Fashion Designer Tricia Steffes of Lee’s Summit, Missouri has an existing clothing line for tall women called Elevate. When her toddler, Allie, gravitated toward boys’ clothes because the rest was too girly, Tricia redirected her attention to clothes for spirited girls. “Allie likes super heroes and athletics, but there wasn’t a style that fit the more spirited girl; a cross between tomboy, girly with a little bit of spirit and fire,” explains Tricia. After one year of design and development, Crossing Arrows was launched.
With her new clothing line ready to market, Tricia faced the challenge of growing organically with a low amount of capital. Building a following, developing a brand, driving traffic and reaching out to the parenting community took a tremendous amount of time. Social media and blogging were a big part of the process. “Our target is parents, grandparents and children of spirited girls so I cover stories on the victories and struggles of parenting.” She is also developing short, inspirational videos that encourage young girls to be courageous and fearless.
Having worked previously in finance, Tricia took a calculated, low-risk approach with her women’s clothing line. The process was a little different with Crossing Arrows. “I didn’t take enough risks or wander too far out of my comfort zone previously, so it was tough to overcome my perfectionist side.” With support, friendship and guidance from the Kansas City entrepreneurial community and 1 Million Cups, doors and opportunities became available. “Acquiring resources is more important than growing a following,” she advises. “Meet influential people and connect with those who know.”
Despite the risks, she has learned that risk-taking and getting out of your comfort zone allows for growth. She’s also pleased to support child advocacy through her business. As her Crossing Arrows clothing line grows, Tricia will introduce a spirited clothing line for Autistic children.
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Post provided by Kris Edens, a copywriting and blogging resource for small business. She resides in Festus, Missouri and enjoys networking, writing and the entrepreneurial community.