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INTRO TMF pushed me to start my own lingerie brand

Laura Helbe

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Mar 18, 2018
5
24
18
24
Estonia, Tartu
Hi! I just finished The Millionaire Fastlane. And before I introduce myself I want to thank @MJDeMarco for putting in the effort and publishing the book. It is truly lifechanging. Thank you for changing my view on education and reading, thank you for sharing the truth that had to be told about finances and business and most of all - thank you for writing the most motivating and inspiring book I've ever read!

I'm a 23-year-old girl living in a small country named Estonia. I have a BSc in Computer Engineering and I currently work full-time as a Systems Analyst in a medium-sized IT company, but working on to quit and become an entrepreneur. On a daily basis I have been developing different systems for our national Tax and Customs board - import-, export-, transitsystems and more. I have no student loans (since college education in our country is funded by the government), no leases, no debt, no pets, no kids (and I've worked hard to not buy things I can't afford). I come from a poor family (single-mom working as a teacher) and as a teenager I swore to myself to get to the point in my life where I never have to worry about money and not being able to afford clothing or fresh produce (vegetables, greens..) again. BTW I hated my college time - although the education was free I was in a mental hell - cried each night, struggled with super-complicated algorithmic programming exercises and the constant HUGE amount of homework and group projects which just kept pouring in. When I graduated, I was relieved and the job I got was like a saviour that turned me semi-sane again.. but I soon realized that the salary I was given was mediocre compared to the emotinal and physical (gained 20 pounds) damage I got in the process of getting a degree. Anyhow.

I have a X amount of savings which half of them sits in several of my bank accounts as an emergency/savings funds and half of it in long-term index fonds due to my boyfriend who believes in a Slowlane and has pushed me to invest in those long-term funds ("save X amount of money for 20 years and get to the financial freedom"). I'm looking to change his mind about this (he's an extremely smart person and hasn't been exposed to the Fastlane idea yet, just like me before reading this book).

I found this book thanks to my colleague who's pretty much the only one at work who gets me and whom I feel I can truly trust. He recommended me to read this book, and I'm so grateful that I actually did. It changed my view on books entirely and I already invested into a Kindle which I can take where ever I want whenever I want and to constantly use my spare time to improve myself. And jokes on me, because after uni I felt like I was done with education forever and never wanted to learn anything new again.

My first entrepreneurial experience was in middle school where I joined with my best friend to a pyramid scheme (Avon cosmetics), well actually... legally it was her mother, but we sold a crap ton of cosmetic products to our friends and acquaintances and earned a very-very good amount of pocket money for the time. Unfortunately their family decided to move to another country and thus our roads departed. Few years later, before finising middle school me and 2 of my classmates were offered to create a student company (which technically is not a real company, but meant for students to learn new skills - google it). Unfortunately we couldn't come up with an "exceptional" idea and so we decided to create t-shirts with some "cool" slogans by using some stencils and spray paint. The execution of our idea was terrible and looking back I don't regret the experience but I do see how naiive and stupid we actually were. Of course our business failed miserably.

During my high school time my classmate invited me to join the school's newspaper group. I was like okay - well I might as well. And when I held the first 2 issues we as a team had put together in my hands, I was dissatisfied with the way it looked - it just wasn't pleasing to the eye, it was just a big mess. So I took the initiative and learned how to put the design together by myself. Hard work paid off and I got 3 national awards from the National School Media Competition. At that point in my life I knew I that design and computers were my passion.

Fast forward to the time in uni when I found a website for artists called Redbubble. I created a few designs for t-shirts, stickers etc. Most of them were texts with a few illustrating pictures which I could put together in less than 10 minutes and most of them were dedicated to the exploding vegan community. I uploaded the designs for others to buy my merch on the website. My proudest moment was when I saw a big (300k subscribers) influencer promote those stickers by putting them on her bike and other stuff. Since then I've passively received a small amounts of money onto my account monthly.

So if you've read so far, thank you! For some reason I feel like I shouldn't make my introduction any longer. :') I'm sorry, I just got a little carried away.
Anyhow, my idea to start my own brand came to me this Christmas when I was searching for an outfit for the company's yearly Christmas party. I was struggling to find cool lingerie/bodysuits that I could combine with my outfit. All of the lingerie models in stores were either black, white, nude or a few of them even red or extremely sexy and not suitable for a party. Nothing fun colorwise, or model wise - just basic, basic, basic. Alot of them didn't fit me or looked extra boring in color and design wise - no shiny/fun decorations, no nothing. And then I realised that there's an opportunity - to make better models that fit properly, to give a wider range of color options rather than just 3 basic colors, and overall to add extra glamour to the often very boring and always same-looking lingerie. Currently in my country (approx 1,3 mln people of which 800k women and of which 300k are in my target group), there are exactly 4 competitors in underwear production field and I feel like due to my computer skills I could grow my business to be international.

The first 2-3 months I kept this idea just between me and my boyfriend since I can't sew and I know nothing about lingerie/clothing making or marketing or selling or pretty much anything business-wise.
I then found the courage to explain this idea to my mom, and as a typical Sidewalker she said I'll never succeed due to my past student company that failed miserably. That threw me off for a good week and a half - I was devastated again - if my family doesn't believe in me, who will...?
But when my colleague recommended me to read this book, it really occured to me that I can make this happen - it isn't about what other people tell you can't do - it's about what you believe in and the action you take. I just have to learn a TON about lingerie model designing/sewing and everything else business related and most of all to push my boundaries and actually execute my plan. I know I can do better!

My ultimate goal is to launch my brand in the beginning of December of 2018 (it could be a little optimistic). Every free minute I have I'm now working towards my goal. I'm also looking forward to reducing my full-time job to a part-time job to focus more of my time to growing and building my own company.
My ultimate plan is to start as an online site and grow it to be the biggest and most well-known lingerie brand in Estonia.

If you have any recommendations to give, I'm open to anything! :) Thank you for reading this insanely long introduction - I appreciate it alot!
 

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MJ DeMarco

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Welcome Laura and thanks for the great intro!

I hear TMF has done quite well in Estonia ... is the entrepreneurial culture there growing?
 
OP
OP
Laura Helbe

Laura Helbe

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Mar 18, 2018
5
24
18
24
Estonia, Tartu
Welcome Laura and thanks for the great intro!

I hear TMF has done quite well in Estonia ... is the entrepreneurial culture there growing?
It is growing at insane speeds - everyone is launching new tech-related startups here. We (me and my bf) have been thinking about some other app or website ideas as well, but I never saw any potential in those ideas as the market is very saturated with technology startups right now. Our government has made it incredibly easy to start a business here, so you can pretty much sign up online today right now without even having any capital to begin with. There are a lot of events and courses available for startups and for the people who want to create a tech-related startup but have no ideas (a lot of them are for free).

We also have an e-Residency programme (Become an e-resident – e-Residency) in which you can become Estonian resident by signing up online. And once you have e-Residency, you can easily start a company here (and manage it online) just like us without actually living here.
 

Bhanu

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Hi Laura ,

Great writeup !!
I am in the same boat as you. Doing a job in an IT firm ,trying to escape the rat race forever.

First of all welcome to the forum .I am from India and was thinking about a business which can be done using Bamboo fabric .However currently I am busy with some other business . So I thought of sharing my idea with you (as you are also in doing something related to fabric).
Laura I think Bamboo fabric can be used to make undergarments .Bamboo fabric is an organic product and can be marketed as such. It is 100% natural ,no fertilizers,no plastic and extremely comfortable . Give it a thought once. I checked and I don't think anyone in Estonia providing clothes,innerwear made of Bamboo fabric.
All the best for your journey !!!
I hope to visit your beautiful country one day :)
Bhanu
 
Last edited:
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OP
Laura Helbe

Laura Helbe

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Mar 18, 2018
5
24
18
24
Estonia, Tartu
Hi Laura ,
Laura I think Bamboo fabric can be used to make undergarments .Bamboo fabric is an organic product and can be marketed as such. It is 100% natural ,no fertilizers,no plastic and extremely comfortable . Give it a thought once. I checked and I don't think anyone in Estonia providing clothes,innerwear made of Bamboo fabric.
All the best for your journey !!!
I hope to visit your beautiful country one day :)
Bhanu
Thanks! :) We actually have a lot of Indian lecturers here in our universities (in computer science field). I'll give it a though - definitely have to analyze it! It could turn out that importing this sort of a fabric can be a headache in our country. I'm also not sure yet how I could incorporate it with my idea, cause in my head I've always thought that bamboo fabric is somewhat similar to linen (which is super popular here). Is it? But I think no one's using bamboo fabric here - at least to my knowing... As I've actually never touched or seen the fabric myself.

The other thing is, underwear fabric has to be very specific - it needs to be right amount of stretchy (not overly stretchy and not too stff) at the back to provide comfort and right fitting, and stiff from the front to provide support. And what is more, the component materials such as linings and straps, wire channels and such have to have specific characteristic as well for a good durability and fit. I'm still very new to this, so I have to research it further for sure.

Thank you for your recommendation, will look into it! :)
 

MythOfSisyphus

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Jan 15, 2018
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Nice intro. I'm confused though... Are you creating lingerie or models?
 

MythOfSisyphus

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Oh.. I'm sorry, English is not my first language and I wrote it yesterday just before going to bed. :')
What I meant was creating lingerie and developing different models/cuts/patterns for that purpose.
That makes sense now. Good luck with it!
 

Mile

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Great intro. Cheers to Tartu.
 

Strm

Getting Unscripted so I can afford 100000 bunnies.
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Hello, fellow citizen!

Great intro and always great to read about successful future entrepreneurs from our lovely Estonia!

TMF is a true eye-opener. But in my opinion, Unscripted is even better and more straightforward.
MJ's books change the way we see the world of money, shopping and businesses and it is so cool! :)
It gives us an edge in life - but only if we decide to act and execute!
I truly hope you succeed with your ideas!

Good luck, Laura!
 

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ay47

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Mar 29, 2018
54
94
115
Hi! I just finished The Millionaire Fastlane. And before I introduce myself I want to thank @MJDeMarco for putting in the effort and publishing the book. It is truly lifechanging. Thank you for changing my view on education and reading, thank you for sharing the truth that had to be told about finances and business and most of all - thank you for writing the most motivating and inspiring book I've ever read!

I'm a 23-year-old girl living in a small country named Estonia. I have a BSc in Computer Engineering and I currently work full-time as a Systems Analyst in a medium-sized IT company, but working on to quit and become an entrepreneur. On a daily basis I have been developing different systems for our national Tax and Customs board - import-, export-, transitsystems and more. I have no student loans (since college education in our country is funded by the government), no leases, no debt, no pets, no kids (and I've worked hard to not buy things I can't afford). I come from a poor family (single-mom working as a teacher) and as a teenager I swore to myself to get to the point in my life where I never have to worry about money and not being able to afford clothing or fresh produce (vegetables, greens..) again. BTW I hated my college time - although the education was free I was in a mental hell - cried each night, struggled with super-complicated algorithmic programming exercises and the constant HUGE amount of homework and group projects which just kept pouring in. When I graduated, I was relieved and the job I got was like a saviour that turned me semi-sane again.. but I soon realized that the salary I was given was mediocre compared to the emotinal and physical (gained 20 pounds) damage I got in the process of getting a degree. Anyhow.

I have a X amount of savings which half of them sits in several of my bank accounts as an emergency/savings funds and half of it in long-term index fonds due to my boyfriend who believes in a Slowlane and has pushed me to invest in those long-term funds ("save X amount of money for 20 years and get to the financial freedom"). I'm looking to change his mind about this (he's an extremely smart person and hasn't been exposed to the Fastlane idea yet, just like me before reading this book).

I found this book thanks to my colleague who's pretty much the only one at work who gets me and whom I feel I can truly trust. He recommended me to read this book, and I'm so grateful that I actually did. It changed my view on books entirely and I already invested into a Kindle which I can take where ever I want whenever I want and to constantly use my spare time to improve myself. And jokes on me, because after uni I felt like I was done with education forever and never wanted to learn anything new again.

My first entrepreneurial experience was in middle school where I joined with my best friend to a pyramid scheme (Avon cosmetics), well actually... legally it was her mother, but we sold a crap ton of cosmetic products to our friends and acquaintances and earned a very-very good amount of pocket money for the time. Unfortunately their family decided to move to another country and thus our roads departed. Few years later, before finising middle school me and 2 of my classmates were offered to create a student company (which technically is not a real company, but meant for students to learn new skills - google it). Unfortunately we couldn't come up with an "exceptional" idea and so we decided to create t-shirts with some "cool" slogans by using some stencils and spray paint. The execution of our idea was terrible and looking back I don't regret the experience but I do see how naiive and stupid we actually were. Of course our business failed miserably.

During my high school time my classmate invited me to join the school's newspaper group. I was like okay - well I might as well. And when I held the first 2 issues we as a team had put together in my hands, I was dissatisfied with the way it looked - it just wasn't pleasing to the eye, it was just a big mess. So I took the initiative and learned how to put the design together by myself. Hard work paid off and I got 3 national awards from the National School Media Competition. At that point in my life I knew I that design and computers were my passion.

Fast forward to the time in uni when I found a website for artists called Redbubble. I created a few designs for t-shirts, stickers etc. Most of them were texts with a few illustrating pictures which I could put together in less than 10 minutes and most of them were dedicated to the exploding vegan community. I uploaded the designs for others to buy my merch on the website. My proudest moment was when I saw a big (300k subscribers) influencer promote those stickers by putting them on her bike and other stuff. Since then I've passively received a small amounts of money onto my account monthly.

So if you've read so far, thank you! For some reason I feel like I shouldn't make my introduction any longer. :') I'm sorry, I just got a little carried away.
Anyhow, my idea to start my own brand came to me this Christmas when I was searching for an outfit for the company's yearly Christmas party. I was struggling to find cool lingerie/bodysuits that I could combine with my outfit. All of the lingerie models in stores were either black, white, nude or a few of them even red or extremely sexy and not suitable for a party. Nothing fun colorwise, or model wise - just basic, basic, basic. Alot of them didn't fit me or looked extra boring in color and design wise - no shiny/fun decorations, no nothing. And then I realised that there's an opportunity - to make better models that fit properly, to give a wider range of color options rather than just 3 basic colors, and overall to add extra glamour to the often very boring and always same-looking lingerie. Currently in my country (approx 1,3 mln people of which 800k women and of which 300k are in my target group), there are exactly 4 competitors in underwear production field and I feel like due to my computer skills I could grow my business to be international.

The first 2-3 months I kept this idea just between me and my boyfriend since I can't sew and I know nothing about lingerie/clothing making or marketing or selling or pretty much anything business-wise.
I then found the courage to explain this idea to my mom, and as a typical Sidewalker she said I'll never succeed due to my past student company that failed miserably. That threw me off for a good week and a half - I was devastated again - if my family doesn't believe in me, who will...?
But when my colleague recommended me to read this book, it really occured to me that I can make this happen - it isn't about what other people tell you can't do - it's about what you believe in and the action you take. I just have to learn a TON about lingerie model designing/sewing and everything else business related and most of all to push my boundaries and actually execute my plan. I know I can do better!

My ultimate goal is to launch my brand in the beginning of December of 2018 (it could be a little optimistic). Every free minute I have I'm now working towards my goal. I'm also looking forward to reducing my full-time job to a part-time job to focus more of my time to growing and building my own company.
My ultimate plan is to start as an online site and grow it to be the biggest and most well-known lingerie brand in Estonia.

If you have any recommendations to give, I'm open to anything! :) Thank you for reading this insanely long introduction - I appreciate it alot!
I don’t think you have to learn and do everything yourself. There’s some avenues you can explore. I’m thinking of this as a product business.

First thing is to get a prototype made. You can explore a tailor / seamstress and explain to them what you need. Another avenue to get your prototype made is fashion design school students.

Next, time to test ur design by seeing if there’s a market. If you can get orders, then it’s about sourcing for a factory that can get your design made.

You could launch a lot faster than December 2018 :) if you leverage other pp’s knowledge.
 

NadiaZ

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Mar 27, 2018
39
51
112
23
Kansas City
Hi! I just finished The Millionaire Fastlane. And before I introduce myself I want to thank @MJDeMarco for putting in the effort and publishing the book. It is truly lifechanging. Thank you for changing my view on education and reading, thank you for sharing the truth that had to be told about finances and business and most of all - thank you for writing the most motivating and inspiring book I've ever read!

I'm a 23-year-old girl living in a small country named Estonia. I have a BSc in Computer Engineering and I currently work full-time as a Systems Analyst in a medium-sized IT company, but working on to quit and become an entrepreneur. On a daily basis I have been developing different systems for our national Tax and Customs board - import-, export-, transitsystems and more. I have no student loans (since college education in our country is funded by the government), no leases, no debt, no pets, no kids (and I've worked hard to not buy things I can't afford). I come from a poor family (single-mom working as a teacher) and as a teenager I swore to myself to get to the point in my life where I never have to worry about money and not being able to afford clothing or fresh produce (vegetables, greens..) again. BTW I hated my college time - although the education was free I was in a mental hell - cried each night, struggled with super-complicated algorithmic programming exercises and the constant HUGE amount of homework and group projects which just kept pouring in. When I graduated, I was relieved and the job I got was like a saviour that turned me semi-sane again.. but I soon realized that the salary I was given was mediocre compared to the emotinal and physical (gained 20 pounds) damage I got in the process of getting a degree. Anyhow.

I have a X amount of savings which half of them sits in several of my bank accounts as an emergency/savings funds and half of it in long-term index fonds due to my boyfriend who believes in a Slowlane and has pushed me to invest in those long-term funds ("save X amount of money for 20 years and get to the financial freedom"). I'm looking to change his mind about this (he's an extremely smart person and hasn't been exposed to the Fastlane idea yet, just like me before reading this book).

I found this book thanks to my colleague who's pretty much the only one at work who gets me and whom I feel I can truly trust. He recommended me to read this book, and I'm so grateful that I actually did. It changed my view on books entirely and I already invested into a Kindle which I can take where ever I want whenever I want and to constantly use my spare time to improve myself. And jokes on me, because after uni I felt like I was done with education forever and never wanted to learn anything new again.

My first entrepreneurial experience was in middle school where I joined with my best friend to a pyramid scheme (Avon cosmetics), well actually... legally it was her mother, but we sold a crap ton of cosmetic products to our friends and acquaintances and earned a very-very good amount of pocket money for the time. Unfortunately their family decided to move to another country and thus our roads departed. Few years later, before finising middle school me and 2 of my classmates were offered to create a student company (which technically is not a real company, but meant for students to learn new skills - google it). Unfortunately we couldn't come up with an "exceptional" idea and so we decided to create t-shirts with some "cool" slogans by using some stencils and spray paint. The execution of our idea was terrible and looking back I don't regret the experience but I do see how naiive and stupid we actually were. Of course our business failed miserably.

During my high school time my classmate invited me to join the school's newspaper group. I was like okay - well I might as well. And when I held the first 2 issues we as a team had put together in my hands, I was dissatisfied with the way it looked - it just wasn't pleasing to the eye, it was just a big mess. So I took the initiative and learned how to put the design together by myself. Hard work paid off and I got 3 national awards from the National School Media Competition. At that point in my life I knew I that design and computers were my passion.

Fast forward to the time in uni when I found a website for artists called Redbubble. I created a few designs for t-shirts, stickers etc. Most of them were texts with a few illustrating pictures which I could put together in less than 10 minutes and most of them were dedicated to the exploding vegan community. I uploaded the designs for others to buy my merch on the website. My proudest moment was when I saw a big (300k subscribers) influencer promote those stickers by putting them on her bike and other stuff. Since then I've passively received a small amounts of money onto my account monthly.

So if you've read so far, thank you! For some reason I feel like I shouldn't make my introduction any longer. :') I'm sorry, I just got a little carried away.
Anyhow, my idea to start my own brand came to me this Christmas when I was searching for an outfit for the company's yearly Christmas party. I was struggling to find cool lingerie/bodysuits that I could combine with my outfit. All of the lingerie models in stores were either black, white, nude or a few of them even red or extremely sexy and not suitable for a party. Nothing fun colorwise, or model wise - just basic, basic, basic. Alot of them didn't fit me or looked extra boring in color and design wise - no shiny/fun decorations, no nothing. And then I realised that there's an opportunity - to make better models that fit properly, to give a wider range of color options rather than just 3 basic colors, and overall to add extra glamour to the often very boring and always same-looking lingerie. Currently in my country (approx 1,3 mln people of which 800k women and of which 300k are in my target group), there are exactly 4 competitors in underwear production field and I feel like due to my computer skills I could grow my business to be international.

The first 2-3 months I kept this idea just between me and my boyfriend since I can't sew and I know nothing about lingerie/clothing making or marketing or selling or pretty much anything business-wise.
I then found the courage to explain this idea to my mom, and as a typical Sidewalker she said I'll never succeed due to my past student company that failed miserably. That threw me off for a good week and a half - I was devastated again - if my family doesn't believe in me, who will...?
But when my colleague recommended me to read this book, it really occured to me that I can make this happen - it isn't about what other people tell you can't do - it's about what you believe in and the action you take. I just have to learn a TON about lingerie model designing/sewing and everything else business related and most of all to push my boundaries and actually execute my plan. I know I can do better!

My ultimate goal is to launch my brand in the beginning of December of 2018 (it could be a little optimistic). Every free minute I have I'm now working towards my goal. I'm also looking forward to reducing my full-time job to a part-time job to focus more of my time to growing and building my own company.
My ultimate plan is to start as an online site and grow it to be the biggest and most well-known lingerie brand in Estonia.

If you have any recommendations to give, I'm open to anything! :) Thank you for reading this insanely long introduction - I appreciate it alot!
A lingerie business seems interesting :) I hope it does well. Keep us updated.
 

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