Building A Sustainable Clothing Brand - My Journey - Three Months In
As part of our journey here at Dzihic, I have decided to start a new series of blogs. These blogs will be monthly and will detail the companies journey from my perspective. For those that don’t know, I’m Mev Dzihic. Founder and CEO of Dzihic. Although I don’t want to be the ‘face’ of the company as it were, because I want to build a brand that can stand on it’s own without me. I do want to share my journey. For a number of reasons really:
- I am an ordinary person. No special education, no special and powerful family and nothing that would give me a leg up compared to the ordinary man or woman on the street. So should Dzihic become even half successful, I love the idea that this story might inspire others to do what they feel is their passion.
- This series of blogs is for me as much as for anyone else. I realise that Dzihic might never become a household name. It might serve only a niche area of people and that is fine. Truly. But this series is for me to look back upon sometime in the future to remind myself where I started and to hopefully keep me grounded. I have a tendency to believe my own hype and often have to ‘check’ myself. So I’m hoping this series will aid me in that
- I don’t know how many people read my blog(s), at this point I can guarantee it is 0. But maybe in the future someone will read it, and hopefully through this blog and my subsequent blogs we will connect and they will feel as if they were part of the Dzihic family. That would be beautiful.
So these are the reasons I’m starting it. Now it’s time to start the journey.
In September 2020, I was working for an I.T channel company. We dealt with I.T partners and resellers. It was about two years prior to this I decided that one day I would own my own company, the idea of working for someone else for the rest of my life just wasn’t an idea I could live with. In August 2020, while on holiday, I actually decided to make a go of it. I was turning 28 that year and although there wasn’t a rush to start a business, I thought now was a good a time as any. So in September, I started, that’s right. Channel Metrics. I started a company called Channel Metrics.
The idea was simple, develop a platform that would compete against the established ‘partner portals’ in the channel world. The problem? I didn’t have money to develop the platform…
So I did the next best thing. I started a channel agency similar to the one I worked with. Now, I was aware there were risks to this. But against my better judgement I decided to plough on. I thought to myself, I’m not in business to steal clients or compete against my existing employer. The agency is a means to an end to start my technology company.
It would come as no surprise that a couple of weeks after I started Channel Metrics. It was quickly found out and I was promptly fired. Great…
After losing my job, I was fortunate enough to have a second job stacking selves at Tesco. It was a nights job and I would spend my shifts listening to ebooks daydreaming about the day I would own my own business. I couldn’t continue with Channel Metrics because of ‘contractual’ issues. But all I knew was I.T channel. So I was stuck. Until I made a decision. Life is hard and you’ll get knocked on your arse a lot. So I had to make sure that it wasn’t the first knock that kept me down.
So it was at this point I decided if I was going to make another go at this business thing, I would do it in something I loved and would make an impact. You see, Channel Metrics wasn’t something I particularly wanted. It was a means to an ends and that end was me having my own business. But I wanted to do something I truly loved, but what did I love? Well I knew I wanted something creative, a place where people could let loose their creative minds. But I also knew I wanted the business to make an impact in its own way. For me, that impact had to be somehow linked to global warming. And after a lot of thinking, unfortunately those ‘a-ha’ moments rarely, if at all, exist, I came to the idea of a sustainable clothing brand. A brand that focuses on using materials which are sustainable, biodegradable and generally environmental. From this I needed a name, and the creative in me came up with ‘Dzihic’, very original.
So in October I took the plunge, I designed my logo, found a sustainable and ethical clothing supplier in the UK and ordered my first set of t-shirts. I couldn’t tell you how happy I was.
In later October I started Dzihic, so November was my first full month. It was in this month I decided I needed to take professional images of my stock. Up until this point I had purchases mannequins and thought that my Samsung Galaxy phone would do. Unfortunately the great British outdoors doesn’t offer great light during the November month and my phone wasn’t able to deliver to crisp and clean photos I needed.
Well, not in my hands at least.
For Dzihic to be taken as a serious sustainable clothing brand and for us to start shifting our sustainably made clothes. I needed those professional taken product images and quickly. But there was another problem. I didn’t have what some might term a ‘models’ body. You see, product images are not there to just ‘show off’ the product. They are there to give consumers an idea of what they could look like and have something to aim for. Who has seen a model in a piece of clothing you’ve liked and thought, ‘wow I’d look sick in that’. So I wanted my products to do the same, but I wasn’t the guy to make that happen.
Fortunately I found two very nice people who would help me, shout out to Harry and Bethan. Not sure if you’ll ever read this but know I’m eternally grateful. With these two on-board and a photographer all prepped. I was well on my way to get some new product pictures.
Now, it isn’t farfetched to say that I thought with these new pictures, Dzihic would blow up and we’d become the number one sustainable clothing brand and that was it. Unfortunately my naivety got the better of me and when I uploaded those pictures… nothing. Nothing really changed traffic wise. But still, I did have some awesome new product pictures which I was proud of.
So now we’re in the current period. And I forgot to mention that in November I got another job, so I’m back up to two jobs at this point along with Dzihic. So in December I decided to make this a planning month. I want 2021 to be the year where Dzihic because known, somewhat, as a clothing brand and our commitment to sustainability becomes our bedrock. So to do this though, I need to plan.
I have come up with a social idea, a blogging schedule and everything. But unfortunately working two jobs leaves little time for me to focus on this. But because of the corona virus, it’s not like I’m going anywhere. I’m working with a small SEO team to build my organic traffic, as off today it averages 3-5 unique user per day, and I’m working on my PPC.
Although sales have been minimal and my enthusiasm has been tested. I feel good. I feel that Dzihic is my calling, you know when you want something so bad you feel as if you’re connected to it spiritually. That is what Dzihic is to me, every empty building I drive past I think to myself ‘when will I be able to move into there and use that as my hub?’. It is amazing to dream about the idea and one day, it is going to be phenomenal to actually live it.
We’re now coming up to the end of December, and I have omitted a lot of information for the purposes of condensing this blog. But know that we’re still going strong. I still believe we will be the number one sustainable clothing brand in the world. Our focus on sustainable clothing is putting us ahead of the curve and with hard work, determination and gratitude for every single person who buys from us, whether as a loyal customer or as a one off purchase.
So with this I will end this blog here. But for those who are interested in understanding more about my journey to starting Dzihic, you can read more on my blog titled “Dzihic.com – The Sustainable Brand”.
Thank you all!