Nicole Sharma shares her tips for starting your own business giving us some insider info about what skills you need to help your brand grow.
What was your first job?
I used to be a hostess at Mr. Greek. My husband got me the job, we weren’t dating then but he wanted to ask me out and used this as a reason to spend more time together!
How did you choose the name?
INXVIII (IN X 8) Fashion Inc. is a luxury bridal and evening wear brand based in Toronto. INXVIII stands for the word innate. Fashion is everywhere. It’s an art form of self-expression and a way of saying who you are. But style is intrinsic, it’s innate.
Why did you start your own business?
Shopping for Indian clothes locally was always disappointing. I am a diehard fashion enthusiast who cares about mindful consumption. I started my own business because I wanted to make clothes for women who love trends, moderate pricing and want versatility from her South Asian wardrobe.
What’s it like running your own company?
It’s like wearing a million hats. Creative director, financier, marketing, you name it. It’s definitely fun, challenging and rewarding.
What are some of the challenges of running your own business?
A lot of thought and effort is put into every single detail. People only see a snapshot of the final product. A beautiful picture of a published shoot takes months of planning, running around and coordinating and sometimes translates into maybe 50 likes! It’s important to remember to keep moving forward, focusing on long term rewards.
What’s your proudest career moment?
Getting published on merit alone in some of the top bridal magazines within my first year of business was a real confidence boost!
What’s a typical day like for you?
Very Hectic. I work on freelance marketing and branding for companies in addition to running my business. My day starts at 6 a.m. dedicating an hour and a half to check up with the production house, do video sampling and follow-ups. Then I get my kids ready for school and drop them off. At 8:30 a.m. my marketing work takes over till about 2 p.m.
I then work on my business websites, social media marketing and other business-related things for two hours. After that it’s dinner, homework ,baths and nighttime routine with the kids. I clean up with my husband and spend some time reading before bed. I’m always reading about two books at a time!
How do you deal with a tough day?
Challenges are super motivating for me! I take about five minutes and stress about what is going wrong or not the way I planned. After that I ask myself what I”m going to do about it. I try to focus on what I can control versus what’s not in my control. It helps to eliminate wasting my energy on things I can’t change. It’s been quite the journey to get to this point! There are no failures, just learning opportunities, seeing things this way changes everything!
What should someone thinking of starting their own business keep in mind?
Always start with a business plan!
Plan your finances to have working capital for at least six months.
Plan with five years growth in mind.
Learn from the process and don’t be afraid to change your plans along the way.
Focus more on doing good work rather than short term returns