Being forced to sit still due to a health condition is no fun but it does give you time to think and reflect. This is exactly what Shannon Patrick, owner of AWOL clothing, did. She had an opportunity to reflect on what really made her happy. “Although it may sound cliché” to some, I have always has a passion for fashion.” Shannon expressed. So during that downtime, she started brainstorming an avenue where she could exhibit her love for fashion.
Shannon knew her style was different from others so she wanted to create a way to invite the customer into the creative process by allowing them to present to her their ideas about what they desired and help to customize their own clothing according to their specific style. It was Shannon’s hope to create a brand that appealed to everyone!
She took a leap of faith, designed her first outfit and branded it with her AWOL logo and staged a photoshoot in a park. Shannon used her own iPhone for the pictures and posted it to Facebook.
The impact after posting to Facebook was shocking for her. Shannon’s enthusiasm could be heard when she remarked “I was shocked at the impact and the number of inquiries from people who wanted to buy the same outfit as the one I posted or one similar!”
MAYBE SOMETHING SHOULD BE NOTED ABOUT SISTERS IN BUSINESS?
NOT SURE WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN THE CREATION OF THE ONLINE TO NOW
Upon the initial startup in 2017, Shannon faced obstacles that so many entrepreneurs face; knowledge and resources to outsource services. And as time progressed and she was learning more, the demand for products increased which made it a challenge to learn how to fulfil orders in a timely fashion as well as learn how to operate some of the equipment she had invested in.
On top of her growing business, Shannon is a single parent, works a fulltime traditional job, and she is rocking her own business. She expressed the difficulty in time management but she is overcoming those obstacles. She has trust in her team knowing that they see her vision for AWOL.
Transitioning from online to the physical location at BC Cargo was not easy feat, but it has been well worth it. AWOL at BC Cargo has attracted clientele that were strolling or riding by and this has allowed Shannon to connect with them on a more personal level which has extended her customer base.
All the steps along the way to BC Cargo has increased growth for Shannon and AWOL Clothing, which was a goal of hers. Investing in more equipment to expand her brand are in Shannon’s future but more importantly, this entire process has inspired her to share her experience and educate young entrepreneurs who may have a similar vision in the fashion industry.
"“Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.”"--Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos