A marketing or management student, perhaps, wouldn’t be on edge with the idea of putting up his/her own business after graduation. That kid probably even started on it as early as Junior or Senior year. But to a design student who isn’t as schooled when it comes to the technicality of business, then it might be a complete different story.
Fresh out of college, Esme Palaganas took the plunge and decided to put up her own brand. With a little help from family and friends, Basic Movement slowly took off and shows no signs of slowing down.
Plaid maxi dress
Did you really want to run your own business?
I grew up as a business savvy child; more than a creative one, with business-minded people around me like my parents and issues of Entrepreneur lying around. I really wanted to run my own business one day. And run my own I did, gladly it's in a field I want to be. I don't think I was ever ready when I started (which was just mid last year,) it was more of a “if not now, when?” decision. I was prepared enough to succeed, fail, and take all the learning in between.
How did you find the necessary skills, contacts, and funding to get things off the ground?
I wouldn't say that the brand is successful now but it's slowly growing at a rate I'm really surprised with. My childhood was full of business endeavors and the entrepreneurial spirit was just there all along. The seasons I spent interning for Philippine Fashion Week also taught me a lot about marketing and public relations. Those three years of listening, watching, and learning really taught me a lot about the marketing side of fashion. With contacts and connections, I was lucky enough to have been surrounded by creative and like-minded people. Some of them I met early in their careers while others were co-interns and friends. It's just amazing how all of those people I met have the same tenacity to stay in this field and now, we're working together!
I believe in a family-run business, my mom is helping me with production. As for funding, aside from the investment from my dad, I also prepared myself to risk my savings.
Oversized vest and red midi skirt with pockets
What were some of the struggles you encountered in the beginning?
Without any background in production, the technical side of running a business was a bit confusing. School was centered in design more than the business, so it was a shock to the system. Handling a team as well is quite a struggle but I managed and we're improving.
How sure were you that people wanted to buy your product?
I believe in my product. One thing I focus on is the price, aside from the design for ready to wear; I try to give the best product with the most reasonable price to my client. I also believe it's the lifestyle that clothing sells. The influences and the inspiration brought by the clothes resonate in a way to some people... and I guess that is the strongest and unique part of the brand!
Any last tips for those planning to start up their own labels?
Risk everything. The whole process is going to be crazy but it's the ending that matters.
Striped cave dress
Photos from Basic Movement on Facebook