Aneta Harris Built a Sustainable Clothing Line Around Her Photos of Farm Life
by Ana Gascon Ivey, giggs agency founder & freelance career coach
Aneta Harris took up photography as a hobby to fill a void in her life. Her images of farm life in Senoia, Georgia, just south of Atlanta, captured the beauty and simplicity of her rural surroundings.
Then one night in the middle of the night, she awoke with a vision of her photos on clothes. The next day she started sketching and researching how to make her vision come alive. She launched JackLeg Shop in 2017, a line of handmade, sustainable clothes with a hobo country edge. Here she shares her wit and wisdom for dreamers and solopreneurs.
giggs: Please share 5 tips for freelancers/small business owners who are just starting out.
1. Be careful who you take advice from. Very few people understand your vision.
2. Start where you are and use what you have.
3. Let your business grow organically.
4. Make small achievable daily goals. In other words, do one small thing every day to work towards your project and usually that one small thing will lead to an extremely productive day.
5. Don't compare yourself to anyone else. Learn from them instead.
giggs: What's the worst business advice someone has given you?
Aneta: To go on Shark Tank, haha!
giggs: How do you keep your business afloat?
Aneta: I don't allow myself to quit and I talk myself out of being scared of trying new designs and ideas. If you are scared, you won't make it as an entrepreneur.
giggs: How did you come up with your pricing structure?
Aneta: I figure out as best I can what my cost is and then I double it and add 1/4 to cover costs of doing shows, keep up with my website and rent at my shop.
giggs: How do you market your clothing line?
Aneta: I need to do better at marketing. Right now I just rely on myself and social media.
giggs: How do you deal with unhappy customers?
Aneta: I haven't dealt with many unhappy customers thank goodness, but I have had to replace 2 shirts that shredded due to me applying too much acid. They were happy with their replacements.
giggs: What does a typical work day look like for you?
Aneta: Haha, oh gosh I don't really have a typical work day, but I'll give it my best shot. Sometimes you'll find me at the well house behind my home, putting bleach on flannel shirts. Then I step all over them for great texture and then I hose them down and let them drip dry before taking them into my house to throw in the laundry. Or you can find me in my kitchen pinning patches and images of my photography to a Ruby Dress or a Daisy Duster.
A lot of days I drop off or pick up at my seamstress's house or I go to The Funky Shack in Tyrone, Georgia, to drop off new pieces or pick up all my inventory so I can head to a show. Everyday is a different task which is why it works for me.
giggs: What are the keys to success for your company?
Aneta: Educating my customer is probably my biggest key to success. Letting them know how many steps are involved and that each of my pieces has a heck of a lot of time, heart and soul poured into it.
giggs: What does your dream project look like?
Aneta: My dream project would be to get my hands on some mouth-watering fabrics where cost is not an issue. I'd love to add even more details to what I already do and not have to worry about how much the end result would cost my customer.
giggs: What do you do when you're not working?
Aneta: I hang out at home mostly, on my porch with my husband, dogs and chickens. I live in an old farmhouse on an old family farm with no reason to look for much else to do.
giggs: Anything you'd like to add?
Aneta: JackLeg comes straight from my soul. If it didn't I wouldn't have found myself sitting here answering these questions. And I really appreciate your interest!
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