If you asked me a year and a half ago, the idea of starting my own small business was pretty much nowhere on my radar. I also didn’t anticipate the start of a global pandemic, which would eventually result in an abrupt ending to my sophomore year in college. Like many others, I had virtually no idea what I was supposed to do with myself amidst the unprecedented months at home to follow, but I was certain that I needed a creative outlet. Fast forward through DIY projects, TikTok trends, and the emergence of non-stop sweat-suit style, Kyra Kouture was born!
Kyra Kouture is my small, elevated loungewear business which specializes in tie-dyed, and customized pieces. The items sold include a range of sweatshirt styles, sweatpants, lounge shorts, graphic tees, masks, tank tops, sets and more.
I’ve always had a passion for fashion, a curiosity surrounding entrepreneurship (cue the Shark Tank marathons), and a fair share of tie-dyeing experience from years of summer camp. Apart from these assets however, I had a lot to learn. What started as a little passion project, which I sold amongst my small circle of friends, has expanded into a small business I am proud to run independently. Since creating my first set in March of 2020, I have fulfilled over 100 orders nationwide, and learned so much along the way. Here are five key takeaways from my experience (and no, this is not a tie-dye tutorial):
Don’t Be Afraid to Mess Up (Or Make a Mess)
I would be lying through my keyboard if I told you that I didn’t both mess up a lot, and make more messes than I would care to admit in the first stages of Kyra Kouture. Whether it was navigating the unforeseen logistics of running a business (like how you actually have to keep spreadsheets and stuff) or cleaning up the literal messes of tie dyeing in my family’s laundry room (sorry Mom!!) it’s safe to say that I had many late nights remaking items and questioning why I had to figure things out the hard way. In hindsight, what did I expect? Leaping into a big project like this one, with little to no experience is bound to result in small failures. These failures however, have proven to lead to the biggest lessons, and the most success later on. Get messy and learn to be grateful for the mistakes you make. Just try not to dye your parents’ throw rug pink, like I did, along the way.
Comparison is the Thief Of Joy
If you didn’t believe it when Teddy Roosevelt said it, maybe you’ll believe it now that a tie-dye-clad Insta-business owner is telling you. Comparison sucks the fun out of everything! It doesn’t matter if your LinkedIn connections landed internships on Wall Street or if you stumbled across a business page that’s booming a little more than yours is. Everyone starts somewhere, but no one gets anywhere if they are worried about everyone else. When running a business through social media, or even just using your personal profile, it is easy to jump to conclusions about the success of others and compare it to your own. I’ve learned that those are the times when you should be drawing inspiration from others and channeling that energy into bettering your own endeavor. Or, just put your phone down — that works too.
Consistency May Be Key But it’s Not Always Consistent
Whether you’re starting a business, releasing a song, becoming an influencer, or writing a book, it’s almost certain that your goal audience will not be reached overnight. Things may be slow at first, don’t worry. In my case, my sales would come in waves. Some weeks I couldn’t keep up with the orders flooding my Instagram DMs. Other weeks, the lack of attention surrounding Kyra Kouture would become discouraging. Just because your hustle isn’t growing consistently does not mean it’s not growing. Celebrate your highs and work through your lows and the stability will follow.
Stay True to Your Vision
Don’t forget the reason you’re doing this all in the first place! In any passion project, if you aren’t staying true to your own vision, then what are you doing it for? One of the most important things to remember is to create something that you really love — that’s the rewarding part!
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously…Seriously
This is for fun! Don’t forget to enjoy yourself along the way. Whenever I start to take things too seriously, I remind myself that I am wearing a rainbow tie-dye sweatsuit, and there are way bigger things to worry about in the world than the placement of a spiral on a sweatshirt. Laugh at your mistakes and find joy in all aspects of whatever you’re pursuing.
While I’ve taken a lot from my experience, I still have a long way to go! As Kyra Kouture approaches its second birthday, I am eager to continue to grow and learn. Follow @kyra_kouture on Instagram to be part of the journey and be sure to share your own projects by tagging @cfashionista on Instagram.
Finally, if you have an idea you’ve been wanting to pursue, don’t hesitate — you’ve got this! Good luck, I’m rooting for you.
Featured photo via Kyra Surgent