Eunice Lee, UNIS
"Here are ten things I learned. First, know that you’re in the business of being in business. If the business side of things isn’t sound, the brand isn’t going to survive. I think most designers aren't really aware of what they're getting themselves into, we have a tendency to romanticize everything. Second, focus on a few good things. Do it differently and do it better. I used to design a much larger collection. Looking back, I cringe at how much money I wasted. Less is more.
"Third, know who your customers are. If you don’t know who's going to be buying your product, stop now. When I first opened the store, I was shocked to see who came in. My guy was so different than I imagined him. Having the store has been one of the best things that's happened to me as a designer. Fourth, the most expensive mistakes I’ve made were made out of impatience. Urgency is necessary, but desperation can be hurtful. Things have a way of unfolding the way they’re supposed to. Fifth, learn how to build relationships. They are so crucial to survival. After all, you never know when you're going to need a favor.
"Sixth, hire an accountant and book keeper immediately. Seventh, hire a lawyer too. Trademarks are a complicated mess. Eighth, don't trust anyone who says 'trust me.' Ninth, pay your dues, and get some experience. Don’t yell at your factories for not knowing what you’re doing.
"And last, be yourself."