Samanah Duran is a British fashion designer & successful businesswoman.
As company Founder, CEO & Creative Director of Critics Clothing, Samanah is setting a great example as an aspiring 21st century entrepreneur, for an audience of all ages. Her fierce emphasis on inspiring each individual to embrace their identity and to take pride in their individuality is perfectly presented in her vision for innovative clothing, which was revolutionized through the crafting of indulgent streetwear with the power to evoke self-expression.
Building on that inspiration as an extension of Critics Clothing, Samanah has now successfully launched #BEYOUROWN. #BEYOUROWN is the new platform brought to you by the most affluential, influential and entrepreneurial women of today. Already interviewing successful entrepreneurs of our modern day, Business, Music & Media, Science, Tech & Art and Sports.
What inspired you to start a business?
For me it was never about working for some one else. I wanted to build my own empire from young.I had experience working in the creative industry from a young age, doing modelling and presenting and it got really tiresome to be doing something just for the sake of earning money but not really truly being able to be myself and do what I really wanted to do. I used that platform and my network ranging from models, to photographers and key influencers that I had built up as a gate way entry to starting Critics Clothing. I took everything I knew about marketing and PR with me and began building Critics Clothing. I didn’t calculate any risk factors when I first started Critics Clothing because I really believed in just going out there and not taking no for an answer. People need to remember its easy to put a logo on a t-shirt, but to develop a brand takes a lot of time and a lot of effort, patience, tenacity and a lot of really going out there to get what you want.
What is the greatest challenge and the greatest reward in being your own boss?
I think for me, the most rewarding part is that fact that I believe in what I am doing and I get to be passionate about something I love doing. I am exactly what my brand stands for. You don’t really get that feeling when you are working for another company.
What motivational tips can you give to our members about goal setting and managing both successes and failures?
I would say that unfortunately we live in an era that theres a huge amount of pressure to appear to be succeeding, and sometimes we forget who we really are and what we are really standing for. People tend to forget that it is not always about the end goal, its about the journey in between. It is important to feel comfortable taking risks and leaping into the unknown, its also totally fine to fall flat on your face. We never know unless we try new things. I would advice people to set your own goals and understand that over a period of time they will change, thats cool also. But bear in mind that you shouldn’t ever pitch your success on someone else, you never know what trials and tribulations they have endured along the way.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a business owner?
I would say making that leap from start-up to being taken seriously as a contender. Critics Clothing is still relatively young and little under 4 years old. As any business owner will tell you, when times get difficult, it can be daunting to continue and it can suck the life out of you. You have to keep going, you have to stay passionate and remember exactly why you started. I take every challenge as a lesson to learn from, on both ends of the spectrum.
How have you benefited from mentoring or coaching?
When I first launched Critics Clothing, I didn’t have a great deal of support network around me and I really did struggle in the beginning to connect the dots. In time was introduced to some amazing people who really got what I was doing and was passionate about helping me build my business. I would suggest to any one who is building a business, that they need a mentor. When I reflect back, a lot of mistakes that I made could have been avoided and I would of wasted a lot less time had I of took on a mentor from day one. Having said that, who knows if that would of gotten me to where I am today. I am still making mistakes today, I am only human but they are great learning curves. Life loves throwing a curveball anyway!
What advice can you give about the benefits of networking?
Networking, if done in the right way is actually plays a very important key role in building long-term relationships over time.You ova not put yourself out there in order to get ahead, networking itself can potentially help you to grow and can assist you in getting you to where you need to be.
What are your tips for scaling a business and how do you plan for and manage growth?
I don’t really believe that there is a certain path or route to take, I think only you can make that judgement as a business owner. You really can never be too prepared for the outcome and life can throw you in all sorts of directions. All I can say is there is no right or wrong way, but only the way that makes the most sense to you. I never started with a business plan, I just knew I wanted to design and sell clothing that made people feel good when wearing them. You need to just trust yourself and what you are doing, if it feels right then go for it.
What does the future hold for you?
To be honest, Im really happy I didn’t know how Critics Clothing would of turned out. I am never one to be complacent, life can change in an instant. So for the moment I will continue to take risks and make spontaneous choices and work smart to accomplish the goals I have set out to achieve.
You have also recently launched #BEYOUROWN a platform for interviewing inspirational women, how did that come about?
#BEYOUROWN as a movement is about supporting women out there on a mission with a vision. I curated it to help inspire other young women out there and to offer advice and shed some insights on being an entrepreneur just from my own experiences and that of others. I think it is really important to give back and help others much as you can, so by getting other women in business on board to interview who are just as passionate about changing the way women in business think, I really feel it can really help this and the next generation of business savvy women out there.