There are many emotions that come with telling family and friends that you are starting a business. You feel a sense of pride for having the guts to give it a try, fear of failing and letting them down and an urgency to get things moving so you have something tangible to show.
Inevitably, the first question they ask is, “So, what are you calling this business?” We tell them the name and they say, “Brass? Brass. Why Brass?” Well, let us tell you!
Brass has 2 meanings. The first is a bit more obvious and helps tell our story. The second is more personal and we’ll share it with you today. We will keep it in our back pockets as we continue this journey, knowing it’s a part of the brand we’re building.
The first meaning of Brass is a reflection of the products we make and the customers we target. As you know from our introduction, Brass was born out of frustration. Jay and I were struggling to find quality garments. The styles we love – like those produced by designers as Theory, Vince and Tory Burch – were like gold. Beautiful, shiny and extremely desirable – but unrealistic. It’s hard for a 28 year old woman to fill her closet with $400 dresses. So we decided to fill the gap for women who want more than chincy fast fashion but don’t want to pay a premium for quality. Our dresses are being produced in the same factories as the world’s top designers, with the same attention to detail, quality, and craftsmanship. And we’re committed to offering our clothing at reasonable, attainable prices by cutting out the middleman and reducing markup. Therefore, we’re not gold and we’re not a designer label. We’re Brass.
The second significance of Brass is more personal to me and Jay. As mentioned, it’s not something we’ll be advertising to customers, but rather let it serve as a reminder of how we want to run our business. There is an uncommonly used definition of Brass meaning “bold, self confident or brazen.” Jay and I are known to speak our minds and stand up for what we believe in. We consider it a sign of good character to be vocal and appreciate a person who can “tell us how it is.” Even if it means putting your foot in your mouth sometimes. We have incorporated this philosophy – to be straightforward and confident with our decisions – into our business. We hope it will make us better business partners, marketers, manufacturers and leaders.
What are some of the values your company is based on? What do you think makes a good business leader?