Learnings from a True Entrepreneur: Frances Jerard

Have you ever wondered whether you have the entrepreneur gene and what it takes to build a brand? Multi-talented designer and Kiwi Frances Jerard built hers from scratch and shows it in her Berlin pop-up store.

Do I have what it takes?

Many of us, myself included, ask ourselves whether we have it in us to successfully start and grow a business. A ton of studies, guides and coaches are out there to help us find the answer. But the fact that we read this particular brand of self-diagnosis and tutorial is already a sign that we may not in fact have it.

While some of us continue to wonder whether we can make it and where to begin, true entrepreneurs have already bought their first house to flip or are on a flight to Asia to source the fabrics for next season’s hottest sh** (excuse my French) at the world’s main fashion shows in New Yorks, Paris or Beijing.

Dress life to the full

Enter Frances Jerard, a true entrepreneur whom I have recently had the privilege to meet at the opening of her pop up store in Berlin’s hip Prenzlauer Berg district.

Frances’ energy is palpable and infectious. She is clearly a person who loves what she does and puts all her energy into it – whether that’s as a flight attendant, a nurse, a bed & breakfast host, or as a fashion designer. Frances has always lived her life to the full and done things that she wanted to do. So much so, that her own lifestyle has provided the slogan for her namesake fashion brand, “live life to the full”.

(Photo: Christoph Berendes)

Just Do It: Frances Jerard pop-up store in Berlin

Her pop up store is a first attempt at jumping into the cold water of real life and customer interaction after famous designers and retail buyers alike gave raving feedback and clearly recognised the creative talent.

While some of you may think, “ah, another exceptional talent, no wonder it’s a success”, let me stop you right there. The brand is not a commercial success yet, this still has to be proven. What I want to highlight is France’s “let’s go” kind of attitude. If she is in the right mood, she will literally just go and (dare I say it) do it! She has this natural attitude to life that all true entrepreneurs have. It’s a “can do” and “let’s eat the elephant slice by slice” attitude that you can’t learn but either have in you or not.

Getting her pop-up store started was a perfect example of this trait. How often have you heard entrepreneurs say that, had they known in advance what would lie ahead, they would never have started. Frances, without any retail-knowledge of her own, simply embarked on the journey and took it one step at a time. And if obstacles presented themselves, like finishing painting the store just hours before opening, well, those obstacles are there to be jumped over. And if things are not perfect the first time around, it’s time to review and refine. So, in case you are still busy reading up on the traits of successful entrepreneurs, stop it now and get out there to do what you want to do, one step at a time.

Now this is not yet another brand trying to ride the D2C wave and sell some printed T-Shirts and Hoodies to hipsters. Frances Jerard is a designer who has shown her styles at some of the world’s most renowned fashion shows:

And if you look at the pieces, you will agree that they are clearly stand-out material. Perhaps not for everyone, and certainly not for anyone with a fear of standing out. But for those who are courageous, confident and not afraid of being visible, but thrive on being the centre of attention.

Frances Jerard pop-up Berlin designs

Frances Jerard pop-up Berlin designs

Some of Frances Jerard’s designs available at her Berlin pop-up store (Photos: Christoph Berendes)

If you are looking for that piece that will make you stand out from the crowd and make people ask “where did you get that?” make sure to stop by in Frances jerards’s Berlin pop-up store in Kollwitzstraße 53 and experience the designer and her brand for yourself.

And, since this is a brand experts blog, let me suggest two new retail KPI’s to track: “Flowers per square meter” and “vivid colours per square meter”. For both the following is true: the higher the number, the better.

With these – hopefully – inspiring thoughts and shopping ideas, I am off to a couple days of summer vacation – sending you all refreshing greetings and read you soon.


About the Author:

Christoph Berendes is a consultant in strategy development and process optimisation for fashion brands and retailers. He has more than 15 years of experience as a consultant, line manager in the sportswear industry and in e-commerce marketplace distribution. Read more of his work here or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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