Just like in love, a lot of entrepreneurs—both young and old—often hear the words "She's too young to know what she's doing." or "Gah! He's too old. His ideas might not be fresh and exciting anymore." While entrepreneurs are usually not safe from being underestimated because of their age, this bold college freshman refused to let the common misconceptions about young entrepreneurs get in the way between her and her dream business. Read on to know how Christine Dy started Stitches and Patches and along the way proved that age is indeed just a number.
How it started. "Believe it or not, Stitches and Patches actually started out on a whim. I did the branding, the designs, and the production in two weeks only. I was motivated to launch it before 2016 ended, so I took the work seriously and really just hustled my way through it."
Why Stitches and Patches? "Embroidered shirts are slowly becoming a trend and I wanted to start a fashion revolution for basic tees with authentic designs using the trend on embroidery. I saw it as an opportunity to turn basic shirts into something that's versatile, but can easily stand out on its own, too!"
Young entrepreneur. "I wouldn't necessarily say that it's hard to be a young entrepreneur, but there is definitely a lot of trial and error involved. The best part about it is that it constantly reminds you to stay humble. After all, there will always be something new that you will come across and that will make you realize how much you have yet to learn. Also, being a young entrepreneur will also make you realize that there's nothing wrong with asking for help and listening to people's advice. What's great about starting young is that you can accomplish so many things while you're still in the process of improving."
Drawing inspiration. "I draw my inspiration mostly from my travels. It can range from road trips to local tourist spots, or even simple strolls on the way home. To put it simply, if I like what I see, I make an embroidered patch for it!"
Flying solo. "It usually comes as a surprise to most people, but I run the operations by myself. While I do all the design related aspects myself, it is still a huge help to have dependable people who I know will always have my back. My dad has been really supportive and helps me out with my branding. I also have friends who I can constantly bug to assist me in my bazaars, shoots, or even just for choosing which designs to use in the collection."
Little challenges. "Being able to put my brand out there in the market is definitely my biggest challenge thus far. Good marketing and investing in social media definitely helps. You just can't neglect the influence social media has in our generation anymore!"
Staying original. "I take pride in the fact that Stitches & Patches only uses new and creative designs. I would never just copy clip arts from online—all my designs are original and made from scratch. I find it more important to create designs that interest me rather than creating them simply for their 'selling' or 'marketing' ability."
What's next? "I'm definitely aiming for the brand to be more established in the near future. Such that when people come across the embroidered patches I designed, they'll know right away that it's from Stitches and Patches."
"To create great designs that serve a purpose"
To young budding entrepreneurs. "Don't be afraid to start. In my case, ambition was what pushed me to pursue my business. Business always holds a risk to fail but if you're passionate about something and want to share your idea with others- do it."
Know any young entrepreneurs? Leave a comment below and you just might see them on the site next week!