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.

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 you read this post, may be a sign that you still miss a few things.

While some of us still wonder where to begin, true entrepreneurs have already booked a flight to Asia to source the fabrics for the first season.

Dress life to the full

Enter Frances Jerard, whom I recently met. Frances’ energy is palpable and infectious. She is clearly a person who engages in what she does, and that was already a lot. If you listen to her rollercoaster life story as florist, flight attendant, mom, retailer, real estate developer, nurse or bed & breakfast host, you clearly see the entrepreneurship gene shining through. And you learn, that in all that steps there was one consistency: The desire to create and wear beautiful fashion designs.

In the early years it was only for herself, but when friends and strangers kept asking “who created those beautiful designs” she heard the entrepreneurship message. It was 2014 when she made her hobby a profession. It all started with a prince coming into her life, one of her many “dress life to the full” moments (which she shares in her wonderful entertaining Facebook storyboard)

Duke & Duchess of Cambridge William & Kate make and a classy fashion appearance. But Christchurch’s mayoress outshines both in a Frances Jerard design.

Just Do It: Frances Jerard in Berlin

8 years and many crazy stories later she lands her first pop-up store, in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin. What was meant to test the waters of retail life and customer interaction became a wonderful experience. It were only three months, but she won fans and customers from Germany, Israel, Denmark, The Netherlands, New York and more. Above all, she gained confidence that her designs find customers of all age. Her success was rewarded with an invitation to present her works at Berlin’s top retail address for creative designs: Hackesche Höfe. Since December, she has a studio in Hof VIII.

But before you think, “exceptional talent, no wonder it’s a success”, let me stop you right there. Yes, she has a unique creative handwriting in her designs, but to make that a commercial success is simplz the hard work of an entrepreneur. Family tragedies, two earthquakes, nothing of what she has achieved isn’t the result of hard work. It’s the “let’s eat the elephant slice by slice” attitude that got her where she is.

Frances Jerard Fashion Designs

The “I-can-do-everything-Frances, so-I-can-model-too”, here in one of her latest creations for Berlin (photo Martina Della Valle)

Getting her retail started is a perfect example of this trait, she embarked on the adventure and when obstacles presented themselves, like painting the store hours before opening, her “I will do” attitude took over. And when things were not perfect at opening, you heard her saying, “I will fix it”.

So, in case you are still busy reading up on the traits of successful entrepreneurs, stop, get out and just do it. Frances Jerard as designer and brand is still in the making, but her styles were seen at some of the world’s most renowned fashion shows: Because she simply did it, “dress life to the full”.

Frances Jerard Fashion

One of the signature pieces, from her 2017 Aspiring Designer collection for NYFW

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.

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 ways to stand out from the crowd, make sure to stop by in Frances Jerard’s Berlin store and experience the designer and her fashion for yourself. A “must see” shop in Berlin.

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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