Designing dreams is an undertaking that many fashion connoisseurs embark upon. However, few learn to identify opportunities and move forward to exploit them successfully.
A designer’s capability to merge design, business and manufacturing know-how is critical to launching and sustaining entrepreneurial endeavors in the fashion industry. Designers with energy and a continuous flow of ideas manufacture inspiration – turning ordinary commerce into innovative art and functionality.
“I don’t design clothes, I design dreams.” Ralph Lauren
Fledgling design firm’s sprout up often – some possess an unidentifiable ‘it factor’ while others fade into the cluttered fashion landscape. However, when Khanh Nguyen, Founder of the Nhã Khanh label, set out to launch her childhood dream she never looked back.
The recent October launch of her first ready-to-wear line at the Meyerson Symphony Center, in Dallas, TX proves that Khanh is an entrepreneur with staying power, resilience and inspiration – a dream building force to be reckoned with.
Company: Nhã Khanh
Founder/Age: Khanh Nguyen, 29
Location: Dallas, TX
Startup Year: 2009
Startup Costs: $5,000
How I Got Started
After graduating from UNT and wining the Top Achievement Award from FGI Dallas Career Day, I travelled to Paris, France to study haute couture sewing techniques with some of the world leading professionals. Upon returning to the States, Against the Grain Productions invited me to participate in a charity fashion show called Fashion For A Passion.
A few days after the show, I received many great compliments and order requests for custom-made dresses. I took the opportunity and did not think twice about finding a job right after college. I participated in many fashion shows and interacted with DFW socialites to build up my clientele.
Best Success Story
I’ve been very blessed in my career thus far. My success story keeps getting better and better as I progress. However, the one I’m most proud of recently is receiving the Brilliantly You Award in the Fashion Category, from WTS, a local women’s organization.
Come to think of it, I still cannot believe I’m the youngest out of all other honorees. They are incredibly successful and have done so much in their life and for the community. I’m very blessed to have gained this kind of recognition. I’m very thankful for those who believed in me and genuinely love my work as much as I do.
We recently launched our debut ready-to-wear and Black Velvet collection. The production process has been the biggest startup challenge thus far. With very limited resources and capital, we have to thoroughly think through the process before initiating to the next step.
Start with your passion and your dream. Strongly believe in your dream. If you don’t, no one else will. Commit and work hard, one step at a time towards your dream. Discover one specific talent that you’re really good at that makes you stand out over others and make that your niche to market to the public. Always focus on the positive feedback and utilize the negative constructive criticism.
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