Founded by Nicole Giordano, StartUp FASHION is an online community based in New York City where independent designers and emerging brands are coming together, helping one another, forming friendships, collaborating, letting off steam, sharing victories, and belonging to a network of people who GET IT because they’re doing it too!
Wendistry has been a member for a year now, and I can attest that Nicole and her site are my #1 source for information to build my fashion business. With practical tools and hands-on guidance, I’ve clearly defined my business goals and Nicole’s community offers constant encouragement and resources to follow that path and build a profitable business that makes me happy.
Let’s hear more about Nicole and her business in 10 questions…
Dear Darling Designers,
The fashion industry is changing. There’s no one-size-fits-all in this business anymore. Your success in fashion doesn’t have to fit the same old patterns you’re used to seeing.
You can create a business that fits your life. Remember that always.
Lots of love and encouragement,
- Business name: What do you do? How long have you been doing it?
I’m the founder of StartUp FASHION, a community the connects, guides, and encourages independent designers as they navigate the world of fashion entrepreneurship. I founded it in 2010.
- What led you do to what you do?
I was a designer myself once (textiles and accessories) and I knew the challenges of building a business in the fashion industry. It was exclusive and hard to find help. It was closed-off and lonely, and no one was talking about what they were doing or how they were doing it. I wanted to create a hub and a home for independent designers who were working hard to build a business, were willing to give as much as they take, and who were defining their own ideas of success in the fashion industry.
- What is, if you have one, your daily routine? Describe a typical day.
Since we are an online community, I’m able to run the business from anywhere in the world. I travel a lot, but when I’m in NYC I run the business from home, co-working spaces, and coffee shops. My days vary but things that happen almost every single day are:
- connecting with my community members in our private group to see how things are going and what help I can offer
- writing blog posts
- reading/educating myself
- connecting with our tech team to keep on top of updates and new ideas
- responding to emails
- Tell us about your latest project.
Well, I don’t really work on “projects,” but right now my concentration is on connecting with some amazing experts who will be sharing business guidance and resources with our community members in the coming months. Also working with Women@Forbes and four other female entrepreneurs on a business accelerator program I was recently chosen for. More details to come… Super exciting!
- What’s next on the horizon?
I’m exploring my personal interests of reading and writing more in my day to day life. How I can implement more of these activities I love to do now that StartUp FASHION is running smoothly and growing quickly.
- How do you spend most of your time?
I read a lot. I work a lot because I love my work. I travel, cook, and entertain often.
- Is this where you thought you would end up?
Nope. I thought I wanted to be “an artist.” I didn’t really see myself creating community in the way that I have. Especially as a self-proclaimed introvert.
- What used to be your biggest weakness?
In business, confidence in my own abilities. In life, food. I love love LOVE to eat!
- What are you most proud of?
Building a business I’m proud of… Bringing together a community of people who are all there for one another and lift each other up.
- How do you “Adorn Differently?”
Well, in terms of fashion, I’ve really embraced a limited wardrobe of well-made, long-lasting basics. I donated much of what was in my closet, and now I’m much more focused in my adornments. However, I think I adorn differently in life. I adorn my life with experiences, not things.
If you’re an emerging fashion designer (or know one!) who is building a brand, I can’t recommend Nicole and her StartupFASHION community highly enough!