Start to Finish

Posted on 17th Jan 2012 by Olivia Gossett in Blog

It's 10:30pm on a Thursday. Some people I know are out grabbing a drink or doing laundry. Some are making plans for this weekend. And some may even be eating this thing called dinner. I'm at the office and probably will be for another hour or so. 9-5, that's cute.

You want to start a movement? Say hello to 8-8, as in, am-am. If you really want to revolutionize something, you'll find everything else in life just gets in the way of pursuing this revolution's success.

Ten months ago I realized digital media coverage of the fashion world is, as a whole, boring and total crap. Everyone is talking about the same people and collections, in poorly-designed online platforms that don't take advantage of their digital medium. Not to mention the disgusting influence advertisers have over what ultimately makes it to publish. And for those exciting times when we hear about a different, rising designer, this designer's press hardly leads to any immediate sales.

I aim to revolutionize the way fashion news is published. Readers deserve an online platform that offers as much beauty as it does organic user functionality. And talented designers deserve to see direct sales from press coverage. Why? Because, with today's technology, why the heck not?

So, I started I Like What You're Wearing Inc., a shoppable online magazine that features next-generation fashion designers. We are launching Spring 2012, and every day leading up to this launch has been exhausting, stressful, and the most wonderful day of my life. From the little nuances of starting, to working with hundreds of designers and their latest collections, it's all so important in locking in this change. Battle IKEA pieces and put together an entire office in a few hours? With pleasure! We have things to get done and need a place to do them. Take 3,307 photos of 50 styles in five hours? You betcha! Those promotional photos won't take themselves. Sit through the hottest movie of the year? No way. That's two hours, gone, with nothing changed, except you now have a sugar high from Junior Mints or Jujubes.

I'm no where near the end of making this thing happen, and I actually never will be (I took a class in college that covered social change and revolution, and I'll never forget how much our readings emphasized the final stage of a revolution, maintenance), but getting things started is half the battle, and I'm proud to say that I've begun.

A few weeks ago I met someone who was struggling to start her own non-profit. When I asked her what she had done to get the ball rolling, she looked at me blankly and said nothing, because she didn't have the resources yet to make it happen. Resources? Everything and everyone is a resource. There are ways around lack of funding, connections, and anything, really. I suggested that my friend get in touch with other nonprofit founders and tap into legal firms that offer pro bono services. I'm happy to say she did, and has thus also finally begun. She's making things happen.

Getting started is the scariest and one of the most important parts of a social revolution, but surrounding the cause with the right people is just as crucial. I'm 23 years old. I've never started a company before, or sought to bring change to one of the biggest commercial industries in the world. I just filed my own personal taxes two years ago, and now I'm making myself a pro on incorporations, sales tax, and payroll so that I don't get in trouble with the IRS and need to shut down. Very scary.

I've been lucky enough to find support from some people who have invaluable experience in fields that are highly relevant to the success of the ILWYW. Recognizing my focus and the potential of this movement, these amazing men and women agreed to be advisors for ILWYW. Surrounding myself with this recognition of potential from such respected people and heeding their advice has played a major role in keeping the progress of ILWYW going. If you know people, use them. It's OK to ask for help.

The revolution will not be televised, because, if it's going to happen, we'll all need to off our couches and getting things done. So, as the song in our first ILWYW video, "ILWYW Sets Up Office" suggest... "let the wild rumpus start!"

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