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Parlour MAVEN x I’m POSSIBLE: Gisella Asante on Growing and Maintaining A Fashion Line

Share some of the challenges you faced along the way and how you managed them?
Sourcing sufficient finance to support the growth of my business has been a constant battle. Running costs for a small organic business like ours is often borne from mining personal finances, especially during low periods and recessions. Finding dedicated, skilled personnel, training and retaining them is also a major task. It has all taken a lot of perseverance and consistent hard graft to keep the wheels turning for the past 22 years!

How do you find life-work balance?
It vacillates from difficult to almost impossible, but it is essential to have a cut-off point. Work-free Sunday’s have steadily become that cut off point!

Are there any young designers on your radar?
No young designers in the mainstream pool of fashion, though I do respect many of the seasoned style pioneers from the ‘vintage’ era of couture design.

How do you think the business has changed from when you began? Is it easier to get a new line off the ground now?
They always say it’s easier to start a business in a recession, what’s when I started mine! Obstacles will always be there, so if you’re passionate and feeling brave enough to make a start, just go for it.

Any advice that you can give to a young woman with aspirations to launch her own line? 
Know every aspect of your business, believe in your capacity to be better, network wisely, take pride in maintaining your professional reputation and be prepared to work hard but first learn to work smart!

On March 8, the sevent I’mPOSSIBLE Conversation will take place at Southbank Centre in London, UK. As the exclusive digital media partner, we will be running a series of Parlour MAVEN profiles on each of the speakers in the weeks leading up to the event. For more information on how you can attend, visit i-am-possible.com.

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