Building a Sustainable Fashion Brand: Happy Birthday Betty x Bow
With Betty x Bow’s birthday right around the corner (we officially turn two on November 19th!), I’m getting as emotional as I imagine most mothers do with their children. Betty x Bow has been SUCH an incredible labor of love over the last two years and it has definitely been the hardest, yet most rewarding endeavor of my lifetime.
I’m going to share a little bit about what year two looked like behind the scenes this year (and gush about how grateful I am for you!), but first, let me tell you what you really want to know…
If you are just here for our once-a-year anniversary sale (I don’t blame you), I will stop holding out on you. Here are the deets: EVERYTHING IS 25% OFF. Yes, including sale items. The sale will run until November 25th, but everything is available only while quantities last (and some of our favorites are in very limited supply!). You might want to run - don’t walk - all the way to the checkout.
SHOP THE ENTIRE COLLECTION FOR 25% OFF HERE
Comparing Year 1 & Year 2 As a Fashion Designer in Canada
I launched my fashion business in November of 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic. While I thought year one was challenging (and expected it somewhat!), it really had nothing on year two. I think the entire retail industry really started to feel the effects of the global pandemic in the 2nd or 3rd quarter (it was heartbreaking to see some of my favorite brands close their doors). Between that and inflation, we definitely went through periods where is was more challenging to attract sales and interest than I had experienced in year one, despite much higher brand recognition and a loyal customer base (that I am so grateful for!).
Changing Manufacturing Partners
Another big change we had in year two was switching to two Ontario manufacturing partners for all BXB clothing. Finding the perfect manufacturers for Betty x Bow clothing was stressful at times because I truly wanted the best of the best for my customers and manufacturing is such a huge part of the process. I also wanted to make sure my clothing was made in Canada! A year later it was more than worth the effort to find them and I’m feeling SO confident in my decision (and excited to continue working with them in 2023!).
Truthfully, it can be hard to make decisions on your own as a business owner. Ultimately, the good and the bad are all on you. Sometimes you need to choose between staying with what you know and taking a risk but at the end of the day I’m so glad that I took the leap because not only do I have incredibly positive working relationships with my new manufacturing partners, the quality of the clothing has only continued to improve.
Speaking of Creating…
In Year One, I played it “safe” by creating versatile bodysuits with feminine details that I KNEW everyone would love. I’m incredibly proud of them, and they remain some of my favourite pieces today. But this year, I went ever deeper into my creative process and created more difficult and intricate pieces for the brand. I worked with entirely new fabric and new styles. I was relentless in my pursuit of everyday essentials that had the feminine details I knew my customers would love. It definitely pushed me as a designer and I can’t help but glow when I look at the 5 new pieces we launched this year in our spring, summer and fall collections.
Lastly, I had more fun!
I took more risks in year two, and I really stepped into my role as founder. I’ve seen so much growth within the brand and in myself as a fashion entrepreneur. I really stepped out of my comfort zone and got to show the versatility of the brand through our photoshoots - something that I had always envisioned but was more difficult to put into visuals in previous years. I’ve had photoshoots guiding you through your favorite wedding outfits, having a pool party, hanging out with your girlfriends, and then brought an even edgier vibe to our fall and winter photoshoots this year to empower women through the clothing they wear. I REALLY went all in this year and pursued my creative vision for a romantic/elegant spring and summer collection to a more fierce and classic fall/winter vibe.
After all, when you look good, you feel good (especially when the clothes are comfortable and high-quality). Although it hasn’t been “easy”, it’s been SO worth it. I can’t wait to have even more fun with all of you as we walk into year three! In case you haven’t heard my say it a hundred times, I am constantly inspired and so grateful for YOU. Every like, share, purchase. I really feel like I’m growing with the people who love the brand and mission as much as I do and I couldn’t be more grateful and excited for the future!