For the past two and a half years, we have spent countless hours working on a new a denim product that not only we liked wearing, but one that also was produced in a better way than the status quo. As I reflect back, it has been a fun, arduous, but most importantly insightful journey. We have learned so much about this industry, and even more about ourselves.
Just a few weeks ago, Rom flew here to Chicago to visit me and discuss the current progress for Jeanesis. We had just received our latest prototypes from our partners in LA and we were both curious to see how they came out.
We spent three days together talking amongst ourselves and evaluating our jeans. We realized what we had produced was frankly okay, but nothing spectacular. We, of course, loved how they were made, but we couldn’t see many benefits or points of difference in fit and feel from what was currently on the market. We know that producing a responsibly sourced product that is not in demand and does not sell can only have a limited impact on its stakeholders and the industry as a whole.
Ultimately, we decided to put our denim pursuits on hold until we have more faith and confidence we have found a winning point of difference and winning design. I had to decide if I was comfortable rolling out a product that I knew, deep down inside, couldn’t compete with what was on the market. Yes, we knew we could get some people to purchase the jeans because of the story and the philosophy behind our product. but that could only take our brand so far.
This was a hard decision for us because we spent so much time in this business and learning the industry but I believe it is for the best. This was a hard but good lesson for any entrepreneur. In order to really have a winning business, you first have to have a great product or service that people want. If we couldn’t get excited about our own product, how were we supposed to convince others?
I have been writing a lot these past few years about the importance of faith and perseverance in entrepreneurship. So, my own advice to myself to know when to hit the pause button comes with a little bit of pain. Part of me feels as though I have let my followers down, but another part of me is still excited for the future. I have some great plans for my future entrepreneurial pursuits which I will update you on soon.
In the meantime, I hope each of you continues pursing your own dreams, whatever those may be. Please learn from my example by being cognizant of when “enough is enough”, but also understanding that entrepreneurship is inherently a lonely journey that will often require perseverance and the ability to keep going when others say stop. Listen to your heart and what you are comfortable with and the rest will take care of itself.
I wish you all the happiest holidays and a wonderful New Year!
When my wife and I first returned to Chicago, we left for a really nice vacation across the pond in Europe. We wanted to celebrate my wife’s graduation from Art School as well as our 5th Anniversary. We had a wonderful time and it was a great opportunity for me to take a step back and reflect on my life, business and future. Breaks are important, no matter where you are in life. Make sure to schedule breaks even when you don’t think that you have time to take one. You might be surprised how productive they can be.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6