Today’s guest post is from 7×7 Mentoring Salon alum and founder of A.MOET, Allegra Moet Brantly. As part of my mission to start conversations and facilitate mentoring between generations, I run mentoring salons between 7 more experienced women and 7 young professionals on a variety of topics from entrepreneurship to personal finance. There is always a wealth of wisdom swapped both young and old (er). It’s a wonderful to be part of this community and share in each other’s stories.
I’m thrilled to publish Allegra’s story of lessons learned during the launch of A.MOET, a fashion startup that rethinks loungewear for modern living. Enjoy her post and check in at the end for more details on the first collection and a special discount code.
“The Best Advice I Ever Got: Help Won’t Ask for Itself”
Having spent the better part of 2012 launching my first company (and I say first because I hope that there are several more to follow), I have truly been on the most invigorating journey of my life.
Life in Corporate America was a breezeway compared to the obstacles and challenges I’ve faced this year, but someone once told me that “once you put your feet on the right path, you’ll know it because time will fly by like the speed of light,” and it has. But this was not without gaining some good lessons in the process.
To preface what I’m about to share, let me start by saying that I’m an only daughter of a single mother who sent me to an all girl’s boarding school. Hence, I’ve grown up with strong women; I respect savvy women in business and that’s what I’m passionate about becoming.
When I decided to start a robe company, it was these women that I had in mind. I wanted to make products that enhanced their lives by fusing beauty and utility without adding any hassle to their already busy schedules. I wanted to create something new and innovative, versatile and fundamental that was able to serve a multitude of needs.
What I didn’t realize is that I didn’t have the skill set to accomplish this… yet. I had no technical background in garment design or real experience in building a fashion product, but I picked up books and began attending classes at FIT to get my feet wet. I began to learn the basics and even more importantly- the language- so I wouldn’t be spotted as a fashion outsider to the insiders right away.
I started to search for my first pattern maker to help refine what has heretofore been know as the “robe” and ended up going through three in a few short months. Each time, I was back at square one.
In good timing, I had the fortune of finding out about and attending a 7×7 Mentoring salon over the summer. In what has been my favorite networking and resource-filled event to date, I found myself surrounded my smart, independent women and rapid-fire conversation. From a myriad of topics including “Can women really have it all?,” a discussion about freezing your eggs and different scenarios proposed on raising start-up capital, I managed to pull the best piece of advice I’ve received yet: “Help won’t ask for itself.”
I went home. I emailed my business partner who is on the operations side of the business and I admitted to needing help with sourcing a better pattern maker even though I knew this wasn’t her terrain and clearly fell under my responsibilities. She ended up at a party with friends a few days later, and by putting her feelers out there, it turned out a close friend of hers had a cousin in NY who was a freelance pattern maker.
I’ll keep it short and sweet by saying that this story does indeed come with a happy ending.
In startup world, the lines will blur as your startup becomes your life and vice versa. Although I was not trying to be cavalier, I was also not asking for help when I needed it most. I feel very grateful to have learned this lesson early on and recommend that we all try and remember that most things do not take just one person but they take a village. So do not fear asking for help because sometimes you will receive so much more than just that.
About the Author:
Allegra Moet Brantly, is the Founder and Creative Director of A.MOET, a woman’s apparel company based in NYC and focused on performance loungewear. Having recently launched their premier collection of luxury robes that fuse the utility of a towel with the design and fit of a wrap dress, A.MOET is dedicated to creating innovative products that fuse fashion and functionality without sacrificing comfort or style. Machine washable, wrinkle-free and made entirely in the USA, see the launch video and first collection here: http://amoet.com/
About the Robes!
I ordered the Amazona – and I’m looking forward to wearing it. I love the design and the allure of the whole collection. It’s about time the robe came out of the closet. Use the discount code “resortful” for 15% off (all lower case). They make a unique gift as well (and a little bird told me they’re going fast so scoop one up fast:) – xo Christina