How I Am Keeping my Fashion Business Afloat During the Pandemic

In My Own Word Series

The pandemic was inconvenient for a lot of people, including me. On October 31st, I resigned from my job to follow my dreams of becoming a full-time entrepreneur. My company is called Prime Fashion Consulting. We provide styling services and corporate seminars that help men and women exude confidence through style. 

Pre-pandemic, my business was driven by word of mouth, and most of my clients came from networking events and my previous job. Due to these unforeseen circumstances, companies had to cut back on additional spending, offices started requiring employees to work from home, and the world shut down. Major red flags for my company! I had to think quickly and figure out ways to get ahead before my entire customer poll drained, causing my business to potentially close. So, I threw on my thinking cap and came up with a plan. I made some big decisions, designed new services, and created a platform to ensure that my business could navigate through the pandemic. Ultimately, I built a brand that is strong enough to survive during and after the world crisis. 

A failed business was not going to cut it, over my dead body! 

Pivoting with a New Business Model

I decided that I needed a new business model, one that is mainstream and built to last. It was time to make a critical decision, and I chose to rebrand and launch my company. 

I wrote out my business goals and checked my budget to identify what is doable and what was not. And I began to cancel subscriptions/software I was not using and learning skills to do the work myself. As a new business owner, it’s essential to have enough funds to make calculated moves and have money for emergencies. 

The next task I addressed was to identify my new target audience. Remember, my initial client is now working from home, enjoying Zoom calls in their pajamas. Organizations are not open, which means I cannot teach my seminars. However, I did not let that discourage me. I had to expand my client base and create new services, providing the support that not only resonated with my client’s fashion needs but also fit the new quarantine lifestyle. 

Launching New Virtual Services

Prime Fashion Consulting now offers affordable styling assistance and will work with budgets under $500. All services are virtual only for now, via computer or mobile devices, which allows us to safely social distance ourselves. 

In addition to my previous services, I added Student Interview styling: a virtual styling service for students seeking internships and preparing for job interviews. This service includes one complete professional attire look, different ways to style the garments, company dress codes, and much more. Another excellent service I added is called Virtual Photoshoot styling. This service is for business owners who need a stylist for their marketing campaigns. The client will receive a complete lookbook for their photoshoot that provides hair and makeup inspirations to complete their looks. 

Now, Prime Fashion Consulting has new and improved services that can withstand the economic crisis. The next move was to establish a strong media presence. If I wanted my business to become mainstream, this organization must become a well-known brand. I will need to be known as an expert in my industry, and when someone thinks about hiring a stylist, Prime Fashion Consulting would be their first thought. Unfortunately, brand recognition does not happen overnight. That is why I crafted a marketing strategy plan that is engaging, newsworthy, and informative. And I did not stop there. I made it my business to get press and preplan all my marketing content so that I remain consistent and relevant. Prime Fashion Consulting now has a YouTube channel called Styles by Prime Fashion to put the icing on the cake. This platform will provide fashion & style tips, lookbooks, giveaways, and so much more. 

Focusing on the Positive

Even though the pandemic started as a burden, the world shutting down was a blessing for me. I discovered and experienced things about running a business that most entrepreneurs learn later in the game. The state of affairs pushed me to be optimistic, adaptable, and innovative—It transformed Prime Fashion Consulting into a robust establishment capable of sustaining during and after the pandemic. 

Published in Business, Featured Articles, Featured Women, In My Own Words
 | Website

Chanovia Cook attended the Art Institute of Atlanta, where she received her Bachelor's degree in Fashion & Retail Management. During her time there, she was given experiences of lifetime. Opportunities like being an Assistant Stylist for the Macy’s Relaunch Fashion Show, Head Stylist for the grand opening for Nike Town at Lenox mall, and Dresser for David Bridals Fashion Show, just to name a few. In addition to the styling experience, Chanovia worked in corporate for 3 years. While working for this company she created and launched a class as a part of the Executive Series called Dress for Success. A year later the course is now available to other companies and colleges around the world.