When it comes to starting your own fashion line, it takes a lot of hard work, passion, and guts. As our featured designer of the month, Beatrice Daniele from Italy is following her heart in pursuit of fulfilling her dream in starting her own jewelry collection.
She started in her fashion career by first studying at the Polimoda International Fashion Institute (which is the most prestigious fashion school in Italy) and before she started working at the Haute Couture Atelier where she worked within the leather department under Italian craftsmen in leather processing.
It was here that she discovered her love for leather and realized that she wanted to create a jewelry line from this medium. This is how the Beatrice Daniele collection was born.
The most unique aspect of Beatrice’s collection is that the type of material she uses: Stingray! We had to learn more about why she chose this particular material and the importance of using something that was considered sustainable.
Why did you choose stingray leather for your first collection?
I chose to use the stingray skin because, among the exotic skins, it is my favorite one for its pearly grain that looks like a mosaic. The Italian tanning industry is a leader in the production of skins in terms of quality, technological development and commitment to the sustainability of their products.
I chose to use only one kind of stingray...the one that does not belong to the species protected by CITES. CITES is an acronym which stands for Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora.
In order to try to make my products more sustainable, I decided to buy only leather scraps that come from scraps of some of the biggest brands. These materials are discarded for their small size, sometimes because they have defects in some spots.
For my jewelry the leather scraps are perfect because in addition to the material recycling, I am able to cut the skins avoiding defects because I only need small parts.
How were you able to get the company up and running so quickly?
What allowed me to start BD was primarily my patience and determination to continue developing the product until I got the result that I set for myself, despite the difficulty in finding people willing to help due to the small budget I owned as a result of my savings. The collaboration with skilled craftsmen and support of my family and friends have made this possible.
What's been your biggest win so far?
My greatest victory was when I began receiving the first orders and when I saw the first people wearing something made with my own hands
What's your biggest struggle as a fashion entrepreneur?
The biggest struggle for me was to find new suppliers who believed in my project, because of my young age and my short experience as a designer. Last but not least, the small budget available.
What's one piece of advice you'd give to someone wanting to start a fashion brand?
My advice for a young fashion designer who wants to start their own brand is to seek inspiration in the people they love because those are the ones who can give you the strength not to give up and keep going straight to your target.
What have you learned so far along your entrepreneurial journey?
From this path I have learned not to give up at the first upsets. I realized that we must always look for a solution to all the everyday issues because there is always a way to solve them. I learned to combine my passion with creativity, always with humility.
What is your ultimate goal? How about for 2017?
My goal is to develop the collection and then introduce new jewelry lines, such as rings and necklaces, but also bags in the future.
I recently launched a campaign on Kickstarter, and of course I hope to raise the money I need to continue my dream.
How do you stay focused on productivity?
The time management is an essential skill to increase productivity and complete as many projects as possible. The basic rules for effective time management are: reduce distractions and schedule the "things to do" during the day.
I dedicate well-defined time slots of the day to the news on socials, feeds, notifications and mail. I also ensure some breaks to keep attention always high. The key issue is the organization of the week to be divided between the manufacturing of the product, research for new materials and sales channels, listening to people’s feedback on my products.
How does the fashion in Italy differ from the US in your opinion?
I do not think a specific fashion style applies to a single country anymore because in many countries there is a mix of designers from different cultures.
What struck me most during my trips to New York and California is certainly the diversity and coexistence of many different styles both from a stylistic, cultural and geographical point of view.
I was also impressed to see how online sales are common in the US, while in Italy e-commerce is growing but it is not yet at the same level.