Want to run a successful fashion business? Start with Why

Want to run a successful fashion business? Start with Why

If you want to run a successful fashion business, it is important to start with why. 

Over the weekend, I had a coaching session with a bridal designer in Nairobi, Kenya. She was doing well, had no issues with sales and in fact exceeded her target. So why did she book a coaching session with me? She needed help with her operations. She had followed me for years and I'm guessing she knew about my book How to Start a Clothing Factory.

We started the 2-hour session and after taking a few notes, the first question I asked her was 'Why did you start this business?' She was a bit lost so I followed up with the questions 'What did you hope to achieve?' and 'What did you want from this business?'

Still a bit lost, I gave her some examples using myself to help her out.

The 2 WHYs

Most times as business owners, especially creative entrepreneurs, we get caught up in the nitty gritty of creating the perfect product that we lose sight of why exactly we are doing what we are doing. 

Why are you adding that extra bead on that garment? Why are you going for that fashion show? Why do you have to do this yourself? Can you outsource this instead?

Every decision you make has to align with the overall goals you have for your business and YOU! You decided to start this business for a reason. WHY?

Let's assume you started a business because your primary WHY was to spend more time with your family. And then you were faced with a decision of adding an extra bead to a dress you had to deliver to your client. As creative people we just want to do it because it will be perfect in our eyes - and it probably will be. However, in most situations will that decision affect your WHY? 

Ask yourself - will that extra bead really make that much of a difference to your customer? Will they notice? If the answer is No, how much time will it take you to put that extra bead on? Will that prevent you from spending more time with your family?

If it will take you 1 extra hour to do so, then that could mean 1 less hour to spend with your family - which was why you started this business in the first place. So in the grand scheme of things, how important really is that extra bead you want to put on that dress if it makes no difference to the customer but will cost your time? Time that be spent more productively with your family.

The reason the WHY is so important is because it forces us all to think about why we do things. You should not be a slave to your business if that was why you quit your job in the first place.

You can't just start a business and hope that it works out. You need to know what makes sense and what doesn't and have a plan in place that will lead you down the path of success. If you don't know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?

Determining Your WHY

Your WHY is fundamental to the success of your business and for you as a person as well.

For the sake of simplicity, I'll split the WHY into 2 - External & Internal / Personal.  If you focus too much on one, the other suffers so both have to be balanced in the long run. 

Both WHYs should answer the following questions:

- Why did you start the business?

- What was your goal?

- What do you want to achieve?

- What do you want for yourself?

Once you have the answers to both WHYs, then you can structure your business to help you achieve the WHYs. 

The External WHY


This is the WHY that talks about your mission. It is the reason that your business exists. It's what drives you every day and motivates you toward success. It's where the roots of your passion lay, and it's crucial for creating a successful brand because it will help keep you going when things get tough. It's what people typically call passion.

The external WHY will help you develop the products and services you need to reach your target audience.

In my case, my External WHY is to give fashion lovers a fast track to fashion business success by helping them navigate the frustrating and lonely world of fashion entrepreneurship and helping them turn their love for fashion into a viable and profitable business.

How do I do this?

By providing affordable and accessible fashion education, coaching and mentoring to enable them live their dreams and the lifestyle they want.

Everything I do is centered around this. By running a digital learning platform, I can reach them where they are just by the click of a button on their phone.

It was pretty for my client to articulate this clearly so we moved on to the other WHY - which directly affected her operations and why she booked the session.

The Internal WHY

This is the part where many of us shortchange ourselves. We do all that work and give up so much without realizing that the reason we set up the business was to help us satisfy our personal objectives. Your Internal WHY has to work hand in hand with your External WHY.

What is the point of running a thriving business without any peace of mind? Where all the money you make is spent on medication. Where you work so hard yet cannot pay yourself a salary now or in the foreseeable future? Where you become a slave to your business because if you dare take a break, everything grounds to a halt and comes crashing down.

To determine her external WHY, my client had to dig deep and answer the following questions:

- WHY was she running the business? 

What were her personal goals when she wanted to start the business? 

- How did she want her present and future to look like? 

- How would her business help her achieve that? 

HOW would this business help her achieve her personal goals.  

ONLY when I knew what her personal WHY and her goals were could we begin to structure her operations to help her achieve it. 

In my situation, I structured Martwayne around my lifestyle. I value my time above anything else and I love to travel. So my goal was to run a business that would allow me the flexibility to work from wherever I was in the world.

Once I knew what I wanted to achieve, I set out to create a structure that would enable my business run on autopilot. I structured the business to ensure:

- customers would get the services they wanted without me being physically present;

- the business could run without me being physically present in a specific location.

I moved my Courses online and outsourced a lot of my work to experts. I just coordinated their efforts. It increased my expenses and I made less money but doing that freed up more of my time. 

For the Clothing Factory, I broke down my production process and outsourced where I could, giving my staff full ownership of their respective areas and I ensured a lot of the initial processes were done virtually. I wrote it all in my ebook How to Start a Clothing Factory.

The result? Clients didn't need to see me, the core of the work such as the pattern making was done by an expert so the fit was always near-perfect with minor alterations to the sample, the machinists did their work because there was a process, students didn't even know who I was but their feedback on their learning was excellent - which meant the instructors were doing a great job. I was able to travel for 3 months and the business continued in my absence. And after that, a whole year and business still continued in my absence.

Needless to say because I had created a digital learning platform before Covid hit, moving entirely online was an easy transition. Of course I hadn't planned on Covid but it all worked out. 

With this example, she had a light bulb moment and was able to clearly articulated her internal WHY. Once we both knew what the end goal was, we developed a clear blue print for her factory which she will start implementing today.

What about YOU? What is your WHY?

I speak to lots of fashion entrepreneurs who are frustrated in their businesses. I've been there so I know how tough it can be. Like many others, I focused on the External WHY and totally neglected the Internal WHY. I found myself working so hard with nothing to show for it. Everyone else was happy but I was miserable. Until I decided enough was enough and went back to the drawing board. 

Maybe you started your business because you wanted to do what you loved. But it goes just beyond what you love. When the realities of running a business, such as constant bills and salaries with no matching revenue, hit you in the face you begin to reconsider why you are doing what you are doing. 

Or maybe your business is very profitable like many of my clients but you cannot take a break. Eventually you also begin to get miserable because you have missed the mark. You must know what the end goal is right from the very beginning so you can plan your entire structure to achieve that goal.

Think about what matters most to you. Think about the WHY. If your business doesn’t help you achieve your WHYs and your goals, then it might be time to reevaluate things or at least figure out how to change its structure.

If your goal is to travel and take as many vacations as you wish like me, then structure your business around that goal. That will be your driving force.

If your goal is to make enough money so you can take care of your aged parents who gave up everything to give you a great life, then structure your business in such a way that ensures you pay yourself a salary so you can do just that.

If you want more money and freedom, then focus on charging more for your work and working less, which means you can decide to have fewer clients but charge more money. 

Simon Sinek put this perfectly in his book 'Start with Why'. In a story comparing how the Japanese and the Americans built cars in an assembly line , he wrote that the Japanese:

'engineered the outcome they wanted from the beginning. If they didn't achieve their desired outcome, they understood it was because of a decision they made at the start'.

If you know what your WHY is, I'd love to hear them. Do share them in the comment section below. 

If you're not sure yet, don't worry! That's what this post is all about: helping you figure it out using my examples. I'm here to help you find real success.

If you need more in-depth guidance on how to structure your business to make more revenue and live the life and have the freedom you have always dreamed, click on the Whatsapp button to book a coaching session with me.

You are not alone in this journey and you don't have to be. So let's get started!

My passion is to make the whole fashion business simple and inexpensive for designers by sharing knowledge, tools and resources to help designers and fashion entrepreneurs discover their true potential so they can live the lives of their dreams.

Temi Williams ‧ Founder, Martwayne


Why Gratitude is Great for Business

Why Gratitude is Great for Business

The Simple Act of being Grateful

Last Thursday, we had International Speaker & Director of Nigerian-Bollywood Netflix Hit, Namaste Wahala talk to us on our free Instagram LIVE Webinar on the topic:

How to Use Positive Affirmations, Positive Thinking & Gratitude to Achieve Defined Goals

We are one work-week into 2022 already! One of the things business owners must be watchful of is the ability to fall into a place of unthankfulness.

Perhaps you didn’t achieve your set goals for 2021 or it’s barely a few days into 2022 and #dettydecember got you so bad, you are feeling frustrated by the pinch of an empty bank account.

Now is the time to get into the right mind frame of being positive and thankful that you at least had money to spend and why gratitude is so important for your business.

Gratitude is a positive emotion that involves being thankful and appreciative

Like we said last week, gratitude is a positive emotion that involves being thankful and appreciative. It stems from recognizing that something good happened to you.

Worrying never solved anyone’s problems. Rather, it amplifies it. Gratitude on the other hand works the exact opposite.

Expressing gratitude has been scientifically proven to have several mental and physical health benefits.

  • It gives you clarity on what worked.
  • Clarity leads to Inspiration.
  • Inspiration leads to motivation.
  • Motivation gets your creative juices flowing and when that happens,
  • you are better positioned to reach your goals.

It’s like a domino effect. When your creative juices starts flowing, it increases your productivity, fosters teamwork (If you have a team you are working with), enhances empathy and reduces aggression.

Gratitude also helps improve your self-esteem which naturally also translates into your business.

How to be Grateful

Life is tough yes but instead of murmuring and grumbling, why not practice gratitude? There is so much to be thankful for.

  • Be thankful for that business plan you had but haven’t yet executed.
  • Be thankful for the fact that even if you don’t have a business plan, you know you need one.
  • Be thankful that 1 person who didn’t know you bought your product, even if it is just 1.
  • Rather than being sad only 1 person bought from you, be thankful that it, in fact means someone out there likes your product. That is your proof of concept right there. Then you can double up your effort to find more people.
  • Be thankful for that repeat customer even if they aren’t yet as many as you want.
  • Be thankful for that knowledge you acquired for your business over the holidays.
  • Be thankful you are still in business.
  • Be thankful for that repeat customer even if they aren’t yet as many as you want.
  • Be thankful for that knowledge you acquired for your business over the holidays.
  • Be thankful you are still in business.

And above all, be thankful that you don’t have all you desire because if you did, what else would inspire you to keep going on? What will the next challenge be?

How to practise gratitude in the workplace

With Customers:

Thanking your customers for patronizing you in the past year is an amazing way to bring in repeat business. However, it should not be done with the intention to get new business or from a transactionary perspective.

You can send out a free gift that won’t cost you much or a broadcast or email message to your core customers to show appreciation. I’ve already created mine to customers on my mailing list and plan to send it out this week.

With Employees:

Thank your collaborators and employees (if you have any) for giving their best to their work despite challenges in the new year.  Simply calling each one to say thank you. Or having a group meeting specifically to thank them at the end of the week.

Or maybe ordering a meal to celebrate the new year or even a bonus at the end of the month if you can afford it.

With Employees:

In fact this is the most important. You have to also appreciate yourself and your efforts to motivate you to do better. It goes beyond self-praise. Treat yourself to a nice meal. Buy yourself something you always wanted. You also deserve to be appreciated for all your work. Without you, all else will crumble.

Learn to show gratitude in the workplace - to your customers, to you employees and also to yourself.

It might be tough to always be grateful but like we said in the Live, at the end of every day or every week, take stock of 3 things you are grateful for and start the new week with what you hope to achieve and be grateful for. Whether we like to admit it or not, everyone has something to be thankful for.

So dear business owner, recognize that something good has happened to you. Recognize that even in the little steps, you have made progress.

Spend a few moments, think about the happenings in your life and your business. If you're struggling with how to start this practice, these free worksheets will help you. Simply download them and start to put them to work asap!

I guarantee you, your mindset will change for the better and you will begin to attract positivity into your life. Is is simply the law of attraction at work!

So... quick exercise. Think of one thing you are grateful for and let us know in the comments below what you are grateful for.

I’ll start with mine in the comment section.


If you missed the Instagram LIVE Webinar with Hamisha, you can check it out again at this link.

It’s 2022! Happy New Year!

It’s 2022! Happy New Year!

We wrapped up 2021 in style and we are already on Day 4 in 2022! Welcome to the first working day of the year - even though the day is spent already and we are hitting Day 5 already! The year is already going at whirlwind pace!

For me, this year is all about affirmations and self-proclamations!

As I checked out the 2021 Macy's Christmas windows at Herald Square, I was struck by the overwhelming theme of 2021's Christmas windows. It was all about self proclamations and self-belief!

macys christmas window

Others the window with the bear had:

‘You can do it! You are great!’

Which is why for me, 2022 is not about resolutions but about changing mindsets. Self belief is the greatest of it all! Whatever you want to achieve in 2022, believe you can do it!

Of course, I know this is not all up to me. Which is why I made this my affirmation for 2022 and beyond.

So for me, I have it all laid out using Bible verses.

- Map out the vision clearly as stated in Habakkuk 2:2:

Then the Lord answered me and said:

“Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.

- Write out the action steps using the 8 pillars we learnt yesterday from our final speaker for 2021, Karishma Chugani, an Integrated Health & Nutrition Expert. If you missed it, you can watch the rerun here.

- Stamp it with self affirmation with Philippians 4:13 backing it with prayers.

- Continue to hold on to the faith as written in Hebrews 11.1:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Continue to believe till it happens. Just as it says in this Macy's 2021 Chrismas window display.

macys december christmas window

May 2022 hold the promise we all wish for. Have a fantastic year ahead!

PS. We have great things in store for you in 2022 so watch this space!

Believe in Your Product

Believe in Your Product

A lady chatted me up last week. She was quite discouraged and wanted to abandon her product in favour of what she felt was easier in order to reduce the returned work from her customers. Her confidence had taken a huge battering and she felt it would be easier to give customers what they wanted rather than creating what she loved creating.

I asked her what she felt the problem was and why there were so many returns. And she was honest. The quality of her work was bad.

In my opinion, the solution was easy!

I told her to take more courses and keep practising. In my opinion, she needed to keep practising till she became the best at her product. And naturally, when she believes she is the best, that confidence will shine through and it would boost her sales. In fact, her confidence will be so infectious, it will attract customers! 

If you don't believe in your product, no one else will. And if they don't, you won't make sales, your business will suffer and you will shut down! It is just that simple!

believe in yourself

According to an article by neuromarketing.com,

'It’s a sales maxim that believing in the value of your product or service is essential.

Logic dictates you should believe in what you sell. If you didn’t, sales would become a process of unethical manipulation in which you convinced customers to make decisions they would regret later.'

Actually, some people are brimming with so much confidence even when they know their product is not so great! My assistant told me the story below recently.

A lady bought a really nice product on Instagram but when she got the product, it was far from the picture she has seen on the vendor's page. She requested for a refund but the vendor gave detailed and specific reasons why a refund was impossible. In fact, she tried to convince the lady that the product was exactly what she had seen on her page. She was that confident in her product - even though inferior.

Of course I am definitely NOT in support of her selling inferior products but just imagine how far she would go if that product was actually the real deal! She would have repeat customers and her referrals would skyrocket!  This is the power of Confidence!


If you believe your product or service can fulfill a true need,

it’s your moral obligation to sell it.

Many Entrepreneurs lack confidence in what they do even though what they have to offer is great. Some even find it difficult to display or talk about what they offer to potential buyers and then wonder why business isn’t so great.  Some even claim 'they are shy'. To me, if you are shy, then you are not ready to do business!

If you are finding it hard to make sales, confidence might just be the solution to the problem.  

So what exactly are the benefits of brimming with confidence in your product?

benefits of being confident in your product

  • Confidence helps you sell the product. If you believe in your product and what it does for people, you can sell ice to the eskimos. You will speak boldly about the benefits to the customer till the buyer is convinced and if you deliver what you have promised, they will come back for more. 
  • Confidence also helps you manage objections from customers. You know how valuable your product or service is and can easily defend it. 
  • As an entrepreneur, your goal is to develop interest in your product, know the product and trust its quality. How exactly can you do that if you don't believe in the product or service you are rendering. It is vital to the business that the product isn't ridiculed. State the benefit of your product to the buyer and emphasize what they stand to lose if they don't get your product. 
  • Confidence in your product means you want you product to be perceived in the best light possible. And this is where packaging comes in. Packaging boost confidence. 'Dress' your product or service in a manner that would always attract the customer. It could be your ebook cover, your website landing page, your instagram handle or even a physical product. Awesome pictures of that make-up palette or that jewellery will definitely help you sell the product and make you proud!
  • Confidence it improves your mental health and puts you in a state of tranquility. When you are in a state of calm, you perform better and attract more buyers. 
  • Lastly, when business is tough, your confidence keeps you pushing on because you truly believe in the power of the product to transform lives. 

So, tell me, entrepreneurs. How would you rate your confidence level? Share in the comments below.

If this helped you, please share

Recommended Resources

How to Articulate the Value of Your Product (Effectively) | BNM#11

How to Create Your Ideal Customer Avatar

10 Ways to Boost Sales Online

Dart Manipulation Slash & Spread  | Step by Step Youtube Video

Dart Manipulation Slash & Spread | Step by Step Youtube Video

If you always wanted to know how to manipulate your darts to create beautiful designs, this Youtube video will teach you step-by-step DART MANIPULATION, SLASH & SPREAD METHOD. 

You can check it out here:


dart manipulation slash and spread


Don’t forget to check out the Pivot Method of Dart Manipulation after this video as well. 

Enjoy this one and please leave your comments. And also PLEASEEEEE SHARE 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽


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