Godspeed: Young entrepreneur is making his mark in fashion
There is a prominent struggle for Millennials to climb the corporate ladder because Baby Boomers are not retiring as early as expected. This is the reason as to why young people like Dylan Patros have to come up with innovative and creative methods to take their ambitions and turn them into businesses.
Patros is a 21-year-old entrepreneur who recently launched his own fashion line, Godspeed in November 2017. He has a social service worker diploma from Seneca College and expressed an interest in continuing his education at Seneca in liberal arts in order to become a teacher. “I soon dropped my liberal arts program because the thought of always working under someone and doing the same thing freaked me out,” Patros says. He says being his own boss makes him feel more comfortable in having the freedom to take an adventurous approach to his designs.
Patros says the inspiration to create his own line stemmed from his frustration with mainstream retail stores selling clothing at expensive prices for poor quality. “I wanted to start my own thing to combat the pricey stores. I did that by making clothes more affordable that still look nice,” Patros says. “I’m very picky with my designs and the actual quality of the clothing so if I’m not 100 per cent about something, I won’t sell it.”
The Godspeed brand is also influenced largely by Patros’ celebrity fashion icons. He says Tom Ford is the main designer that inspires his brand. “Anything that man touches turns into gold. He built a fashion empire and when people think ‘fashion’ they think of him.” Patros says. Jerry Lorenzo, creator of Fear of God is another entrepreneur Patros looks up to. “He has a huge streetwear brand that people like Justin Bieber, Jared Leto and Beyoncé wear,” Patros says. He is also motivated by Zayn Malik’s style and refers to it as a “zero cares given” choice of clothing. “He just doesn’t care – He dyed his beard blonde last week. When I dress myself in adventurous clothes that maybe not a lot of people would like, I always say ‘if Zayn can wear it, so can I,’” Patros says.
Patros underestimated the intensity of starting his own line when he initially decided to take it on. “It has been one long uphill battle. It’s very hard but it keeps things interesting and there’s never a dull moment. It’s cheesy to say but nothing in life comes easy,” Patros says. “Even though it’s hard, I’m so glad I chose to pursue it because I genuinely enjoy what I do.”
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Ironically, Patros says that although we are living in the technological era, it is technology itself that is the main challenge of being a young entrepreneur. He says that while social media is a helpful platform that showcases entrepreneurs’ products, it also makes it that much more difficult when you are competing with a world of different brands.
“If you don’t use social media properly, you can easily be forgotten about. It all comes down to branding – yeah it’s cool to have your own website and have it look awesome, but everybody is on Instagram and Facebook now, so chances are your customers are looking at your social media to shop and not your website,” Patros says. “So, if your Instagram isn’t aesthetically pleasing enough or if the followers-to-following ratio isn’t good, then that’ll turn people away from checking your brand out.”
Entrepreneurs must ensure that their business mandate and brand is always promised to their clients. Nicole Pollock and Jorie Brown, co-founders of Cotton Candy Event Staffing talk about their experience with starting their own business at a young age. “When it comes to branding, it is all about selling an experience for us,” Pollock says. “Brands change over time so you must learn to embrace people in an engaging way.” Similarly, Patros’ approach to his brand is to ensure his line is gaining a loyal customer base by providing quality clothing that stands out from mainstream stores. “In the end, the customers are buying my stuff and keeping my brand alive,” Patros says.
Launching Godspeed has allowed for Patros to understand the pros and cons of being a young entrepreneur in the digital age. The company has found success through social media and currently has over 600 followers on Instagram. “A lot of people may say that they’re successful once they make a certain amount of money a month, but for me it’s more about if people are genuinely excited for your brand as much as you are,” Patros says.
“My goal is for Godspeed to become a household name — a brand that everyone recognizes.”