Success means… positive impact.
The best thing about being an entrepreneur is… freedom.
You can’t run a business without… dedication.
In the next 10 years I wish to be… an influencer.
ADIFF is a humanitarian fashion startup that uses design to combat global issues. We create innovative, multipurpose garments that address the needs of both refugees and consumers alike. With a donation-based business model, a portion of our profits goes towards donating the most needed garments to refugees.
Is there one “rookie mistake” that new entrepreneurs keep on making? What is it? Did it happen to you?
I’d say that every day I make some sort of a mistake that I’d count as a “rookie mistake,” but they’re inevitable. Each of these mistakes is an opportunity to learn- and so far, I’ve definitely gotten a great education.
What is one thing you find to be true that most people would disagree with?
This is kind of the reverse, but everyone always says that you should get a job and work for a bunch of other people before you start a business. But really, starting a business after 30 years of experience is still equally as hard as starting a business right out of school. At a Parsons alumni event, I had people who worked in fashion for years coming up to me and asking for tips on how to start a business. Creating a business is hard, no matter what your experience is, and absolutely no one knows what they are doing.
What are some pros and cons of having (OR not having) entrepreneurial parents?
My dad has had his own architecture firm since I was born, and he is always giving me advice. He has good intentions, but sometime he man-splains. He doesn’t want me to make the same mistakes as him, so sometimes he comes off too strong.
What is your proudest accomplishment in 2016? What’s the biggest goal for 2017?
I’m so proud to have won Designer of the Year at Parsons and actually create a business in 2016. I’m hoping to MAKE A PROFIT in 2017!
How as being an entrepreneur affected your life? How did it change the way you think about life?
Being an entrepreneur has definitely changed the way I see the world and interact with other designers. When you are used to focusing on just the creative, it’s easy to forget that design is a business. You have to have a unique product, and a hell of a lot of marketing. Creativity is necessary, but first and foremost, business is business.
Do you believe that there is one specific formula for success? What does it mean to be a successful business owner?
One of the hardest things for me with being an entrepreneur is that there are no concrete steps, or guidelines, or even roadmap to success and getting started. If you can get people to rally behind your idea, so much that they invest their time, effort, or money in it, then I believe that is a successful business.