In Conversation with Jordana Guimaraes of Fashinnovation
Describe your business in a few words?
Fashinnovation is a global multi-media platform & events, focused on sustainability & innovations in the fashion industry, to propel the industry forward in the most efficient way – with a focus on making fashion inclusive with both the entrepreneur and the end consumer, being a pivotal part of the conversation.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
My husband and I, after having two babies back to back, decided we wanted to make a life for ourselves and our family, but also wanted the work we do to create positive impact in the world, so that our girls (babies), have a beautiful world to continue in once we end this journey called life.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
For 16 years I dabbled in PR & Marketing for major brands including Nina Ricci, Porsche Design, Lanvin, etc. and also worked on emerging brands getting tied to philanthropy via events around the world. Prior to 16 years ago, straight out of high school, I found my passion for PR and Fashion after having worked multiple jobs in different industries. I believe that is the key to growth and success – trying a lot of different things until you learn what works for you.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
No. I always knew I wanted to make an impact. Therefore, entrepreneurship made sense to me once I thought about it, because with growing the right type of company you can employ others and give back to communities.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
When we first launched, we decided since we were taking a leap of faith into this entrepreneurial journey, that we had to reach out directly to the CEO’s and Founders that we wanted to have at our events as speakers. Therefore, we skipped the formality of reaching out to their assistants and secretaries, and went straight to the source. It worked very well and this is when we realized that entrepreneurs appreciate people with tenacity that go after what they want – because that is most likely how they got to where they are today as well.
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
The mistake I made is thinking that a good idea, on social media, would create millions of followers instantaneously. I didn’t realize how much work goes into creating social media presence. I learned that things that last and are done well, are done in no rush.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
The accomplishment I am most proud of – aside from my two babies of course – is believing in my dream of growing Fashinnovation and in only two years since launch, having already partnered and worked with organizations such as the United Nations Office for Partnerships, Oceana, Parsons School of Design… Having had 400 CEO’s and Founders/Leaders in fashion speak on the Fashinnovation platform… Having been recognized and featured in Forbes, Business Insider, Daily Mail, VOGUE (different countries), etc. It goes to show you that having a dream, no fear and going after it with everything you have, goes a long way!
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
The go-to interview question for me is always: “Why do you want to work for Fashinnovation?”. Reason this is so important to me, is that if someone is doing something for the wrong reasons, it will never work out. I have to see a light/fire in the person’s eye when speaking of why they want what they want, in order to really feel a connection.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
The Fashion Industry has been impacted greatly by the Covid 19 Pandemic. However, I feel a lot of the changes that have been made and continue to be made, is because the way it was in the past, was not good. We need to be more inclusive, sustainable, innovative… and Covid – when you look at the positive light of things – has forced us all and the industry to adopt it in ways which they haven’t in the past!
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
A LOT! Stay tuned as we have a lot of plans on a global scale to really propel the industry forward in a way in which we only heard but haven’t seen. It’s time for action and we are hoping to be a part of that action. February 11th, 2021 is the next digital “Worldwide Talks” – everyone is invited! The theme will be “Fashion Is NOW”
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
That having mentors is key! In life and business… Ask for help!
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
My babies, family and close friends. Also, the world (and everyone in it). I need to stay grounded because I need for those around me as well as those distant from me, to be okay…. I know I can make a difference in people’s lives – even if only with my ability to listen and empathize. We live in a world where we need each other! It’s no longer about “I” but rather about “we”. The world and me wanting it to be a better place for everyone in it is what grounds me.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
YES! However, it’s easier said than done! My best tip is: don’t try to be perfect. Just do your best! If you keep that in mind, you can do both. It will never be an equal balance and sometimes one will need more attention than the other … and that’s okay!
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
I am petrified of the dark and being very spiritual I believe in reincarnation and spirits sticking around from your ancestors to make sure you’re okay 🙂
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
Being an Entreprenista is being that woman that leads and sets by example… She’s the #badass that can do it all with a smile on her face.