Credit: Sam Sisakhti
UsTrendy is an online fashion marketplace that hopes to help fashion designers break into the industry. The company launched in 2008, but did not take off until founder Sam Sisakhti focused the business on ecommerce.
Anyone who doesn’t believe that when one door closes another one opens should look to Sam Sisakhti. Sisakhti founded global fashion marketplace UsTrendy after quitting a corporate finance job. His company acts as a facilitator between new and upcoming fashion designers and the public by allowing designers to upload portfolios, sell products and enter competitions which allows customers to offer feedback to designers. BusinessNewsDaily spoke with Sisakhti about his company, how he got the idea for it and what made the company take off.
BusinessNewsDaily: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Sam Sisakhti: Growing up I either wanted to be Michael Jordan or a business owner like my father. The second growth spurt I was hoping for as a kid never happened, so basketball being a viable option went out the window.
BND: What did your parents do for a living?
SS: My father is an entrepreneur who owns a consulting firm and my mother is a psychologist. Having a mother as a psychologist is definitely a plus when dealing with the magnitude of challenges that go along with being an entrepreneur and the mental agony it can cause. I am only half joking here.
BND: Can you talk a little about your businesses and how you got your start?
SS: I graduated from Brandeis University and always figured that I would start a company later in my life after working for a company for a few years first. So upon graduating I took a job in corporate finance. After four days of being miserable working a 9 to 5, I resigned from my job and took a trip to Las Vegas to clear my head. In Vegas, I was meeting a childhood friend who had moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams of being a fashion designer. He showed up in Vegas and started telling me how hard it was to make it as a designer in the industry. The light bulb went off in my head and I realized that this was the business idea. I needed to create a platform for fashion designers to reach consumers with their products and gain financial and promotional support for their clothing lines.
BND: What's the best part of owning your own business?
SS: The best part of owning a business is the ability to build something and watch it grow. I love the process of building something. I also love the autonomy that being an entrepreneur provides.
BND: What's the biggest mistake you've made as an entrepreneur?
SS: The biggest mistake I made as an entrepreneur was listening too much to other people early on. I also got pulled in too many different directions and did not trust my instincts. It was not until I started trusting my own instincts that things really took off for the company.
BND: What was your main motivation in starting this business?
SS:My main motivation for starting UsTrendy was to help independent fashion designers pursue their dreams and provide a way for customers to be able to purchase awesome clothing from designers all over the world. I think one of neat things about my business was that I felt that designers and I were in same boat. They were trying to pursue their dreams as small business owners and I was trying to do same thing. So the more successful I got, the more successful they got and vice versa.
BND: What previous experiences helped you in that journey?
SS: I think working at my father’s consulting company as a kid and watching his journey provided me the best firsthand experience of the challenges and processes that go along with starting a business.
BND: What was the biggest challenge you encountered and how did you overcome it?
SS: I faced many challenges early on but the biggest one was figuring out a clear revenue model that provided capital for the company. We played around with a lot of different business models, but it was not until we turned UsTrendy into an ecommerce marketplace platform that things really took off.
BND: What is the best bit of advice you have for other entrepreneurs?
SS: Enjoy the ride and keep a level head during both the best and worst of times. Entrepreneurship provides you the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. So keep a level head and understand that things are usually cyclical.