Fashion Business Owner Musings: Using Disappointment to Grow

There are a lot of emotions that fashion business owners deal with on a regular basis. Some are great, some are not.

The great:

  • excitement to see your product come to life
  • relief when that first sale is made
  • the thrill of hiring new team members
  • joy when you see customers truly loving the product you’ve designed

The not so great:

  • fear of taking risks
  • worry when things take longer that you anticipated
  • confusion or overwhelm when you face new obstacles.

And there’s one more that is really challenging to deal with.


You’re probably thinking that what I’m saying is pretty obvious. Of course we experience disappointment as business owners. Anyone can see that coming.

But we rarely think too much about the impact it will have on us when it hits.

The thing is, what we tend to do when we’re disappointed, is focus on the thing that didn’t happen, rather than accepting the situation and figuring out how we will keep going.

It’s really common for business owners, especially new ones, to sit in that disappointment for a little longer than is necessary.

We sometimes zero in on it and feel crushed.

When in reality, running a business means run-ins with disappointment on a regular basis and we need to learn how to better accept it and move past it.

It’s so easy to dwell.

You’re much better off acknowledging that disappointment is all part of the journey and then say to yourself:

  • This didn’t work, what control do I have over the situation (assuming that you do) and what am I going to do about it?

This may seem easier said than done. And I completely acknowledge that it takes practice to build this habit.

But when you do, you start to use these “failures” as data.

Data that you can analyze and use as fuel to keep moving.

This is why I talk so much about mindset in this free class I teach about launching your fashion business. Learning how our emotions can sometimes get in the way of our ability to see things clearly is an important part of business ownership.

Lots of love and encouragement,

Nicole Giordano

Nicole is the founder of StartUp FASHION, an online resource and community supporting for independent designers around the world with building their businesses. A deep love for the craft of fashion paired with an adamant belief that success is defined by the individual, led her to found StartUp FASHION, where she helps independent designers and makers screw the traditional fashion business rules, create their own paths, and build businesses they truly love. More than anything else, she’s in the business of encouragement and works every day to remind makers and designers that they have something special to offer the world and that they can, in fact, do this thing!

  1. Gustavia

    Hi Nicole,
    At Staavias we provide womens footwear in sizes 10 – 14. I know most of your advice and blogs is targeted to those with clothing I still find a lot of value in your content. In fact, I’m always reading all of your emails so well done. Keep them coming!

    • Nicole Giordano

      Hi Gustavia,

      Thank you so much for the kind words! You’re right, I do tend to use words and phrases that are specific to clothing (and handbag) designers, but overall the advice and guidance is applicable to any of you who are growing your businesses. I’m thrilled to hear that you find the articles and the emails helpful.


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