5Q'S ANNIKA INEZ: A Q&A BETWEEN WOMEN WHO'VE STARTED THEIR OWN BUSINESS
I found Annika Inez on Instagram, what an incredible source that platform has become! I was immediately drawn to her work. It was unique, stylish and made the ultimate statement pieces but somehow simple. Her story is unique a girl from Sweden firmly planted in Brooklyn. Annika has a fabulous story, I am so pleased to introduce you to this incredible artist.
1. Looking back on your first job, what skill did you use that you still use today?
My very first job at age 13 was for a Iranian fashion designer in Malmo Sweden, where I grew up. He sewed his own collection, right in his little shop and was incredibly creative and colorful. It was a WE job where I merchandised the store as well as helped customers. I learned a lot about making creative use of what you have available, something that I still try to practice to this day.
2. Was there a defining moment that made you start your business?
Having grown up with an entrepreneurial family, it was always there as a possibility, but after school I was not sure what I really wanted to do and after a few short stints in various worlds circumstances led me to opening up a studio / shop.
3. What was he first step you took to launch your brand?
My brand grew out of the studio / retail store over a few years, where we slowly built a cash reserve enough to launch wholesale.
4. What is the greatest lesson learned in your first year in business?
I think the greatest lesson I learned was that if you start a business the boot strap way, you really have to openminded, flexible and prepared to take care anything that comes your way by yourself, i.e. be the graphic designer, book keeper, shipping clerk, customer service etc and be willing to work very hard! As you grow, that will not be the best way forward, but then you do have the advantage of a bit of all around knowledge.
5. What is your best piece of advice for your fellow Female Founder?
Even for a small business, have good systems, such as well organized common drives and simple SOP docs, it reduces a lot of daily clutter and frees up time to do the important stuff. If possible, build your reserve in good years, there will always be bumps in the road and you don't always see them coming!