Calling all entrepreneurs– this just in: you don’t need to be rich and experienced to start your own company! Shocking right? It’s true, though; and if you don’t believe me, take it from those who know exactly how possible it is to make it before you’ve made it. This week, the Verge team hit the streets of BoxPark to get the inside scoop on the journeys of young and successful entrepreneurs. What we found? All you really need is a good idea, some passion, and a lot of hard work.
Tusch Und Egon
Built and run by two married artists, this colorful store contains works of art from all over the world. The idea for their store was born when Elizabeth Hirst and her husband moved to London and were looking to make a career out of their mutual love of art. Their passion for painting and designing fueled the project, and, through a lot of hard work, the couple turned their idea into a reality. The hardest part of their endeavor? Finding the perfect spot for the store. The Hirsts wanted a location that would attract art lovers but was also reasonably priced. Now you can find these entrepreneurs in the heart of BoxPark, running their brainchild-business, and selling artwork from around the world.
So, what can we learn from this couple? The perfect spot for your business is out there, even if it takes a little time, patience, and research to find it.
Maiden is a company that takes pride in selling smiles, rather than just basic needs. Now, many of you are probably wondering how a company sells smiles. It’s simple, really. Maiden’s stores are filled with art, decorations, funny greeting cards, and so many more items that are designed to make you smile. So, what was the hardest part about starting this company? Building the foundation. Seven years ago, Noah Crutchfield, the founder of Maiden, began to gather all of the parts that he needed to build his new company. Already having the knowledge from 10 years of working at stores— on the shop floors as well as on management levels—Noah’s greatest challenge was working out the logistics of owning his own store. Noah had to negotiate with landlords and product distributers to establish prices that would allow for Maiden to succeed and thrive as a business. Now you can find Maiden stores in three locations, two of them being in BoxPark.
The most important lesson we can learn from the entrepreneur behind Maiden is that it is paramount to treat your company as if it is your child. Be protective, negotiate, and make sure that you are getting deals that will provide your baby business with a long life.
The entrepreneur behind this up and coming company is a perfect example of why we should follow our dreams. A former law major, Joel Adebayo entered the fashion world to provide a platform for emerging contemporary brands to get the exposure that they deserve. Joel believed that high street fashion was stifling these small brands’ originality and creativity. The reason these brands couldn’t flourish on their own was not because they weren’t fashionable, but because they didn’t have the infrastructure to succeed. So, Joel created Utter Couture to provide the necessary infrastructure to small brands, and therefore help both parties succeed. It’s not surprising that the hardest part of Joel’s journey was figuring out where to start. With no experience in the fashion world, all he had was a vision for a new company and the motivation to find the right people to help this vision come true.
We can learn a lot from this entrepreneur, including the importance of following your instincts and asking for help when you are unsure how to proceed. After all, isn’t teamwork the key to success?
This company began when two cousins, Lisa and Tess Ashlibaya, decided to support independent glasses brands that were struggling to succeed against big consumer businesses. The entrepreneurs wanted to provide people with other options for glasses, beyond the big brand names that you hear every day. The most difficult part of building CouCo Eyewear was sticking to the cousins’ original plan. In the early stages, they received a lot of advice as to how they should proceed with their business. While outside help was sometimes appreciated, Lisa and Tess had to trust their own instincts in order to see their original dream through.
These entrepreneurs can teach us about the importance of trusting ourselves, and not being swayed by others. At the end of the day, you, the entrepreneur, have the final say on what to do with your company.
The success of these four young companies proves that it is very possible to start a business from scratch. It won’t be easy, and will definitely require a lot of hard work and dedication. So have patience and be confident that you, the inspired and creative thinkers behind the next big businesses, can be successful entrepreneurs.