My original plan for my starting own business was to have my own law firm, so in 2007 my friend Eva arranged for me to meet her friend Nance, a solo practitioner. When I told Nance that I was also thinking of developing a line of shirts, she told me that she was developing a line clothing as well! She pointed me to a book for beginning design entrepreneurs, and that gave me the courage to get started.

Other coincidences like this have happened since my lunch meeting with Nance. Last week, I wasn’t entirely sure why I was visiting Carl Goldberg at Cego. I just wanted to know more about custom shirts and felt I could learn something from him. While there, he suggested I contact Sally and Hope, two women who have been in the ladies’ shirt manufacturing business for many years, to see if they would take on a project management role for me (working with my sewing contractors on my behalf). As Carl put it, “You’ll lose more money making mistakes on your own than you ever would by paying someone who knows what they’re doing.”

Sally and Hope spent an hour and a half with me last Friday. They brought up points for me to consider that could only come from experience. When I left our meeting, I felt relief. My patternmaker Tina will be ready for our first fitting this Thursday, and as my first pattern becomes ready for production, I’ve been wondering how to approach the sewing contract stage of things. Now I have the courage to get started.