I entered the fashion retail business in 2006, landing store manager positions for 3 international clothing brands; Bik Bok, B.young and Red Green. I lead each store to sales records, created valuable costumer and employee environments and thus learned a lot about the fashion retail cycles.
By the end of 2011 the entrepreneur inside me decided to pursue my career as a freelance photographer, I quit my latest store manager job but had no real intentions of leaving the fashion world. I meerly wanted to create a new role for me in it – this time as a photographer.
Shortly after, I got introduced to a local fashion designer recently returned to Denmark after 15 years in Milan as a model and a tailor and had just established his fashion startup company. At first I did some photography for him but after a year, I was involved in the whole business and was a major part of developing a business strategy and raising network and money. I was the key-creator of a businessplan which Connect Denmark in 2014 honored as “Creative businessplan of the year” and presented it for the danish Ministry of Business and Industry, as a beacon example of what was going on in the creative startup field.
Later on in the same year, I got to work with a private investment group who had their eyes set on a designer talent in Aarhus. They needed a person who could analyze the potential of the existing company, develop a business strategy and a businessplan, assist them in pitching, gather a competent board and raising co-funding from a venture company. After 6 weeks the assignment was completed and the project was granted a 2 million kr. deal by the state owned venture fund Vækstfonden.
A seat at the table
All the results I have achieved while working with creative startups, has fueled the ambition to continue to do so.
90% of danish creative startups today, are closed or bought by an investment conglomerate within the first three years and in Denmark several institutions are working on changing that. One thing that all agrees on, is that the creative entrepreneurs need better access to assistance in two main areas; business development and funding.
I want to contribute to that crusade as I believe I can provide creative entrepreneurs valuable assistance. I understand the challenges they meet as a startup and specifically on their road to the investor table.
But most professional assistance available today, serving a designer prior to him or her getting an invitation to an investment table, is very short-termed and the main focus is, from my perspective, to provide the entrepreneurs the tools to do everything themselves.
A lot succeed in doing so, everything themselves, but a large part of the remaining creative entrepreneurs often give up, because no matter how loud you spell out budget or business strategy to them, they dont understand or don’t care. This dosen’t make them bad designers or less of an artist and this should not make them the ones we leave behind.
I have proved myself to be competent assistance and an