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The Missing Piece: ‘BySethDowns’ and Starting Your Own Business

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at JMU chapter.

Have you ever wanted to start your own business but not had the time or the resources? Many of us have ideas for a new business venture; however, only a few actually make it happen. Starting a business does not have to be an overwhelming concept. After getting the chance to sit down and talk with the owner of a recently-established clothing company, I saw that what seemed like a difficult and grueling process was really just a collection of concepts supported and worked on by a few close friends.

I recently sat down with Seth Downs, the founder of BySethDowns*. I had the chance to learn a little more about what it takes to start and own a company when working alongside good friends. I am sharing Seth’s story to inspire those reading this article to pursue a business of their own. Let’s begin with the idea that started it all!

*Website and socials will be linked at the end of the article.

Idea & MAterials

The foundation plays a critical role in setting a company up for success; for Seth, it was the quality of the design and product he created. When asked how long he had spent coming up with the idea of his eye-catching spiderweb design, the answer was one day. However, the design that appears on the hoodies he sells today took over a year to achieve. Once the idea was formulated, Seth had to put a plan of action together – where and how was the design going to placed on the clothing?

Going back almost four years, Seth had already had experience in the clothing industry due to his hobby of vintage resale. He developed the eye to create trendy outfits out of just a few items from the thrift store and resell them for extra cash. When making the hoodies for BySethDowns, Seth took his passion for putting together outfits to another level by actually creating the clothes himself. Starting with only a used sewing machine and some plain black hoodies from the craft store, Seth taught himself how to sew and embroider the design onto the hoodies.

Plan Action
Determine the timeline of your business. Write down and incorporate any pre-existing skills when creating your product.
Put in the work and utilize your passions. Gather any materials needed and learn how to create the product you are selling.
Idea & Materials Takeaway

Maintaining & Promoting

Once Seth learned how to create the design through sewing, embroidering, and bleaching, his product was complete and ready to be sold. Despite being summed up into a three-step process, the total time to make one hoodie was around four hours. This is a considerable amount of time, especially when you already work over 50 hours a week! While Seth knew this was doable for the first month, he realized it was impractical and could limit his sales in the future. To maintain the rise of sales and his full-time job, Seth asked for help from a few close friends to achieve a more practical schedule for creating the hoodies. He emphasized bringing together people of passion to create a setting of shared benefits and ideas.

Part of maintaining a business is promoting the brand. Seth mentioned that he had already accumulated a decent following through his vintage resale Instagram page and considered converting it into his current company’s Instagram page. However, Seth wanted to take a more professional approach, which meant having exemplary photos, videos, and a webpage. Seth worked with some close friends who were already passionate about photography, videography, and graphic design to pursue a professional, quality showcase through social media. Seth mentioned multiple times throughout our interview that the key to promoting a product is the quality of the promotion. He references the idea that you produce the highest quality when you take passionate people and put them together.

Creating a Team
Understand which team members can promote and reach a different crowd with the product.
Consider which social media platforms you want to use when advertising your business.
Maintaining & Promoting Takeaway

Advice & Future

When one first gets the idea to start a business, they are expected to search the web for advice and tips. However, most of the information you read will consist of “Just do it” or “Create a plan,” providing vague and ultimately useless direction. Seth’s advice was more transparent; he added his unique perspective on what it truly takes to start a business.

Seth describes starting a company as a puzzle; there is not just one piece, but multiple. Everyone brings something unique to the puzzle, resulting in a diverse final product. Essentially, Seth implies that it takes multiple passionate people from different backgrounds to assemble a business. Seth mentions that while the business is under his name, it only exists because of a collection of people who are not only part of his team, but also purchase and wear his clothing. It takes a community to pursue a work of meaning and success!

“Everyone is a unique peice, and each piece leads to a giant puzzle.”

Seth Downs

Moving forward with the company, BySethDowns will release new seasonal lines, hire more team members, increase traction on their advertisements, and even more! Seth mentioned that setting achievable goals creates a business that can be maintained. Seeing the progress is only the beginning. Seth plans on expanding his company across the country within the next few years through better connections, an elevated media presence, and increased sales. Overall, Seth just wants to encourage a community of people who are passionate about what they do, hoping it will create a bigger impact in the world we know today.

Use what you want to gain from starting a business to explain what your product can offer to the community.
Once you start a business, create a schedule to stay up-to-date and on track. Do not spend too much time on any one particular thing.
Advice & Future Takeaway

Ways to Support Bysethdowns

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bysethdowns/ Email: sethdowns01@gmail.com
Website: https://www.bysethdowns.com/
Reaching Out
Hello, my name is Grace Campen and I am a junior at James Madison University. I am studying Sports and Recreation Management with a minor in Sports Communication, in hopes of pursuing a career in Sports Broadcasting. I enjoy writing about sports and explaining it in a way that makes sense to everyone!