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Entrepreneur of the Week – Nillie Palacios

Entrepreneur of the Week – Nillie Palacios

Nillie Palacios has come back stronger than ever with the launch of her new book. “Fashion with Passion”. This gorgeous Venezuelan lady, is well known for her fashion creations on the latin salsa dance scene where dancers have probably been flaunting their moves in  many of her creations. Her brand,  Nila Palacios Fashion,  is more than that, we remember the lovely ready to wear latin inspired evening gowns and cocktail dresses in luxurious silks that were absolutely delectable which were custom made or ready to wear that were sold online and will continue to be sold online moving forward. The brand Nila Palacios Fashion was also creating designs for the curvier women.  After a short hiatus, with Nila travelling to and fro Singapore to explore the market down south and being with her other half, new ventures have popped up starting with her book and we eagerly hear her story which we have shared below.

  1. Please update us on your the recent development for you and Nila Palacios fashion?

 Nila Palacios Latin Fashion has been going through some changes over the past few months; we have been re-structuring our brand and designing new products. We are focusing more on ‘curvaceous’ women than before as the market is increasingly demanding beautiful dresses in bigger sizes, so we decided to focus more on recent trends. As readers will discover from my book, it is imperative to remain relevant and respond to market demands.

 

  1. How did you come about to write ‘Fashion with Passion’? What inspired you?

 After so many trials and tribulations I went through whilst setting up my brand, managing it and keeping it successful, I decided that nobody should go through the same sleepless nights – at least without some foresight through which to prepare themselves. I have been witness to so many young and talented fashion designers being swept away either by their competition or through lack of preparation and a solid business case. I decided to contribute to the new generation of upcoming designers (and other entrepreneurs) by writing a book that would serve as an aid to helping them to succeed where others have failed.

 nilabook

  1. What motivated you to write this book?

 The desire to helping others and give something back to community. The fact that there was no ‘easy to find’ reference for me when I was starting out, coupled with the change in technology that in 2014 you can much more readily search and find new materials and books and buy online – now was the right time for me to write it.

 

  1. What do you plan to do with publishing this book? What do you hope to achieve with this book?

 Good question, and one I did not consider when I started writing it – Actually my biggest goal with this book is to become an approachable authority in the world of fashion, not just through my unique designs but also with the advice I can give to new designers so they can go find the right path for them without pitfalls or unnecessary distraction, and to help them reach their goals sooner. There will be more books to follow and I plan to lecture student groups on these and other aspects of starting and managing your own business.

 nila book

  1. What inspires you daily in doing what you do?

 The knowledge that I will make a change in women’s lives either by helping them to regain their confidence or supporting them to achieve their goals so they can be happier ‘within their own skin’, my purpose in life is to inspire others through my designs. I also love the design process itself – creativity stimulates the mind and seeing a pre-designed sketch turn into a physical dress truly inspires me.

  1. What was your marketing strategy when you started, and how have things changed with new competition and what are your current strategies?

I used various kinds of strategy – some that demanded investment and others that were free. My approach was not really conventional, and I urge my readers to continue to think out of the box and follow social networking trends.

 

I used Facebook™ campaigns, word of mouth marketing and networking with other entrepreneurs. I hosted fashion shows, took part in road shows, sponsored dance festivals and advertising with magazines and newspapers. As a fashion designer, my biggest marketing tool is ‘me, myself and I’ – I only wear my own designs when I am out and about. Obviously the type of clothes you wear depends on the type of event you are attending, but within my industry it is important to personally market and thus endorse your own designs.

 

When I started my brand, I did it to meet the requirements of friends and colleagues – it was a basic market demand. As a niche product I shaped the basis of my designs to be unique – clothes for curvaceous women that are based on the flow of Latin inspired music and rhythm. I fuse South American styles (based on Latin American music, such as Flamenco, Tango and Salsa) and blend them with Asian themes. The majority of my ‘competitors’ (being a niche product I do not have many) are based overseas; however, they tend to only sell dancewear clothes whilst at Nila Palacios Latin Fashion we sell Latin inspired clothes that can be worn every day and for any occasion, including dancewear of course.

 

New strategies include selling through Online Clothing stores located in the region (but selling worldwide) and also through my brand new online shop ‘VivaPalacios.com’ – having Online outlets is vital to sustaining growth – being able to offer local as well as worldwide distribution is key. We will still sell custom designed clothes locally to hotels and restaurants and our range of designs through our own fashion shows for potential buyers and clients. Using online tools such as Google Analytics™ is something that helps me greatly.

 

  1. How’s your daily life as an entrepreneur now? What about your fashion brand, Nila Palacios? What are your future plans?

My daily life goes easy and happy I try to keep calm even in very stressful situation, I am always meeting clients or talking to them on the phone, I am always thinking of my next step and what is the best for my brand and how I can get it to the next level. My immediate plans are to re-launch my brand with the launching of my book and the VivaPalacios.com online shop, so I am working towards that at the moment.

  1. What are some of the mistakes that you have learnt from going online as a fashion entrepreneur since you have started selling online before?

Three mistakes that are costly and every entrepreneur should be aware of include (1) choosing the right web site designer. In the past few years I changed website 5 times and that was very costly; (2) the second mistake was not setting up a proper online shop sooner and marketing it to drive buyers to my website and (3) not doing enough market research early on in my website design to check out what other online designers are doing. Not that you should copy or blindly follow other methodologies – you have to stand out from the crowd – but  you need to consider your options, and the best way to do that is through research.

 

  1. Could you share us a bit about your toughest moment of being an online entrepreneur, and what’s your secret key to face the tough times?

One of my toughest moments was investing (and subsequently losing) a large amount of money to some con-artists in Singapore; they promised to raise my brand to a much higher level within three years, but all they did was to take the money and run. They were successfully prosecuted but the money was gone. From that experience I learnt two things – never to give all your money upfront and always be cautious with people who promise too much. Never stretch yourself beyond your means – if you can’t afford to lose something, look at alternative options.

 

What is my secret key? When facing the toughest moments, look in the mirror and trust in yourself – and smile. Even though things may not be going the way you want, there is always a reason for this, either for you to become stronger or for you to learn. The other secret of mine is remembering a quote by Winston Churchill, where he said “never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy”. Everyone should have some kind of personal mantra to standby.

 

  1. What is your most rewarding part as an online entrepreneur?

To see the daily number visitors to your web site, to see where they are from and to see your sales increasing day by day. Also, when you search online for your name and everything you have achieved is there for the world to see.

 

  1. What would be your advice for our aspiring entrepreneurs?

 Whatever you are doing, enjoy it and do it with love and passion. Be mindful of what it is that is needed in the market – be relevant, be genuine, be kind – how can you succeed and enrich the lives of others? Success is measured not only by money.

  1. Please state your own inspirational quote to inspire Malaysian young entrepreneurs!

 

“WORK WITH PASSION, NEVER GIVE UP AND WHATEVER YOU DO, ALWAYS DO IT WITH OTHERS IN MIND”

 

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