The Year That Was: Lina Rovere, Founder, Fashion Frista
"If you want to help make a better world, you can find ways to do it."
It’s never too early (or too late) to start your business- and if you ever find yourself doubting this notion, just take a look at ten-year-old Lina Rovere, who launched her online fashion label, Fashion Frista, this year. Given her passion for art and fashion, the tween, who is a student at Dwight School Dubai, had been telling her parents that she wanted to start a design business for a while now, and 2020 was the year she got the go-ahead to do just that.
Rovere had originally envisioned an in-store experience for the enterprise she wished to set up; however, the coronavirus pandemic caused her to drop that idea, and that led her to almost bid goodbye to her entrepreneurial dreams- but, thankfully, she didn’t. “When COVID-19 came, I couldn’t carry out the business idea I had in mind, so I thought that was the end of it,” Rovere recalls. “But, ironically, months of being stuck inside without much else to do turned into the best time to prepare for an entirely new business idea. I spent the summer months sharpening my art skills through online classes, and researching how to build an online fashion business.”
Source: Fashion Frista
Rovere launched Fashion Frista three months ago, on her tenth birthday, with the online brand selling clothing for men, women, and children featuring designs that she’s personally made. But that’s not all- Rovere is also keen on running a business that’s conscious about the world in which it operates. “As a kid entrepreneur, I have a lot to learn about business, but I love that I can shape my business to reflect who I am, and what is important to me,” Rovere says. “A few weeks ago, I decided to introduce organic cotton hoodies, because I want to reduce the impact of my business on the environment. And, this week, I revealed my first impact project- it’s a design collaboration with an Afghan girl to support girls’ education through the United Nations Children’s Fund in Afghanistan.”
It seems pretty clear that Rovere is only at the beginning of her entrepreneurial journey, and as such, one can expect a lot more from her and Fashion Frista in the months to come. And no one is perhaps more happier about this than the entrepreneur herself. “I am so happy I didn’t let the pandemic stop me from starting my business,” she says. “Now, instead of COVID-19 being the focus of my year, I have my business to focus on. It makes me happy, and I am determined to spread that happiness through my designs, and the way I run my business. It’s exciting to see that my family, friends, and even customers I don’t know are being so supportive- that’s definitely another highlight of 2020.”
Time for introspection: Lina Rovere, founder, Fashion Frista
1/ Don’t give up, and keep trying “If I had given up after my first business idea, which relied on in-store customer interaction that couldn’t work because of the COVID-19 crisis, I wouldn’t have taken the time to develop an online business. It turned out that starting on an online business was a much better outcome than what I had originally imagined.”
2/ Stay positive, and focus on what makes you happy “I have always been a very positive and energetic person, but at times this year, it was hard to stay positive. There was the stress of studying online, being isolated from family and friends, and of course, the fear of the pandemic. Focusing on something positive -for me, that is art- made a big difference. I spent a lot of time improving my art skills, learning from great artists, and of course, creating art myself.”
3/ It is possible to make a difference “If you want to help make a better world, you can find ways to do it. For me, I decided it is possible to make a difference through my business.”
Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.
Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.