Starting A Small Business
When I first had the idea of starting Mika & Milo cashmere when I was pregnant a few years ago, i had NO idea how difficult but would be! After years of being a journalist, I thought it would be fun light hearted creative project, musing about colours, textures, knits and ruffles. And, whilst it is all of these things, there is SO much more to it. Once all the design has been decided (the FUN part!), one then has to make sure that all measurements are perfect through various stages of sampling. As the sampling process tends to focus on just one size, once that sample has been perfected, one then has to figure out all the measurements for all the other sizes. This is called BULK Grading. And, only through a long series of errors does one learn that what worked for a 2Y old does NOT necessarily work for a 8Y old!
Once all the Technical Sheets have been completed, they are then handed over to the factory and production begins. It's a 3 month process which starts with ordering the cashmere yarn which then has to be spun & washed so that it is ready to roll. Given that we all Only Human, the production process can also create a few errors too. So once the Final Order arrives, the slow and gruelling process of Quality Control begins. Each and every piece has to be measured to make sure that it meets the correct specifications.
And, after All of this has been settled: this is when the Real Challenge begins. How do you capture the world's attention? How do you create enough interest in your brand (which NO One has heard of), and of course, create consumer trust? No wonder most businesses fail within the first year. So, like I said back at the beginning: it really does take a lot Hard Work, OR "Hard Yards" as my father likes to describe them. However as the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said: "A Journey of a Thousands Steps begins with just One Step." And, to quote the great Winston Churchill, one simply has to "Keep Buggering On: KBO." So to all the small businesses out there, I salute you. Mika & Milo X X Mika: 3Y