Interview with entrepreneur Iris about her new T-shirt label Toushé
I met Iris Lodeweyckx at Girlsmode, a coworking space in Antwerp for ambitious women who like to work together with like-minded women. Iris has definitely an ambitious and entrepreneurial soul. One year ago she opened a pop-up concept store, named MOHM, where young entrepreneurs could show their talent. Now, Iris started her own T-shirt label, Toushé. The Ambitious Brune talked with Iris about entrepreneurship and Toushé.
Read here her interview!
Did you always want to become an entrepreneur or did the passion for it grow over the years?
Entrepreneurship has always been my passion. I love to learn, grow and make my own decisions. As an entrepreneur, you learn about so many things, from doing your own social media to networking, from sales to managing your administration. Of course, you can outsource all these things but it’s always better (and cheaper) to do this yourself in the beginning. As an entrepreneur, you also know you can really enjoy the benefits of all the hard work you do and this gives me so much energy. When two years ago I noticed how many people are starting up their own business, I decided to open a pop-up concept store together with my boyfriend. We wanted to give young entrepreneurs more visibility by offering them an offline selling point and by promoting them on social media. It was by this experience I really looked forward to starting up my own little brand. Owning an offline store eventually turned up not to be my thing, I realized I’d rather have my own brand to sell. So this was the actual start of Toushé. I started selling my t-shirts and sweaters in our store and happy as a clam, results were promising!
Where is Toushé standing for?
It’s actually about the French word ‘tous’ which means ‘everyone’. I’ve chosen a simple design and a simple product, but strong enough to reach a big audience. Everyone wears t-shirts, and a tee can be used in so many clothing styles and outfits. As I also focus on personalization, everyone can have their own story, I prefer to call it a story instead of just a quote or word, on a Toushé t-shirt. The next step is to reach men and kids, but first things first.
I prefer to call it a story instead of just a quote or word. It’s my goal to inspire and to pass on an interesting story.
How do you try to stand 0ut?
First of all, I know there are a lot of clothing labels, incl. t-shirt labels, out there. But I want to do more than just selling t-shirts. It’s my goal to inspire and to pass on an interesting story. This is why I focus on personalization. For example, I’ve been getting a lot of requests by entrepreneurs who want their own story on a Toushé t-shirt, something that identifies them. Social media plays a very important role here. Thanks to Instagram, I can share this story with others, and hopefully, give an inspiration. It’s so interesting to have a look behind the scenes of other entrepreneurs. Furthermore, the design is very clean and simple and therefore accessible. I always try to work with the same design so my style is recognizable. The flock material gives a nice special touch as well. I also try to differentiate by offering a personal approach and set up a fair selling price.
What is your next step and do you want to accomplish with Thoushé?
I like to take baby steps and currently, everything I do is based on my gut feeling. I want to think big but start small and I want to take as much time as I need. This is the reason I don’t have an online shop, at least not yet. I want to see if there is really a market for what I have to offer and check out how my target audience reacts. If all this turns out good, I can start investing in a beautiful online shop. I also want to start a valuable and inspiring blog where I can share all stories of the interesting people I meet. Of course, it would be fantastic to be able to sell my brand in other shops. Currently, you can find the Toushé label exclusively at SOM+ Antwerp in the Nationalestraat. So far so good so I’m really confident for my future plans. My goal is to keep growing en hopefully one day I can focus 100% on Toushé.
My ultimate dream?
My ultimate dream is to be able to put Toushé on the map and make it successful so I can share my experience and know-how with other starting entrepreneurs in the future.
Which advice do you want to give to startups?
I believe networking is my biggest advice. Try to get to know as many entrepreneurs and interesting people as possible. Talk to them and try to work together. You can learn so much by helping each other. If you have a good idea, share this with other people. This can be quite frightening because as an entrepreneur you are always putting yourself up vulnerable. But you’ll be amazed at how other people can help you by sharing their own experiences or ideas. Also very important, never let your guard down, even if things don’t go as good as you wanted them to be. We’ve all been there. If you believe in your concept or idea, keep going! If eventually, things don’t turn op as you’ve hoped for, at least you gained tons of experience and you learned so many things, which will be so useful for your next opportunity. Whatever you do, do it because it makes you happy.
Do you want your own story on a T-Shirt? Contact Iris via firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow her ambitious journey via Instagram @toushefitsall