Here at STIK, we have a lot of brand crushes. One of them being, Autumn Adeigbo, the colorful, eco-friendly women’s clothing line founded by, Autumn Adeigbo. Her brand positively impacts women around the country by using female-owned production facilities. She also employs artisans around the world and pays them a fair wage for their work. Everything is also made to order, which helps minimize any waste. We had the chance to chat with the founder herself, Autumn, about how she started her own clothing line and what life has been like as an entrepreneur in the fashion industry.
STIK: You've always loved fashion from a young age, what inspired you to start your own company?
Autumn: To be honest, it was probably designers Donna Karan and Tommy Hilfiger. I was very passionate about my daily attire as a child/teenager (stemming from my mother sewing my clothes as a child). I became curious about the designer names I wore all the time (Donna and Tommy). Who were they? And at age 19 I asked myself if I could do anything in the world what would it be? And the answer was 'fashion designer'. So wearing both Tommy and Donna's clothes all the time, I researched where they went to school and decided to follow in their path. I don't think I realized that having a fashion brand meant having my own business too, but knew I would do anything to have my own brand so if becoming a business owner was part of that journey I was prepared to learn how to take it on.
STIK: What has been your biggest pinch-me moment since starting Autumn Adeigbo?
Autumn: Goodness there have been a lot, but making history is probably the biggest pinch me moment, being the 1st black woman to raise $1M in venture capital for a fashion brand opened up a whole new world of possibility for me personally and as an entrepreneur. And now I'm working to prove that we deserve just as much access to capital as white men.Tory Burch inviting me to be in American Vogue with her last year is a very close 2nd!
STIK: Do you have a current favorite obsession from your line?
STIK: What are some challenges you have overcome as an entrepreneur?
Autumn: Everything is a challenge as an entrepreneur, you're exhausted, you don't have enough time, it's hard to keep the faith, my social life became non-existent, living a life of uncertainty, managing people. And I would say in your early days, access to money is often the biggest challenge.
STIK: What other brands and designers do you look up to?
Autumn: I really look up to: Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Marni, Chanel, and Ulla Johnson.
STIK: What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur?
Autumn: Do something you would do for free because you probably won't make any money for a long time, so you have to be that passionate about it. Be kind, do the work, improve your craft, be patient and build your network. If you don't give up and move with integrity, things often have a way of working out.