How to run your own fashion business at 25
Introduce yourself and tell us what you do…
I’m Nina Griffith and I live in London and am the founder and CEO of Nina Rose Silk.
How old are you and where are you from?
25. Where I’m from is a bit of a mixed bag. It’s a mixture between the Lake District and Sussex. Now living in London.
Did you go to university, if so what did you study?
I did an art foundation at Ravensbourne with the intent to go into Fashion Design, however I decided to forego this and went into a graphic design placement near home while I figured out what I really wanted to do next.
How did the idea come about and where do you get your inspiration from?
Silk. I love silk and knew that whatever I started to make I would make from silk.
My inspiration comes from its touch and feel, and how I can picture it as a garment and on a body in my mind’s eye.
Where did the name come from? How do you market yourself?
Pretty simple really, my middle name is Rose! My name + the idea = Nina Rose Silk.
How did you find your style? What’s your target demographic?
I think my target demographic is like me. Young working women who value quality and style but don’t want to spend a fortune on their clothes.
Did you start this out of passion or was it monetised?
Passion. Making money was never the goal, so it’s just a bonus for me. I love what I do and the excitement of that is what makes me want to turn it into a business.
What does the definition of success mean to you?
Happiness is success for me. In terms of Nina Rose Silk, success is seeing pictures of people in clothes I’ve made or having people message me saying how much they love their dress. There’s no better feeling.
What’s the big dream for Nina Rose? The 5-year plan?
More colours, more prints, more products. As long as it’s silk, I want to make it.
What would you change if you could go back in time?
I would probably consider a different way of funding to get myself off the ground. Perhaps crowdfunding etc.
What has been your biggest challenge along the process?
Money. It’s really hard to save while living and working in London. It’s also hard seeing other start-ups in more fortunate positions, such as their parents funding their business. It can be really disheartening seeing how quickly people get their businesses off the ground with unlimited funds while you’re a year in and feel like you’re going at a snail’s pace. Deep down, though, I know I wouldn’t do anything differently and getting to this point on my own is incredibly rewarding.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
The downs are most definitely, unequivocally worth the ups. Stick at it.
Is social media the way forward? And how do you keep your customers engaged?
Right now, it definitely is, it’s the best way to reach your customers. However, it can be really hard to navigate and maximise your reach these days. In terms of keeping my customers engaged, my approach is just having honest, interesting content and imagery. Life isn’t a photoshoot and sometimes the best images we have of our dresses are when a friend is wearing it to lunch and I can quickly snap a picture on my phone.
What’s your one piece of advice for someone about to start their own business?
Just start. It doesn’t have to be perfect straight away.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
Without a doubt family and my boyfriend. I have many differing creative influences but they chop and change. The support from the people I love is the stable thing that makes me want to keep going.
What does happiness mean for you?
Happiness is sitting in my parents’ back garden my family and my dogs, eating a big old barbecue and laughing.
If you could gift one book to someone what would it be?
It wouldn’t be a specific book, it would be a cookbook. As far as I’m concerned, food = happiness.
What does your morning routine look like?
At the moment as I have a day job, between that and working on Nina Rose I’m doing around 15-hour days. My mornings are basically me showering, getting changed and trying to get out the door. If I’m not too tired I aim to have a bath and make coffee at home.
What’s your philosophy on life?
Be grateful for what you have. It can be hard sometimes but it’s the only thing that’ll keep you sane!
15 JULY, 2018