Fashion entrepreneurs share their journeys

JumpStart’s 2017 Startup Scaleup: Mastering the Side Hustle

On August 15, local entrepreneurs converged on the Gordon Square Arts District for JumpStart’s 2017 Startup Scaleup event. The annual event consists of workshops and educational sessions designed to help entrepreneurs and small business owners build their businesses.

This year, one of the sessions featured a panel about side hustles, and two prominent members of the local style scene served on the panel: Shibani Faehnle, owner of Bombay Taxi, LLC, and Jason Estremera, founder of CLE Threads. They were joined by Robin Doerschuk, founder of The Women’s Leadership Conference of Northeast Ohio, and Tiffani Tucker, founder of Have a Slice.

During the discussion, Shibani Faehnle recounted some of Bombay Taxi’s history. Her original intention was to sell one-of-a-kind statement jewelry. But the problem, as Faehnle learned, was that most women don’t wear statement jewelry because they don’t know how to wear it.

“When you start out, you have a vision in your head - be prepared for that to change,” she said. “Talk less, listen more.”

The way Faehnle approached her business changed after she held a trunk show at Something White. “For the first time, I actually listened to women and realized the one-of-a-kind thing was wrong because brides wanted gifts for their bridesmaids,” she said.

Even then, success was not instant. Faehnle had a well-established blog, which gave her an audience in Cleveland, and it still took her six months to make her first sale.

“You just have to keep going, keep changing,” she said, while encouraging the audience members to keep their full-time jobs while pursuing side hustles. “Having a full-time job will save you because you won’t run out of cash.”

Faehnle’s fellow panelist and fashion entrepreneur Jason Estremera is the founder of Trunk CLE and CLE Threads. He learned that it’s important to listen to your customers, but to always remember that there’s a difference between haters and people who genuinely want to be helpful.

“We have to put our egos aside and determine if a person is being rude” or truly just wants to give you some advice, he said.

Learn more about Startup Scaleup at


Tuesday, August 22, 2017