NEW KIDS IN TOWN Despite the often-negative hype (entitled lazy high-maintenance…) Generation Y — the Millennials — bring a lot of positives to any business including their own
Millennials in the workplace have been called entitled lazy and high-maintenance. But those often unfair labels ignore the gifts millennials bring to the table: innovation creativity flexibility motivation and team spirit. This generation is not afraid to try something new and daring including launching a business.
Four millennials speak about the businesses they’ve created and the crucial lessons they learned in the process.
Lesson 1: Pursue Every Channel
POSITION Designer and manufacturer of the “Daniella Faye” line of women’s apparel and head coverings; Jerusalem Israel
At a wedding 11-year-old Daniella noticed a beautiful handmade necklace worn by an elderly woman. Seeing her interest Daniella’s mother offered to take her bead shopping. And kicked off her daughter’s career.
“Once I got started I couldn’t stop ” Daniella says. “Every aspect of designing my own jewelry — from shopping to deciding on a design to stringing them together — was an act of love.”
To offset the cost of her hobby Daniella started selling jewelry to friends family and customers at local boutiques in Chicago where she lived at the time. Her flair for design eventually lead to an interest in crocheting and Daniella began crocheting and selling winter hats as well.
“My parents were extremely supportive ” Daniella recalls. “On an academic level I struggled but my parents always encouraged me to use my talents. Even when I was only 11 my mom was already telling me ‘You don’t just make jewelry you’re a designer!’ Without my parents Daniella Faye wouldn’t be here today.”
It was a trip to a Jerusalem jewelry boutique that cemented her dream. Just 15 years old and a recent olah Daniella was browsing the merchandise wearing a piece she had made herself when a customer asked her if she’d purchased that necklace in the boutique. The saleswoman took notice and responded “It will be sold here ” not realizing that she had just helped launch “Daniella Faye.”
“No one is going to learn what you do if you stay home and wish you had more clients”
Though still a student Daniella focused more on getting her designs out than on her schoolwork. This passionate drive for success for pushing her product is the mark of many highly successful entrepreneurs. “While still in high school ” Daniella recalls “I’d go to stores in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and show them my wares. The storeowners were generally taken with my products and became clients.”
After marrying Daniella moved on to designing and creating headscarves and headbands. People would stop her on the street asking if she could design some for them as well. Daniella recognized another opportunity and took the steps to start mass production. She hired three seamstresses to assist her and before long her head coverings were in stores across Israel.
After five years of this working arrangement Daniella took the plunge to retail. “I found the perfect space for rent in the center of Jerusalem ” she says. “With all that showroom space I could fulfill my dream of expanding my line to include modest clothing.”
For her clothing line Daniella outsources the manufacturing to a factory after designing and testing the product with experienced pattern makers and seamstresses. Occasionally she runs into snags. For instance when making an order of dresses in several colors Daniella didn’t notice that one colored fabric had a higher Lycra content. When she inspected the dresses after production she found that the dresses in that color were a full seven inches shorter! (Excerpted from Family First Issue 547)