It looks as though BI Campus Trondheim is the first step towards a life as a fashion founder. Several students have sped into the fashion industry and achieved success after completed studies. The founders have also created a deposit system for clothes, created their own clothes concept and an Internet shop for trendy sports clothes. How did they manage it, and what do they have in common?
Runwild, Sarah Panter and Happy Wifey all have one thing in common – they stand out in the clothes market. The founders dared to concentrate efforts on unique concepts that have become successes in the market. Everything from slow-fashion, with the focus on ethical and environmental-friendly clothes production, the deposit concept and importation of training clothes that no-one else in Norway sells.
They are all educated at BI, that has given them a basic understanding of marketing and market demand. By using marketing as a sustainable method, they have experienced stable growth. They also have clear target groups, which is important in the fashion world.
Concentrate efforts on what one believes in
The Founder of Runwild, Ida Sussan Myran, thinks that the education from BI has been an important factor in order to dare to concentrate efforts on what one believes in.
“For my part, BI has offered an extremely objective education based on relevant theory and cases which have been transferable to my work situation as a sole trader in RunWild.no. Everything from business management, analyses, strategy and marketing have been important to master.”
She has some clear advice to anyone who wishes to establish anything.
“Patience is a must! Set yourself objectives, learn to be happy about small steps you achieve, focus on what you are doing, and not on everyone else, and have faith in yourself.”
The founder of Sarah Panter, Sarah Gjemdal, says that the idea was based on a wish to do something regarding the clothes industry as it is today.
“Large amounts of emissions, pollution and water consumption are connected to the clothing industry, but little attention is paid to this when we talk about the environment. Instead of producing so many new clothes, the best we can do is to lengthen the lifetime of what is already in circulation, and there secondhand is ingenious.”
She says that learning to work systematically with the studies was something she took with her into the start-up period.
“Starting your own company is extremely labour-intensive. If you lean back and are satisfied, you can quickly lose your place. You must be there all the time”, says Ms Gjemdal.
The team in Happy Wifey, Helga Stormo, Linda Hesselberg, Håkon Raugland and Mikael Kristianlund, have all had their education at BI.
“What we appreciate the most is that the school arranges it so that students can tailor the studies to match their own interests. An example of this is the possibility of spending a semester at Gründerskolen – an offer which two of us accepted, and which in retrospect has given us a lot of information. Another thing is the exciting towns one can exchange to. Three of us exchanged to Singapore and one exchanged to New York, and this gave us both good contacts and an experience for life.”
The clothes founders are all in agreement about what is the most important when one shall start one’s own company.
“It is extremely important to keep motivated when the company is not doing well. It is easy to be motivated when everything is going smoothly and sales are good, but what decides whether the company is doing well or not, is how well one tackles recessions.”
Several Trondheim students have excelled as clothing founders. In addition to Runwild, Sarah Panter and Happy Wifey, can also be mentioned Linnea Tveraaen with Snowroller, Silje Landevåg with Get Inspired and Jan Olav Dankersen with Livid Jeans.