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4 Tips for Launching Your Fashion Company A veteran clothing designer gives custom advice to fashion 'treps.

By Judy Sutton Taylor

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In the 1990s, if you were shopping in the Chicago area for a gown to wear to a formal event, chances are you considered one designed by Jane Hamill. With an eponymous boutique and a thriving wholesale business, Hamill was a go-to eveningwear designer whose line was sold at city retailers such as Mark Shale and Marshall Field's, as well as at national outlets.

But after 14 years, Hamill was burned out. In 2007 she sold her business in hopes of moving on to something with a more flexible schedule--though she didn't know what that would be. She was offered a gig as a retail consultant; at the same time, she started teaching a college course in fashion studies.

Recognizing her insight into the particular hurdles of the fashion industry, in 2010 she started Fashion Brain Academy, a business coaching and e-learning company that helps fashion designers (and other creative types) start, fix or expand their businesses through online courses and one-on-one consulting.

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