Photography: Kriativ Co.
Happy New Year! I’m excited to share my first OOTD and interview for 2017 in the same post. This FASCHINN outfit is a fun, year round ensemble that can be worn together or separate and look just as fabulous. Today’s interview is of a childhood friend of mine, Chinnyere McPherson. We were next door neighbors growing up in Connecticut and have been good friends since the 6th grade. Chinnyere is the talented designer of the clothing brand FASCHINN. FASCHINN is an eclectic nature-inspired brand, expressing vibrancy, authenticity, and comfort when it comes to color and design. Her line has been featured in the Hartford Courant, Hartford Magazine, Better Connecticut and headlined Hartford Fashion Week in 2016. I’m so proud to call Chinnyere a friend and her consistent grind inspires me in all me endeavors.
I hope you are able to take away some valuable advice and nuggets of wisdom to help you in your entrepreneurial ventures, especially for anyone who has been thinking of or wants to start a fashion line this year. Enjoy!
How did the concept of FasChinn happen?
FasChinn actually evolved over years of trial and error. After years of participating in local fashion shows and making custom clothing for people, I realized that wasn’t making me happy. I had to literally ask myself, “What is going to make you happy again Chinn?” I want to design and reproduce my clothing as a ready-to-wear line. Custom clothing isn’t something I’m completely writing off but with working full time, I decided to be more selective with the custom orders I take on.
When starting a company, what is one thing you would tell those hoping to start a business to make sure they do?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect. In the same breath, I would say learn from other people’s mistakes. The best way to do that is by asking questions and doing the research. In today’s day and age, there are so many resources to help you along your journey, from magazines to YouTube videos to blogs! (no excuses) Learning from other people mistakes can save you so much time and even money. Mistakes are inevitable, so grow from your own and learn from others as a preventative method.
What is your advice to emerging entrepreneurs about overcoming challenges in business?
My advice to emerging entrepreneurs about overcoming challenges in business is to really take the time to understand and embody your industry. Find out what new technologies are being created for your industry. Also, pay attention to what direction your industry is headed for the future. Most importantly, I would advise emerging entrepreneurs to make sure they’re filling a need in the market.
What is a book that changed your life and why?
The autobiography of Malcolm X changed my life because it goes to show you that no matter where you come from, YOU determine your life. Malcom X was a semi-literate convict who dropped out of school in the eighth grade. He applied self-discipline to acquire a wealth of knowledge while in prison. In turn, he became a man he had never dreamed of becoming. He read hundreds of books in prison therefore teaching himself to become fully literate. If anyone reads this book, it’s hard not to want to become an overall better person, mentally and morally.
What is the best business advice you’ve received?
Entrepreneurship is wonderful but often I feel that it’s frowned upon to “help someone else build his or her dream.” Don’t be afraid to work for someone else because sometimes the experience you gain, connections you make, and lessons you learn can be far more rewarding and beneficial to you once you move on to your own company. Think of working under someone else as trial run for your own business. I’m not supporting getting a dead end corporate job that you hate. I’m simply saying applying for a job in your industry and examining every aspect of the business can set you up for future success. For example, I’m an emerging fashion designer and I’ve worked in retail for 10+ years. From Old Navy (where I learned to fold and the basics of customer service, to French Connection (my first management role), Soo Dee (small women’s boutique where I learned about developing clientele, to Brooks Brother (where I learned the logistics of shipping and receiving product). The list goes on! Moral is, I have taken the good and the bad of every job I’ve worked and I’m revamping it and applying it to my brand.
What is a valuable lesson you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?
The most valuable lesson I learned as an entrepreneur is to stay true to myself. Not staying true to yourself can lead you down a road of unhappiness. There was a time where I was taking all custom orders for my designs. I started doing so because the opportunity presented itself and the money was decent. Deep down I knew I wanted more for my business. This was a huge mistake because I wasn’t presenting my best work. Have a detailed plan, do what you love, and love what you do!
What is a financial tip you would give to emerging entrepreneurs that has helped you?
Keep your personal finances and business finances separate! This is best way to know if your business is actually profitable. Tracking and reviewing your expenses on a weekly basis is a great practice. It will help you regroup for the next week and essentially sets you up for success! I’ve recently started using FreshBooks, a small business accounting software. It’s been extremely helpful and I have to say it’s very affordable for any start up company.
I hope you enjoyed learning about my talented friend and her journey as an entrepreneur. To learn more about her gorgeous line FASCHINN, visit her here. Also be sure to see what she’s up to on instagram @faschinn.
What was your main takeaway from this interview?