Your Name: Maja Svensson

Business Name: ELSA AND ME, a maker of work and cocktail dresses for women

Type of Business: Clothing & Accessories

Business Location: New York, New York, United States

Twitter @elsaandme

Reason for starting
I’ve always wanted to run my own business and have always been very entrepreneurial spirited. After I finished college in Sweden (where I’m from) with a major in Economics I went to New York for an internship at the Consulate General of Sweden. Immediately when meeting with this entrepreneurial city I got really inspired to do my own thing. I started the process of figuring out what a company of my own could be all about. I got connected to the Garment District through a fashion designer friend who told me it was possible to make clothing without having a degree in fashion, as long as you had a visual idea of a design. Shortly thereafter I started experimenting with clothing designs through the help of a patternmaker and since my results were appreciated amongst my friends I decided clothing was what my business should be all about.

How do you define success?
Success is when you get to deal with better and better problems.

Biggest Success
My biggest success is that I have the creative freedom of being able to live off of ELSA AND ME that I started to work full time with in January 2012.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
My top challenge is that I have a capital constrain and that I have not been able to buy fabric for the production in bulk. Right now fabric is bought for each production series, which sometimes makes the processing of orders slower than it would have had to be. With fabric inventory I would easier serve my customers and it would also free up capital that could be used better in other areas such as PR and Marketing. It has been adressed by looking into raising capital, which will be made either through kickstarter, an investor or a loan for early 2013.

Who is your most important role model?
My most important role model has been my mom, who has shown me a woman can be a strong leader.