#O2SmartaBiz winner: Virtue

Virtue1. Proposition - One sentence explanation of what your business is

A unisex streetwear brand creating hand-finished garments aimed at the creative youth of today.

2. Why are you a smart business?

The brand was set up in the wake of the lack of jobs in the fashion industry for graduates. Design graduates are all too often taken advantage of, with low pay rates and unpaid work that exploit their talent. The aim is to grow the brand and employ fashion graduates as workers, not unpaid interns.

3. What's the smartest thing you've done to help your business grow?

Entering design competitions and getting featured on as many blogs and web magazines as possible! Expanding into stocking in boutiques, and online at places such as ASOS gives a wider audience a chance to notice our products.

Also supporting creative professionals by sponsoring them with our clothing gives us great publicity and them some awesome new clothes! If you know any up and coming singers, dancers, actors or musicians, send them our way! We love to support fresh talent whenever we can!

4. What smart things do you do for your customer's?

We have regular give aways and competitions to reward our customers, especially if they've been helping spread the word about our brand! We also offer bespoke services for custom made or one off pieces at a really competitive rate. But perhaps the smartest thing, is that our products are quite unique.

We aim to create pieces that stand out from the crowd, yet are comfortable and casual. Every single garment is hand-finished in our design studio, with techniques such as dip-dying and hand printing.

5. What smart technologies do you use to run your business?

Social media is the best technology for businesses like ours right now. One photo of a celebrity in one of our sweatshirts has the potential to go viral and lead a lot of new customers to our web shop!

We've found Instagram is the current favourite for us. The visual appeal of Instagram means you can advertise your product without having to say a word, sometimes a picture really can be worth a thousand words!

6. What's your smartest tip for other entrepreneurs?

Don't give up! Determination is the key to success. Starting a business takes a lot of time and effort, but it also requires patience. It might be weeks or months before you make your first sale, maybe you won't be making a profit until the first year is over, but if you are passionate and determined to succeed, the outcome will be very rewarding!

After all, patience is a VIRTUE.


For more information about The Design Trust, click here and "Like" their Facebook page here.

Get more details on how to be this week's #O2SmartaBiz here.

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