I enjoyed so much this podcast that I think you are going to love it too. Today we speak about the pretty and the ugly emotions you might face when starting your own brand. Mohammed Rabi, the designer, and entrepreneur behind the brand The Letter will share with us his journey and how he manages not only to stay afloat but also to thrive.
ABOUT TODAY´S PODCAST
Starting your business is not easy. It requires a lot of work and determination. Rejection, fear, frustration or even self-doubt hurts the entrepreneur. Much more if it is the creative brain behind the brand. We might even take it personally … At the end of the day, it is our baby and we are putting so much of ourselves in it. Mohammed Rabi is a successful designer opening up and sharing how he overcame all these emotions and kept his mind clear and focused to keep on working in his brand.
ABOUT MOHAMMED RABI
Mohammed is a reserved person, but once you start getting to know him, you see he has a really cool vision on life, work, family and also, success. Originally born and raised in Dubai, he studied Art Education in San Francisco. That, allowed him to venture and research into all sort of different ways of expression and creativity. Not only the traditional drawing and sculpture but also fashion and graphic design. Thanks to all the experimentation he found his passion and what he wanted to do.
His California period was amazing. After the initial culture shock, Mohammed Rabi got to know the locals and embrace the freedom and the essence of the place. There is something about it, that is simply put, COOL. Being Mohammed a total movie and pop culture lover, his inspiration started with leather jackets. You can read about this here as we did an article about his brand.
When it was time to come back to Dubai, he didn’t feel he would fit the 9 to 5 and started helping his sister with her bag business. That inspired him to actually start his own brand.
LAUNCHING THE LETTER
The Letter couldn’t have started any better. When they did launch the brand, sales started to come in immediately. It was something new and fresh in the market. It was a hit!
But Mohammed was already two steps ahead wondering… “ok, So now… How do I keep this consistent?”. Retail is now at his lowest, but at that time it was not so. Diversifying was suggested. And so, he started creating t-shirts that complement his offering and started developing other types of jackets.
He says it is better to start bit by bit and grow organically rather than his way. But one way or another you learn.
MOHAMMED´S GOLDEN ADVICE
- He learned that it is OK to say No to things. That, it is also Ok to have losses. It is part of the game and the blessing of being able to do trial and error and master your craft and your product.
- Follow your gut.
- Have a good support system. In his case his family.
- Prioritize your time and your energy well.
- Focus on the good things and the good people. Have the right mindset!
- Try making progress every day, even if they are baby steps.
- Have a good reason to do what you are doing.
- Appreciate the process.
- Embrace the struggle and my favorite…
- STAY HUNGRY!
SOMETHING WE DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE LETTER
He produces his leather jackets in a very small factory in India. The workers there are super creative and skilled. They do the hand paintings over the jackets. Mohammed appreciates their talent very much and wants to keep on helping them by being loyal. “I found my other family here”.
A jacket needs 4- 5 days to be produced without any artwork. If there is artwork involved it can take up to 10 days. There is a lot of love and dedication in every piece.
Mohammed likes to play in his mind with different fictional characters and imagine what kind of jacket will they fancy more. It is a mental styling work that drives tons of inspiration! After inspiration, comes sketching, color scheme, testing, and sampling (different body types, different shapes,…). It is a long way from thought to reality, but it is worth every second.
Now, listen to the full interview. It is really full of insights and valuable information. Hit Play and Relax!