Rolling Out

How to turn your passion for fashion into a paycheck

passion for fashion
Photo courtesy of Nichole Sanford

You absolutely love shopping, can predict all of the trends and Fashion Week is pretty much your favorite event of the year but how do you turn your passion for fashion into a paycheck? Rolling out sat down with Nichole Sanford, co-owner of HouseofChic.LA to find out how she was able to bring in over half a million dollars in sales in her first year of business.


What do you say to aspiring entrepreneurs who think the fashion industry is oversaturated? 


Focus on you! You will hear it is oversaturated, you hear will it is hard but if you are following the grand vision God gave to you, the only thing that sounds hard to me is settling or not following my dream. You have to have faith that there is room for everyone.

What’s been your biggest obstacle in building your business?


Right now balance is the biggest obstacle. Being an entrepreneur takes sacrifice because it is all on you. No sick days, it’s 24/7. It is my crying baby in the middle of the night. It’s very rewarding yet frustrating at times. Everything is done in-house: the buying, branding, photography, back office, shipping, etc so it is a lot. Being the face of our brand while remaining consistently creative and finding a quality product and keeping smiles on customers faces is daunting at times. Entrepreneurship takes a lot out of you.

Share 3-5 practical tips that entrepreneurs can use to jump-start their fashion business.

Do your research: Do not take just anyone’s word for it when it comes to handling your business. Double and triple check. What have they produced? Who are their clients? Read those contracts! 

Find your niche: Ask yourself: How will you standout? What will you bring to the market that is missing? Always incorporate your personal touch, your sense of style and stay true to it. 

Make the connection: Find a way to connect with your audience and they will buy into you. 

Dress the part: This is the fashion business, looking great will open doors and start conversations. If you want a seat at the table you have to show up and show out. 

Do the work: While fashion is glamorous, it is work. Hard work. Every day. From schlepping loads of clothes to receiving parcels that look nothing like the pictures. Be prepared to get down and dirty and figure things out by yourself.

If there was just one thing you think every fashionpreneur should have in order to be successful, what would it be?

Work ethic. You will need to go above and beyond to be successful, you will have to give it your all every day. In Los Angeles everyone is beautiful and tons of people have style, what makes a huge difference is the time and effort put into building something great. 

What has been your proudest accomplishment in your business?

Building something from the ground up that people genuinely love. It is crazy seeing a look we selected being worn on a wedding day or graduation. Something so simple as being stopped at the grocery store by a stranger that is excited about what you’re doing. I worked extremely hard to make my dream come true and now I am able to open doors and encourage others to follow theirs.

If you have a passion for fashion, use these tips to turn it into a paycheck. For daily inspiration, connect with Nichole on Instagram and shop her boutique HouseOfChic.LA.

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