster ahead
With that being said, for my whole life before Isa Foxx, I wasn't actively thinking about starting something. I have always known I wanted to build something, a brand, that would be entirely my own.
What actually happened was that I was living in London for two years, and decided (suddenly) to move back to NYC for no particular reason. Maybe I had had enough of the grey rain or lack of taxis but I just up and moved back. A month or so after moving home I just started! I never questioned or doubted my decision, never second guessed my direction. I saw my move back to NYC as a clean start and opportunity to start ANYTHING, and I have not once ever looked back.
Onto the advice...
1.) Start with the Brand Image (unless you're going into something tech or science based)
If you're starting a brand / business in any kind of consumer product whether it be high-end or mass market, start with the brand image itself.
I started with the name, Isa Foxx, then I shaped my first website to match the vibe of the name and I built the entire brand image around that vibe. Having worked in jewelry marketing for a few years, I really valued having a really clear image and clear marketing around that image. Getting the branding, logo and website out of the way before starting anything else can actually really drive the direction of your product and simplify your marketing as time goes on. Nothing could be worse than having a great product with no way, or understanding, of how to show and share it properly and clearly. When you're introducing something new, which is always the case for a new business, you need to make it really easy for people to understand what you're bringing to the market and why - that's the brand image.
2.) Ask a Friend (Facebook is a Friend)
When it came to my first decisions: picking a brand name, choosing which website to host your website on, learning about first steps and what to even do (which is a lot harder than it sounds like - without a boss, team or any forced direction and initiatives it's really challenging to even know what to do or where do dedicate your energy.)
People are really receptive to honest questions and advice seeking, reach out to others in your network who have done something similar or know people who have, ask for a bit of time to chat or to be connected to others directly.
Facebook is also a great resource for groups - whether it's a group full of young entrepreneurs in city areas, NYC designers, entrepreneurs, whatever - Facebook groups are a limitless recourse of people all working together to achieve their own goals. On a personal note, I overlooked FB groups for a while and when I finally realized their depth and potential I kicked myself for not knowing it sooner.
3.) Stay Flexible ... Fast
When I say you'll need to be able to entirely shift, flip and 'redo' everything it feels like you've been working so hard on, you really will. From building an entire website on Wix, to moving to Squarespace and then again starting entirely from scratch on Shopify and to having rings cast in one way by a team that I had gotten to know really well and was working with for a while to then having to move my entire operation over to another group and re-working my entire design process and chain of operation, I've really had to overhaul every aspect of Isa Foxx more times than I can count. It's been really helpful to not worry about the work that has already been put in - just focus on what needs to be done even if it means starting over. It's a waste of time to think too much or worry that you'll 'lose your progress.' Trust me, scrap it - start it again - move on, and fast! As long as you have your vision in mind, every step is moving you forward, even if it feels like it's backwards at first.
I hope that this advice was useful!
If you have any comments, please let us know in the comment section below and follow @Isafoxx_ on Instagram if you aren't already!