Building a Brand through COVID: Wk 7

Week 7: Celebrating the Holidays through COVID

“Building a DTC Brand During COVID” is a series written by Farah Azmi to serve as a discussion for starting a company amid a pandemic. The stories are meant to share personal experiences and is not in any way meant to promote a “correct” methodology. We hope readers find this informative and amusing and we welcome informed advice and active discussion.

This Thursday is Thanksgiving, which means we started this new quarantine world approximately 8 months ago. Looking back at March, I did not think we’d be in this state of the world 8 months later. Being an entrepreneur during the holidays (much less during a pandemic) is financially and emotionally draining. Usually I’m thrilled to think about shopping for gifts and decorating the apartment. However, it adds yet another thing on my to-do list that I don’t have capacity for. I don’t want to think about Christmas shopping for friends or think about where we can buy a tree nor do I want to think about my bank account draining even more.

On top of that, I’m plagued with thinking about when I can ~officially~ launch my brand. Truth be told, I thought I was going to launch a new website on December 1st and start doing pre-order sales. I had big dreams of capturing on the holiday sales momentum. However, this holiday season is a bit different. I know that it doesn’t make sense to launch amidst the rising COVID numbers and the continued depressed retail numbers, so I’ve decided to push it out yet another month.

Overall, this holiday season is a bit tough as I’ve struggled to find holiday cheer amidst so much stress. However, despite this year not being what everyone wanted, there is still so much to be thankful for. So today, I wanted to share some notes of positivity and share what I’m thankful for.

First and foremost, I’m thankful for my health. I’m thankful that my friends and family were lucky to not get COVID this year (so far). I’m thankful for all the essential workers who have worked tirelessly to keep our communities safe.

Secondly, I’m thankful for my partner. 

Lastly, I’m thankful for my friends and community who have supported me. I’ve fallen behind on my posts as it’s hard to plan for a weekly blog post when I’m putting out other fires. Each week, I’m constantly fixing problems with my labels, navigating export & import laws, flip-flopping between decisions to fundraise, and more. There have been many nights where I struggle to fall asleep due to the overwhelming to-do list that plays over in my head. Working on my startup is difficult to say the least. Some days I do want to give up. I hear the voices in my head daily asking why I’m trying to start a company amidst COVID. I hear the voices telling me it’s not going to work. I hear them say that I should give up now and find a real job. But then I hear my friends’ voices asking when I’m ready to sell. I have random women tell me that they love the idea and can’t wait to buy product. Those are the moments that rejuvenate me and tell me to keep going. I’m so thankful for all of them.

Celebrating the holidays this year may be different. We can’t travel and some of us may not even be with family. This holiday season is admittedly tough for all of us. We have so much more stress than ever before, but through it all, I encourage all of us to find something we’re thankful for.

Sending you all well-wishes and virtual hugs! Tell me what you’re thankful for!

Farah  <3

IXORA Apparel is an early stage start-up fashion brand founded by a Harvard Business School student. Our mission is to support women in their lives through the way she dresses while providing resources to support her in the workplace. We aim to provide made-to-order trend-driven apparel for women, where everything is made-for-her-body and not made-to-stock.

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