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The Hidden Story Behind the Bammies Brand

September 28
by
Julia Carther
in
#HalfTheStory
with
.

Entrepreneurship is trending these days. In our post-Zuckerberg, Unicorn-abundant world, starting one’s own business to pursue our passions feels de rigueur.


In this world, authenticity drives (and sometimes trumps) aspiration, personal and business branding aren’t mutually exclusive, and community comes before corporate culture.

And the umbrella under which all these truths can exist? Entrepreneurship.

People perceive entrepreneurship as liberation from a constrictive 9-to-5 or a way to express one’s creative self. As a freshly minted entrepreneur, I agree that entrepreneurship can, in fact, serve this purpose.

For me and my business partner Rosario Chozas, our entrepreneurial umbrella is Bammies, a fashion brand that elevates the style of comfort in order to: 1) Minimize decision fatigue for women who need to quickly and aptly dress for various appointments in one day; and 2) Help women use fashion to feel comfortable in their own skin.

Hands down, this is my dream job.

But, like anything, there’s a reality behind the entrepreneurial dream. We learn what we know and think we understand of the entrepreneurial experience via the stories we absorb from various channels, both on and offline- social media, word of mouth, and more.

A brand story (and by extension, the story of its founders or team) exists across all platforms: in the media, on its website, mobile ads, and more. Much like your friend’s FOMO-inducing, highly filtered Instagram feed, a brand story is controlled.

Usually most of what you see, even the #BTS stuff, are the highs. Or even the mediums that we rework to look like highs. You know, the wins, the successes, the media applause, public acceptance, and the like. (The media also like to make spectacle of a brand’s lows, too, if they’re available.)

After all, drama sells, positive public opinion is paramount, and by motivating viewers to live in comparison, a brand creates conversions.

And so we absorb stories about entrepreneurs that go a little something like this:

  • They’re doing something they love
  • They don’t have to go to an office
  • They don’t have set timelines
  • They can wear whatever they want
  • They don’t have to deal with a bad boss or nasty coworkers
  • They are important
  • Freedom
  • Success
  • Easy
  • Money. Lots of it. (Or at least more than you’re currently making.)

Don’t get me wrong, many of these are part of the actual experience and can be pretty freaking awesome.

But let’s get real.

In entrepreneurship, the “office” becomes a coffee shop, co-working space, or expertly appointed apartment. Timelines still very much exist. You either have to set them yourselves (hello, self-discipline!), or they are dictated by your clients, customers or partners. And you’ve traded in one responsibility for another (albeit one that’s more aligned with who you truly are, but it’s still responsibility).

Obviously we enjoy the “wear whatever you want” aspect, but we’ve also deliberately created a clothing line that allows women to dress stylishly, comfortably, and easily for professional appointments and beyond, whether you work from home or not.

Because we’re in the business of helping women develop a personal style that makes them feel comfortable, we try to be as transparent about our process as possible. Here are parts of our story that can’t always be captured on our Instagram feed:

  • Caring so hard about your business, customer or passion that nothing else matters.
  • The consistent internal conflict between the pressure to succeed as defined by others versus succeeding on your own terms.
  • Having to manage triage with no guidelines. Getting a business off the ground is much like running a popular ER in downtown Chicago on Thanksgiving. When you’re a first-year. And there’s no Chief Resident: You’ve got limited resources. You don’t know what problem to address first. You feel as if someone else will know how to handle the situation better than you, but they’re not in the trenches with you. Sure, you can have a mentor or advisor to help guide, you but their experience will never be EXACTLY the same situation as what you’re going through. What you have to navigate is never the same day in and day out. So you throw on the gloves and dive in with the solid knowledge that you have and figure it out as you go, much like those who came before you did.
  • Self doubt.
  • A continuous cycle of expansion and contraction, on both personal and business levels. (And that ish is exhausting.)
  • Pivoting. Pivoting. Pivoting.
  • Trust. Trust that it’s all going to work out.

About Julia Ford-Carther

Julia Ford-Carther, along with Rosario Chozas, co-founded Bammies [business + jammies], a contemporary women’s fashion brand dedicated to elevating comfort and empowering women through style. Prior to Bammies, Julia spent 10 years in media, utilizing her editorial experience and Communications degree from Stanford University to create lifestyle content for brands and publications such as Allure magazine, Ocean Drive magazine, Huffington Post, Lacoste, NBC, Shop Spring, W Hotels, and more. She has been featured in various outlets including Ebony magazine, Mashable, Racked Miami, Fast Company’s CoDesign, Entrepreneur, and Fox & Friends. For more from Bammies, visit www.bammies.life or follow @bammies.life on Instagram.

 

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