An important lesson from shutting down clothing brand startup
One of the painful parts of any founder is to shut down the startup but the lesson you will learn is even top MBA colleges can not make you understand Ms Clémence Lepers who lived in San Francisco, California, United States
She started a clothing brand and unfortunately 423 days she said
I’m shutting down my clothing brand
But you know Most people aren’t transparent about the rollercoaster that is entrepreneurship. She is sharing a wonderful lesson
Here are 6 lessons and reflections:
1. I don’t have product-market fit
– My ICP doesn’t want to pay $50 for a tee
– Price drop experiments weren’t conclusive
– I’m not willing to do it for 20-30% margins
2. Apparel is HARD
– There’s a lot of competition
– Top product quality is NOT enough
– Design to production process is slow
– It’s (very) challenging to scale
3. Apparel manufacturing is complex
– Top clothing manufacturers are in China
– They can produce WHATEVER you want
– But the best rarely work will low MOQs
– Shipping is more & more expensive
– You will get defective products
4. Why I’m stopping this
– It’s a lot work, for not a lot of money
– I don’t want to do it for paper-thin margins
– I might restart it (differently) at some point
5. Things I would have done differently
– Study mechanisms behind top brands
– Work like a maniac on perceived value
– Leverage a pre-order model only
– Offer multiple products per drop
6. My most critical learnings
– Don’t trust what people SAY they will do
– Trust those who open their wallets & PAY
– Better assess the business opportunity
– Before jumping head first with an idea
– Big TAM (total units you can sell)
– Low marginal cost of replication
– High margin & “easy” to scale
As the real O.G. Warren Buffet says, the business boat you get into is more important than how effectively you row.
That’s all I can think of.
Ngl… I feel BOTH great and bad about my decision.
Bad, because I obviously wanted to see this succeed. Because it proves skeptics and nay-sayers right. And because I know that I didn’t push it to the limits.
And I’ll need to live with that for the time being.
But on the other hand, I also feel great, because I learnt A LOT from this experience. More than what I could have ever imagined.
The dense compilation of learnings I collected would never have been possible if I hadn’t executed on my idea.
And all these valuable lessons will be of great use for any venture I decide to tackle next.
BTW: I still have a few pieces at hand for those of you who’d be willing to grab some heavyweight, 100% cotton, embroidered tees. DM me if you want one before they’re gone forever.
Source : Linkedin Original Post