Turning a hobby into a career: Creating your own fashion business

Are you a dedicated follower of fashion? Whether you like to keep up with the latest trends within your own wardrobe or just like to have a close eye on what’s hot and what’s not in the industry, many people have a keen interest in the latest developments in the world of fashion.

But what if you want to take your hobby and move it on a level? More than 40 per cent of people in the UK dream of jacking in their job and following their dream by setting up their own business. So, if fashion is your passion and you desire to be your own boss, how do you go about it?

Time to be specific

If you want to turn your hobby into a paid job, you need to think seriously about what it is you can do to earn money. The fashion industry covers a whole range of different disciplines, each of which might worth exploring.

Do you want to write about fashion for a living? Have you got a good eye for design? Do you have a flair for dressmaking? Do you have an idea for a clothes store with a difference?

These are all very different types of fashion business. Be focused, be specific and stick to something that suits your skill set most naturally.

Also, don’t be afraid to consider the working world that you are leaving behind. You can take general transferable business skills and experiences with you – whether that be finance, project management, people skills or something else entirely. You can, of course, teaching yourself new skills, but try to take something from your working experience with you if you can. Adding this to the skills and expertise you have with your hobby will be crucial.

Draw up a business plan

Next, it’s time to take your idea and put it into a business plan. This, as Business of Fashion notes, needs to spell out the following things:

• Your vision for the business
• Key targets
• An analysis of the existing market and the opportunity you intend to take
• The detail of how you intend to grasp that opportunity
• How you intend to finance your business

All of these steps will force you to think deeply about your idea and get into the detail of what you need to do. This doesn’t need to be daunting – indeed this can be an exciting stage as you flesh out your vision for the future – but it is essential if you want to convince investors and clarify your key goals before you begin.

This is where you put the meat on the bones of your idea. If you’re going into fashion journalism it allows you to spell out the publications you intend to write for, if you’re launching a clothing range you need to pinpoint suppliers or if you’re going into retail you can start to set out everything from the location of your store to the software you’ll use to keep an accurate record of your stock etc.

Think online and offline

It’s vital that you think about where you will conduct your business. If you need a premises then this will be a significant outlaw. Like buying a house, it’s vital to take time to make the right choice, especially when it comes to location. You need to be well placed to get the right customers passing by or have easy access to the suppliers you require.

Like most industries, online matters a lot when it comes to fashion. Even if you’re not going to sell anything online, having a website which showcases what you can do is vital when it comes to making a name for yourself. Platforms such as Instagram are also important when it comes to connecting with others in the world of fashion and impressing the right people. Spend time building up your online presence before you begin.

So, in sum, be specific about what you want your business to be, focusing on the skills and experience you have in your hobby and employment. Take your vision and work to refine it into a detailed business plan, being specific as possible, and then get your location right – on and offline.

Flush the Fashion

Editor of Flush the Fashion and Flush Magazine. I love music, art, film, travel, food, tech and cars. Basically, everything this site is about.