Founder: Bridge & Bardot Clothing : GAGAN BASSI
ONLINE FASHION ENTREPRENEUR
1. Tell me about yourself. University (what did you study if you went to uni), what are you doing now? Is it something you have always wanted to do?
I went to Ryerson University and studied Fashion Communications. I currently have an online store, selling women’s vintage clothing. It’s not what I had in mind going into university, I was actually really interested in art direction.
2. When & how did you get the idea of starting your own vintage clothing store?
I’ve always had a strong interest in vintage clothing and the idea of recycling really appeals to me. One of my favourite things to do is to find and alter vintage pieces to make them interesting and new, so vintage is the perfect fit.
3. Did you have another job when you started this business? If yes, how did you manage your time?
I was still in University when I opened the store. It was definitely challenging going to school full time and having the store. With this I found myself going to the store between classes, and any spare time that I had was devoted to it.
4. What were some of your biggest challenges when starting Bridge & Bardot clothing? How did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge was finding the right employees to manage the store and building the B+B team overall. I’m still working on this, it takes time to find people who you can work well with.
5. A lot of aspiring entrepreneurs have the idea but they don’t know how to execute them. How did you go from the idea to the creation of the business? How did you figure out where to source clothes, getting the funds to start a business, people to help out etc?
I initially started the business with my sister and an associate so I definitely had some support in cultivating the brand. Since then they have moved on to other projects but I continued to working on the brand and shifting it to an online store for vintage.
6. What advice do you have for 20 somethings who aspire to start their own business?
Do it! This is the time to make mistakes and learn from them. Try as many things as you want and explore all of your options.
7. Do you have any productivity tips or tricks that you use to get work done?
I like to make daily to do lists, they might not get done everyday but if it’s written down it helps you organize your thoughts. I also make monthly to do lists to remember the bigger goal at the end of the month. I also try to make sure my phone is put away when I’m working, it’s definitely the number one thing that distracts me.
8. What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
I would have to say it’s closing down my storefront to focus solely online. It was tough making that decision, but it was the right decision for the company.
9. What would you most like to learn that would help you in the future?
I can’t pinpoint one particular thing, I love to learn new things every day it really helps me grow and improve my skill set.
10. Can you give us some tips about running an online e-commerce store? What are some factors of success online?
Staying on fashion trends, but not getting consumed by them-still keeping your own style. Always listening to customer wants/needs.
11. Once you created your website and store, what are some marketing strategies that were successful for your business?
I’m still working on what works best for me. I’ve worked with a lot of fashion bloggers, which I really like. We’re able to collaborate and create some really cool photos, and I learn on some ways on how to style my pieces.
12. What are some pros and cons of being an entrepreneur?
Having your own hours and being your own boss is definitely a pro. However, this comes with constantly motivating yourself to ensure you’re on top of your work because there is no one there to tell you when and what to do.
13. How do you find people to bring into your organization that truly care about the organization the way you do?
I don’t think that there is anyone that will truly care about a company as much as the person who founded it does. However, there are individuals who do believe in a company and will work hard for it’s success, and finding those people just takes time.
14. Lifestyle of an Entrepreneur: How many hours do you work a day on average? Are you location independent? Describe/outline your typical day?
My hours vary from day to day. If I’m working on adding items to the website I can work from anywhere, if it’s sourcing pieces I’ll be working from my warehouse. Typically my days are spent sourcing pieces and organizing future photo shoots.