What You Have to Do When Starting a New Business
What You Have to Do When Starting a New Business
  • Kim Jin-woo CEO of Ber-te
  • 승인 2017.10.11 01:06
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'Liberty of human behavior makes beauty more beautiful'.
This short philosophy was a motto for Ber-te and has improved the brand. Reflecting the brand Ber-te, I hope that gaining business foundation experience in various fields helps you to establish your own business.
Since my childhood, I had a lot of interest in fashion, unlike friends of mine. However, my parents, who made clothes in a factory, knew that it is difficult to design your own clothes and sell it to customers, so they disagreed about my vision and prevented me from making clothes. They said, “there is nothing you can do only with will.” However, I never wanted to give up. My aspiration of coming up to Seoul helped me overcome the hardship of my school years. Even though I did not attend a private school or had any expertise about clothes, I really wanted to make and sell my clothes to customers. Sarcastic and cynical look from people around me made me strong against any upcoming hardships.
After being discharged from military service, at age 22, I did part-time jobs for three months and earned 3,000,000 KRW. Then I blindly came up to Seoul thinking about finding a fashion design job. However, work could not be easily found, and my bank balance was getting so low that I could not pay my monthly rent, postage and living expenses. Therefore I did manual labor. Three months later, there was one man who was surviving day after day by doing only physical labor. I questioned myself. “What am I doing?”, “Why am I here?” I reminded my first thought. 'Liberty of human behavior makes beauty more beautiful'. Yes, it was the motto that helped me survive through this trouble. Keeping the motto in mind, I tried to get design work more actively than before and had several interviews in companies. After some time, I luckily got a new job with an online brand designer. This was the first design opportunity I got in my life.
At first, I faithfully followed the company’s instructions. I thought I was happy because I did work that I wanted. However, it was not. Instructions that the company gave me were not actually related to design creative clothes or branding. I was only one of the common components in the company. I realized I should study by myself through field studies. From that moment, I started to visit various sites instead of sitting on a chair. First, I visited the shopping district in Dongdaemun searching for various fabrics. I directly watched and touched fabrics and felt textures and roughness. Second, I went to various clothes factories. There, I could learn about production and the manufacturing process. Through these activities, I got ‘insight’ to choose the best fabric for clothes. Furthermore, I understood the distribution system in the fashion industry and knew more about clothes and fabrics. I thought it was time to materialize my vision. Specifically, I wanted to make a brand, set a concept, design clothes that fit my concept, and sell my products to many customers. Accordingly, I quit my job, raised money to start my own company for a year, and finally launched the brand Ber-te. Now Ber-te makes casual suits more friendly and comfortable, so that customers can easily wear formal suits.
I am stubborn. I always keep in mind ‘I can do it’, ‘never give up’, ‘no excuse’, ‘friendly with clothes’, or ‘research for all of clothes in the world’. However, a strict mindset is not enough. I assume the responsibility to insist. I’m still going to a part-time job at dawn. In the daytime, I design new products and promote our clothes to customers. Perhaps there are still more hardships I might undergo, even more than I have already experienced. However, I do not regret my decision. I was a total newbie in this field, but I made it. You, who learn your own expertise systematically have a lot more potential and a brighter future than me. Do not be afraid of your dreams. Do not be afraid of failing. The world is exactly the same as what you think about it. If you regard the world as difficult, the world surrounding you becomes difficult. I am not seeing the world as an optimistic. Of course we should face the world realistically. What I am really concerned about is being overwhelmed by the world, and then forgetting what you really want to do.
When I found my business, what I most regretted was how I learned. If I learned about clothes more systematically, if I planned a schedule for studying, I could have reached my dream faster. If you choose your field, it is desirable to plan what you are going to learn. Differentiate between knowledge that you do not know and that you know. Ask yourself that whether certain knowledge is more helpful to you or not. A well-planned curriculum combined with practice makes study more effective.
Ber-te is going to participate in the Hong Kong Fashion Week and the New York Collection in the future. In these events, Ber-te will advertise its name based on the thought that clothes, one of the major desires human being have must prepare cushiness to assure liberty of human behavior. This thought is a modified version of the philosophy 'Liberty of human behavior makes beauty more beautiful.”
The important point of this article is to challenge yourself now. Though you may think that you might not be ready yet, do not hesitate. By directly experiencing and challenging yourself over and over, you can be much better than before, and ultimately can be an expert in your field. I look forward to meet pioneers who challenge themselves in his or her own field with a vison inspired by my writing.