Maristella Colombo is a fashion business coach/consultant for Ebooks4fashion.com, a fashion marketing platform that helps start or grow fashion product/service based businesses. She is also a jewelry designer for her brand Maiden-Art Jewelry, a personal shopper for MilanChicShoppingTour.com and a professor for several fashion academies in Milan, Italy. Her mission is to help and support fashion entrepreneurs to start, grow or consolidate their business in fashion.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business? Tell us about your business.
I have two businesses, Maiden-Art Jewelry and Ebooks4Fashion a fashion marketing platform that helps to start or grow your fashion business. I’m motivated and inspired by women. My mission is to help women feel sexy, strong and confident with my jewelry, as well as confident, independent and empowered to create the business they love in fashion.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
At the moment I’m giving away 2 FREE ebooks for fashionistas wanting to drive more sales to their businesses.
- How to Use Instagram Stories for Your Fashion Business
- How to Attract Your Right Dream Customer to Get More SALES in Your Fashion Business
I am an Italian designer who lives and works in Milan, where I graduated in Art Direction in Communication & Visual Design at The International College of Arts and Sciences. In 2003, I moved first to New York City then to London, where I got my Masters degree in Fashion Design at London Marangoni Fashion School. I got my diploma in Textile Design and in Fashion Business & Management.
For several years I lived in Milan, London and New York, where I was involved in the research and development of collections for the Brums line of Preca Brummel, the Boudicca womenswear collections (a London based brand) and for Susan Cianciolo, a New York based brand. For five years, I was a professor and lecturer of fashion design, fashion history and trend researcher at the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) in Milan and Turin. Afterwords, I founded the brand Maiden-Art fashion jewelry and accessories – made of Italian soul, but with an international spirit.
As a fashion designer, illustrator, artistic photographer and video artist, I presented my works in many exhibitions and international festivals such as:
- BJCEM Biennial of Young Artist of Europe and Mediterranean
- Artech Media Digital Art Festival in Spain
- AWW International Youth Salon in Alessandria of Egypt
- “Trophes des Createurs de Mode” at Cannes Festival’s palace in France, thanks to the sponsorship of Movin’up – GAI Association for Young Artist.
In 2011, I was nominated coordinator of the Department of the Young Designers of Assomoda and in 2012 I became a lecturer for the prestigious Accademia del Lusso Fashion School in Milan.
Where is your business based?
My businesses are based near Milano, Italy.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
I started my first business, Maiden-Art jewelry, ten years ago, when I was still a professor at various fashion schools in Milano, Italy. At the time, e-commerce was just starting to get popular. In order to get noticed in the fashion industry and from buyers, you had to take part in trade fairs and show your jewelry collection in showrooms, as well as work with agents. I tried everything possible and spent lots of time, effort, and money on promoting my products. I won many competitions and as a result was featured in the press and in magazines like Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and WWD, just to mention a few. But in order to get better results and create the relationship I wanted with my clients and potential customers, I decided to build an email list to nurture those relationships and stay in touch with everyone interested in my products. I saw that contacting people direct via email worked because I was able to create those deep relationships I wanted with my audience. So, I tried to move most of my jewelry business online.
Ebooks4fashion.com started as an idea and then a project in 2016. I only really started working on it in January 2017. I decided to create EBooksForFashion because I’ve been working in the fashion industry for more than ten years and I thought something was really missing. There is no one, clear fashion marketing platform to help fashion entrepreneurs run their business, whether it is a product based business or a service based business in fashion. When you run a business alone, sometimes it is really hard and you feel lonely, stressed and overwhelmed – it happened to me every single day for the past ten years while I ran my fashion business. So, I thought it would be beneficial to create a community in order to share our experiences, problems and celebrate our successes. Also, having a place like EBooksForFashion, you can find the best proven fashion marketing strategies or advice to implement in your fashion business.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
For both of my businesses, the best way has been to build an email list for current and potential customers, so I can show who I am and build a relationship with the people on that list.
What have been your biggest challenges so far? How did you overcome these challenges?
My challenges have been gaining trust from potential customers. The only way to overcome that challenge is to be consistent with my strategy and build a consistent relationship with my ‘ideal customer avatar’.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I always think the best has yet to come, and I always try to do something that scares me.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I’ve made many mistakes, had lots of problems and experienced failures, however, I’ve also solved them with effective and consistent strategies. I know it’s totally possible to live the life you want with your passion, whether it is a product-based fashion business or a service-based fashion business. It’s totally possible with a coach that can keep you accountable and give you the right strategy, already proven and tested.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
“Everything Is Figureoutable” – Marie Forleo.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Never underestimate your own power. You can do everything you want and achieve every kind of goal. You just need to plan ahead, be clear and take action.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
My favorite business tools and resources are all here: www.ebooks4fashion.com/tool
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
At the moment I’m taking B-School by Marie Forleo, so I’m kind of busy implementing everything I’m learning. But a book that really changed my life is “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth” by T. Harv Eker.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
At the moment, I’m learning how to implement webinars in my businesses.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
I want to achieve my first six-figures in sales within the next 9 months with my new business, ebooks4fashion.com.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Facebook Group www.facebook.com/group