The path to becoming a lawyer is crystal clear: complete undergrad, ace the LSATs, earn Juris Doctor, complete clerkship, pass the bar, practice law. To be a doctor: bachelor’s degree, MCATs, medical degree, residency, licensure, certification. If the path to the aforementioned careers is a newly renovated highway, the road of entrepreneurship is a winding path outside the range of cell phone reception. The word itself dates back to the 1800s, thought to have been coined by the French businessman and economist Jean-Baptiste Say, but seems to be the go-to career for post-recession millennials entering the workforce during a time of economic turmoil. According to a 2015 report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), 27 million people, 14 percent of the American population of working age, identify as entrepreneurs. But what does that mean?
I’ve been running my own business for over four years, overseeing all facets from design and sourcing to manufacturing and quality control to PR and sales. My designs are sold in boutiques and online and have been worn by incredible people, so why do I struggle with feeling like a fraud; the child who sneaked into the grownups’ party?
Writing about fashion entrepreneurship, when I struggle to identify myself as an entrepreneur at all, actually feels freeing, because being a fashion entrepreneur means being equally badass businesswoman and insecure artist; constantly struggling internally to move forward with confidence without becoming complacent in my work as a designer. My right brain, the insecure artist, continues to tell me that I haven’t done enough, struggled enough or achieved enough to warrant a seat at the table, often overpowering my #girlboss left brain. After years of struggling to silence that voice, it is time to stop and come to peace with my inner selves and instead adapt a ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ attitude. I may never feel like I’ve “made it” and for the first time, I’m embracing that. Good is the enemy of excellence, is it not? Maybe my drive to be better and continue to prove myself is the most inherently entrepreneurial part of me. So maybe I am a ‘legit’ entrepreneur after all . . .
Author: Katie McKenna (Associate Member – FGI New York)
Katie McKenna is the co-founder, creative director and designer of Pink Sheep Heiress, an American-made, rock & roll inspired luxury lifestyle brand. She formed Pink Sheep Heiress as a celebration of the musician’s life and for others who embrace the rocker style. Known for its colorful, leather designs and graphic prints, Pink Sheep Heiress creates affordable luxury items and artisan-crafted ready-to-wear for the woman who is her own iconoclastic tastemaker. www.pinksheepheiress.com