This interview is part of the Chasing Dreams interview series. I’ve interviewed a variety of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have chosen a different path in life in order to go after his or her dream career. Have an entrepreneur in mind you’d like to learn more about? Let me know! Today’s interview is with Sky Marcano, a fellow member of the Female Entrepreneur Association. Sky shared the video below, and I knew I had to interview her! What an inspiration.
At what point did you know you wanted to follow this career path? How did you know this was the right direction?
As a small child I started drawing clothing. I told my mother when I was 8 years old that I wanted to design clothing. I was obsessed! All through elementary school and high school I would draw and create new design ideas, I was determined.
What are the biggest struggles you've faced while trying to achieve your dreams?
My biggest struggle would be finding the right people and resources to go along with my vision. I am very independent and I have gone through business partnerships, incorporations and currently running my second business on my own. I do outsource and have employees but hope to get a good team going this year. Mixing my independent strong mind with structure, rules and regulations can be hard on my creative spirit.
Owning your own business can be tough on the body and mind, between long days, instability and really putting yourself out there to reach your goals. How do you stay healthy? Do you have any rituals that help you stay centered?
This year I am trying to write more because I feel it to be a meditative exercise. I have promised myself I will write at least 6 days a week, short blog posts, so my intentions are clear. I try to eat really healthy most of the time because eating healthy helps my mind stay clear and I sleep better if I am eating well. I try to do strength training 3-4 times a week. Plus a huge priority is getting a solid 8 hour sleep; I literally cannot function as well if I don’t sleep.
Speaking of putting yourself out there, overcoming rejection is a big part of chasing dreams. How do you bounce back?
I have faced many obstacles throughout my 11 years running clothing businesses. My hardship of being a single mother earlier in my life really put things into perspective for me. Having some rejection is nothing compared to how I felt back then. I suppose hardship from the past is the source of my inspiration and not taking anything too seriously. I sent an email out today to someone who hasn’t responded to my emails in over a year. I throw things into the universe and think of it as a numbers game; I am bound to win if I keep trying. It is amazing what can happen if you put yourself out there! I have had amazing connections and successes through pounding on doors and being open to receiving. Let the sunshine in.
What do you do when you're having an off day- maybe feeling down, struggling with self-doubt, or just unmotivated?
I really struggle when I have an off day. I like to be clear, inspired and happy. If I wake up off or I let stress or worry get the better of me I go straight to things like mindless movie watching, or my favorite activity, cooking. Lately when I am feeling off, I take my father’s advice, it is just a passing thought, and it doesn’t stick around, onto the next!!
What is one misconception people have about you and/or your profession?
I think people may think fashion is glamorous, or exciting. Most of the time I am waiting for production to be complete, visiting factories, working on strategy, marketing and working really hard. Of course some parts are amazing and special but its hard work to stay in this industry.
What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?
The biggest lesson is finding out that it probably isn’t a good idea to mix family or friendship with business. Personal differences and business differences can get in the way of relationships. I lost a very close friendship because of our differences and it was very hard for me to recover.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow a path similar to what you have?
I would suggest finding someone in the industry and following them around for a few weeks. I would also research copyrights in fashion, it is a tricky industry because it is so easy to get ripped off.
When do you feel the most inspired, alive and the most like YOU?
When I am writing or illustrating my designs, or painting. My true love is sitting peacefully in the sunshine, writing poetry and drawing clothing, being at peace with myself, calm serenity.
What people, books, music, etc. inspire you?
All of the women in the world, who have the courage to inspire other women, inspires me deeply. My favorite book right now is “The Success Principles” by Jack Canfield. The two people I am most inspired by right now are Olivia Keane from Oliviakeane.com and Alice Bracegirdle from Bellyfit.com They both represent empowerment, ambition, strength and love! I also love talking to them because I feel they understand what it is like to be a female entrepreneur!
Describe your favorite moment or accomplishment in your career so far.
To be completely honest my favorite moment so far was reaching sales records selling my first clothing brand on the Canadian Shopping Channel. We used to fly out to Ontario a few times a year and sell the collection; we had fun and sold great designs to other women. It was really quite amazing and empowering.
What’s the most exciting thing going on in your life right now?
I launched a new Rain Jacket contest last week and it is getting spread all over the internet right now. I have decided to go back into wholesale, selling to stores and I am really looking forward to having some of my classic designs across the country and other parts of the world soon! I am very happy I have been able to run a successful online retail clothing company too! I challenged myself through studying online marketing and I still find it exciting that it’s thriving and growing! You can find out more about my business here: http://mandalasky.com On a personal note, I am excited and proud to see my 20 year old daughter living on her own and my son in high school.
Sky Marcano, author of "My Accidental Education" and professional clothing designer and fashion illustrator, has been working in the industry for over eleven years. Her collection, Mandala Sky is manufactured in Vancouver BC, Canada. Mandala Sky Clothing is inspired by other women wanting comfortable, stylish clothing, so they can feel incredible all day! Some may call the line bohemian chic mixed with stylish limited edition prints crossing into fitness and lounge apparel. If you would like Sky’s free eBook about her business experience you can find it at http://skymarcano.com