A fashion designer’s creative cash flow solution

A fashion designer’s creative cash flow solution

November 7, 2019 1 By Bernardo Ryan


– Mariam Seddiq is high end
day wear, evening wear and made to measure, as well
as this new bridal line that I have. So we’ve had the privilege of
dressing a lot of Aussie icons as well as international. And it’s amazing to do
custom pieces with them, because you get to mix your
aesthetic with theirs and it just creates something amazing. It’s really rewarding. So I started my brand in 2013, whilst I was still doing
a nine to five job. And a year and a half into that job, I decided, no I’m gonna
dive in head first and do it full time. And in the beginning, it
was just myself and my mom. Now I’m fortunate in the
past couple of months, I’ve got a team to six. I’ve got three in production
and now three in the boutique with me. And I hope to grow that
number in the coming years as the business grows. I was getting a lot of requests
online through my website saying can we come and see the product. Being in the studio wasn’t
possible, like a home studio, wasn’t possible. So the best thing I ever
did was actually opening up to the public a boutique
centrally located for them to touch and feel because
there’s so much detail. And I feel like a picture
can’t capture that. So as a student, I would
drive past and picture my name on the street. And so my greatest
achievement was opening up this boutique and you know,
being amongst Australia’s best. What I do is I create one
seasonal collection a year as well as injections in the shop. And we like to always
keep it fun and introduce a new sample and see
how the customers react, if they like it, if they’re drawn to it. And if they’re not drawn to
it, then we know it’s a dud and then that’s how we experiment the pieces. And then what we do is, you
know, if it’s a popular one, we create different colour
lays and just go from there. And then sometimes pieces
turn in to signature pieces. And it’s been great. So the toughest challenge was cash flow. So being able to you know,
make enough to put it back into the business. So I realised earlier on that
cash flow was super important. So anyone with cash flow
struggles, I think you should look outside the box, see what
your business is missing and think of creative ways
to bring the money in. The way I overcame cash
flow was by thinking outside the box and creating
made to measure which is at a higher price point. Clients can choose whatever
they want, keeping in line with my aesthetic. And so this funded the
collections and anything else that I needed to move
the business forward. So this was the best thing for me. And I’ve still kept that
because that’s you know ongoing cash flow which is
what you need to move forward. My advice to other
entrepreneurs is be focused. Decide exactly what you want
to do and build from there. A lot of times, you can have
a hundred ideas and you want to do all of them. I don’t recommend that. I would choose one thing
and grow on that and speak to everyone in the
industry, other small businesses. There’s a online community
that you can speak to. Small business first. Just do your research and
you know, there’s so much knowledge, there’s so many
little things that you need in a business to make it work. It’s not just designing
and creating and all that. I mean we do all that fun stuff
but there’s a lot involved in business, a lot of hard work. I set myself apart from the
competition by basically just having no common rules,
just doing what I like, at my pace, you know. It’s 24/7, it’s a lot of hard work. But I love that and I love
that I can work at 12pm, I can work at 2am. So we just keep developing
our samples, and we just create new and amazing things. I think it’s amazing. The most rewarding thing
about running my business is seeing the product on the client. And just it all come together. It’s amazing and the
little text the next day is priceless. I love my job, it’s not a job for me. So everyday is like living the dream. And just working towards that dream.