As some of you may know, I had an online store with my own clothing line not too long ago. My company was called "Roots Inc."
But what ever happened to Roots? When I decided to put my clothing business on hold I never actually shared what happened, just said the fact that it was time to have a break from it. Now that my wounds are healed, as one might say, as that was a heartbreaking time for me, and I have enough distance from that part of my life, I figured it would be a good time to share this part of the story with you guys.
Roots was about unique custom clothes that were recycled, all items hand picked by me and brought back to more current style with my custom work I made at home, with a hint of rock and street vibe to the pieces. In addition I made 3 limited streetwear collections that represented the new streetwear genre I call "blackfashion". Some may know the term and some still doesn't. Those limited collections were mostly unisex clothes and were inspired by menswear, as I have always thought that streetstyle clothes for girls and women are way too girly or childish. I still think so, and there is a lot of room for new brands and designers to fill this void.
This inscription from my very first collection says a lot of why and how I did my work, and these values are still very current to me.
It is not easy doing things differently and also to have a smaller target group, and though I wanted to do something limited and special I of course also wanted to build a business step by step, and was willing to work extra hard and with patience.
I didn't have hundreds of items on sale simultaneosly, just enough to have an interesting range of items for men and women. All my sales came via social media marketing, more specifically via Instagram. Whenever I posted something it was sold very quickly. The hours I put to social media marketing were the key and I simply learned as I went on. Social media has a worldwide reach and still so many tend to ignore that. I reached people from almost every corner of the world and they weren't just random likers or followers, I had orders from all around the world on weekly bases. Of course the sales were't that high as I didn't have lots of stock and kept the prices on a commercial level even with the custom items, but the fact remains the orders came in.
I launced my store in June 2014 and during the Fall of 2015 I got requests from resellers, they were interested in buying my next collection. These resellers were of course not from Finland where I'm based, but from Germany, Great Britain and Switzerland. I started planning the next collection and the volumes based on their (and mine) affordability as that time I had very little funds, and the deals were almost sealed.
From the very first day I started my business all I did was putting all the money I got from sales to paying bills and filling my stock, working my way up, and I literally did not pay myself salary at all. AT ALL. The only income I had was this start-up benefit that our government may grant for starting businesses that have a potential, called "starttiraha". It was about 500-600 euros a month which allowed me to pay my part of the rent for a year. I am forever grateful for that, and it's very rare to get that benefit if you are in a clothing business.
And when you are in a business of handmade items it's not even realistic to start your business thinking the money would just come pouring in, NO. But I really went the extra mile with the hours I put in and was willing to struggle as I had so much faith in what I was doing. And when those requests and orders from resellers started to come in it was such a special time for me - I bet you can imagine. I thought this was it, all I had to do was to somehow make the new collection and get it to those stores and online stores in Germany, Great Britain and Switzerland, and I would be able to take my business to another level. This was excactly what I had worked so fukkin hard for and it was so close I could almost touch it.
But like I said, I did not have the money to make the collection, and could not find a single person to help me. I almost did a group founding campaign, but at the time I struggled so much with the money in my everyday life I had to focus on getting money and salary from somewhere. This was the moment I had to make the heartbreaking decision to put Roots Inc. on hold. I couldn't decide wheather it would be for 6 months or for two years, but I knew that all of the hard work I had done was about to go to waste. If you take a break for a year in clothing business you literally have to start everything all over again, from a scratch.
Still the fact is that I made an amazing job in more ways than one; physically, tactically, skillfully and mentally. I almost made it - and would have made it, if I had just a few thousand euros in my pocket.
So to everyone who might think I failed, think again. And to everyone who supported me and believed in me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Roots Inc. was a the beginning of a whole new life and me and I will forever be mama Roots, where ever I, and my work may lead me!
Rock, love, create and Feed the fire Homies! / Eeva
To those who want to see more what Roots Inc. was about head to Roots Inc. Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/rootsinc/