The Fashion Knowledge Report
I’m trill to have Natasha Ivachoff, Founder of Missy Skins to share her entrepreneurial journey with us on this issue of The Fashion Knowledge Report™! This regular publication will provide you with ideas, strategies and information to help you succeed in your fashion business.
1) When did you come to Shanghai and why did you start Missy Skins?
I have been working in China for a great number of years but moved here 8 years ago. Back then I had a design consulting business working with clients from the US, Australia and China. Missy Skins was born 4 years ago and the opportunity came when my two nieces (Jessica and Victoria) landed in Shanghai to do something together. I had always been interested in the craft of leather making and this also interested them and that’s how we started Missy Skins!
2) What were the biggest challenges you faced in starting and selling to an audience that you aren’t as familiar with?
The biggest challengers selling in China in the first few years was reach (tapping into an audience wider that our social circle) and how to market our brand. We are a Shanghai based brand but our founders are foreigners but we are still a Chinese brand, born and based in Shanghai. Through our brand and my husband’s studio business and also the expat community we know a lot of people but the real task was to reach customer outside of this group such as local girls in Shanghai and across China. To do that we used KOLs, pop-up shops, events, and shows to reach the local girls across China.
3) Do you have any mentors or coaches that help guide you during your entrepreneurial journey? How do they help you?
Its a family business and my nieces are much younger and fully taped into social media and the age of technology. Even with 20 years of experience in the fashion industry … they were still teaching me and showing me a whole lot of exciting possibilities. Other than that it was pretty much freestyle … working with suppliers and factories that I have known from the years that I was developing for other brands. The lesson that I learned is to have good relationship as we are still working with the same people today.
4) In your experience whats the most effective marketing strategy in driving sales?
Right now in China , seeding with KOL’s and celebrities are most effective. We organically attracted most of the KOL and seeding with celebrity the first three years. Most of them have been very supportive and loyal to the brand. They like what we do and actually wear it. Over the last year in order to capture an even wider audience we selectively commissioned a few KOLs and blogs to work with us on specific stories like fashion week launch and so on. The brand is fun and youthful so attracts some very interesting edgy people.
5) If you can go back in time what will you do differently in your journey?
Being more aggressive in marketing and driving sale a lot earlier on. We spend a lots of time testing and organically growing the business the first two years.
6) How do your manage the time for your family and for your brand?
We try to keep it simple. Clearly defined family time and working hours. My husband and I tag team when busy – we support each other to keep balance and routine for our son where possible.
Natasha and her boy 🙂
We will be sending out this report about every two weeks. If you are facing some challenges on your fashion business or want to be featured on the newsletter then just email me at email@example.com ! Check out my website here!