New gen bosses is a new series created to guide and inspire more people to go out there on their own, either as new business founders or freelancers. And what better way to do that than to ask the ones that already succeed at it? We want to know about big fuck-ups and even bigger successes, and the risky decisions they had to make along the way. We want to be the last little push you needed.
Job title: Co-founder and creative director
Company founder or freelancer: Founder
Company name: Hunza G
How long have you been doing it: 5 years
What pushed you to start on your own?
I thought it was a great concept and was worried if I didn’t do it, someone else would. It’s much easier to push yourself to start something on your own if you really believe in it. I sort of 100% just thought this is a great idea… even if it hadn’t worked I wouldn’t have regretted it or thought I had been wrong to try and make it happen.
What was the very first thing you needed to do to set everything up?
Register the name and buy the domain Hunza G.
What was the riskiest decision you had to take?
How much money to invest in the production—a chicken and egg situation. If you don’t have enough fabric then you can’t fulfil people’s orders, but you also don’t want to buy tonnes and be left with too much. I have seen many friends’ companies go under because of bad luck when it comes to taking the risk of where, what and how much to invest in different aspects of a business.
What was a skill you didn’t foresee needing that you had to learn?
Being a boss and being good at managing people. I really enjoy people, I am not a difficult person to work for but being a boss actually requires a different set of skills. It requires patience, diplomacy, encouragement, even when most frustrated… it’s been really eye-opening.
Everywhere around us, new gens are founding businesses and redefining their careers. New gen bosses is here to inspire those who might want to do the same, this time with extra tips, some lols from those who have been there, done that, and £20 in your new ANNA business account if you dare to take the leap.
At what moment did you realise that this was going to work out?
I actually went into it really believing in it, in quite a strange way, as I am slightly pessimistic in general. But I guess when we got some big stores and I started to go on holiday and see random people wearing Hunza G on the beach.
What did you spend your money on?
A good team of people being paid enough—no interning or minimum wage—I just don’t believe it incentivises people and creates a good vibe.
What was your biggest fuck up?
A couple of people I employed when I had no experience in hiring people. I didn’t interview people properly and just sort of took lucky gambles—some worked, some didn’t.
What was your biggest success?
Instagram! The outreach it gave us to different countries, people, ages—it’s so accessible for everyone and it’s free!
What do you know now that you didn’t know then?
That often, people aren’t either good or bad at things, they need the right encouragement and mentor in order to get the best out of them.
What are three tips you would give someone who wants to start on their own?
One: Speak to people and get lots of advice—don’t take it all as gospel—but equally don’t sit in silence thinking you should just do it all on your own or that someone might steal your idea. I got some of the best advice from people who had started brands recently, years ago, in different countries etc…
Two: Don’t spend lots of money before you have made any, you can do things in stages, like soft launch something and work out what you would change before having spent a tonne on branding you don’t like, colours people don’t buy etc…
Three: Accept that you need to just focus on work for a couple of years and less on the socialising and partying!
Feel like you would have never hired the wrong person? There’s only one way to find out. Take the leap, open an ANNA business card completely free of charge for the first 3 months and get £20 in it, too.
Want to discuss taking the leap with other new gens? You’re in luck! We’ve created New Gen Bosses, a Facebook group to continue and expand the conversation started through this new series.