Starting a business is something that is usually easier said than done, especially when there are already established in artistic and fashion indistries. There are so many factors that go into starting a business than many people including myself overlook. We prefer to see the summit of Everest rather than the imposing climb that would get us there, when we observe what a millennial entrepreneur can achieve we see the riches, adulation and the easy laid-back happiness that can only be obtained while wearing a hoodie and flip-flops on the cover of Fortune magazine. The truth is that most businesses people start fail and while we see summit which represents success we don’t want to have to open the door for the villain of failure to creep into our lives.
Raven Artwear was a project and I in conceptualising for more than a year before the weeks following up to the launch of the first Thursday event. The idea came to me while I was struggling to fall asleep one night and as a result didn’t sleep at all, instead thinking about how this idea would instantly slingshot me into the most successful fashion label in the world. The problem with conceptualising an idea is that it is free from criticism. The voice in my head told me that this idea to unite artists under a fashion label will no doubt be the most successful venture to ever come out of South Africa. Once you start sharing your idea with people however your dreamboat starts to take on water and start sinking. Therefore, I initially, I only shared my vision with my mum who consistently praised my idea and said it was completely faultless. Once I started sharing my vision with people who had artistic training or were involved in the fashion industry I received enough heavy criticism to nearly entirely put me off the whole endeavour. My ego couldn’t bail out enough of the water that was sinking my hopes and dreams. After a while it occurred to me that maybe I was talking to the wrong people, rather than talking to people who were already in the industry it may be a better idea to talk to people who would be involved in the business. After talking to artists, charities and event spaces I found that criticism was no longer needlessly crashing but rather helpful and enlightening. This is where I decided that the long road to success will be riddled with challenges however, the points of climbing the mountain is not necessarily to get to the top but rather being able to see how far your progress has gotten you because you may not ever make it to the top and if you do the struggle is what you will remember.
After the realisation that the business may not succeed and that it is better to try because of what I would learn from the challenges I will face, I decided that I would buy 10 leather jackets, approach 10 different artists for them to paint on and find a suitable location to launch the product. I decided that Cape Town’s First Thursday event would be the best possible lite to launch the business. This is because the events will already have people out and about viewing the different galleries around Cape Town’s CBD area which will associate the brand with art culture. The biggest problems would be getting enough jackets for the night, properly promoting the event and finding a suitable venue that goes well with the businesses aesthetic.