The birth of a fashion business and design consulting firm
KrissCo is a fashion business and design consulting firm helping product-based brands scale their businesses. The firm is founded by Ana and Klas Kristiansson, and this is the story of how it came to be.
Ana studied at cutting and tailoring school, art school, and Parsons School of Design in Paris and New York. After receiving her BFA in Fashion Design, she worked for years, designed and product developed award-winning technical products for international brands like Haglöfs, Salomon, Peak Performance, Helly Hansen, Lundhags, and many more.
Klas is an IT engineer with a Master of Science degree from The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications in Paris in Paris. He worked for global corporations in project management, business development, IT, e-commerce, sales, and marketing with international projects and clients. He entered the apparel world as a senior project manager for Europe’s largest workwear company, being responsible for implementing and rolling out multi-million $ e-commerce projects for subsidiary clothing brands across Europe.
Design consultant & agency
13 years ago, Ana took on here first consulting assignment, leading to the start of the Ana Kristiansson Design Agency. Through the design agency, we have helped numerous clothing brands create outstanding collections and grow their businesses.
Entering the fashion business world
12 years ago, we started our first apparel brand. With Sinaia, we created a 16 piece retail collection, men’s and women’s, very technical products, all layers from baselayer, mid layers, waterproof shell jackets and pants, and fully insulated parkas. This technical urban apparel concept was first sold retail in Sweden before becoming ISPO Brand New Awards finalists, receiving orders from countries all over the world.
In 2012 we started our second clothing brand when we had the need for really durable sustainable playwear for our children. We lived in the Stockholm archipelago, and the kids played outside every day, which of course, affected their clothing. We couldn’t find properly durable products, so we created it ourselves. Alice & Ted was a D2C online brand with a small collection of tops and bottoms.
Fashion business management and education
Even though we had experience from working in the apparel industry, it was a challenge getting a good grip on starting up a business. Just the administration around registering the business, arranging a bank account, creating a business plan, making a budget, and getting the finances in order were all new tasks to us.
Then the big question: how do we do this?
We had to find factories and suppliers that suited our needs. How should we go about this? How much can the garments cost to produce? How do we work with minimum quantities? How can we make sure our finances will cover the launch? How can we protect our designs and feel safe when communicating with other parties? The questions were many, the challenges plenty, and mistakes not so few.
We needed to find a place that combined traditional education with real life experience from the apparel industry. We needed tools and strategies for fast implementation and results; we needed to educate ourselves on our terms and time. This is how Apparel Entrepreneurship started. Based on our background, friends, and friend’s friends began to ask us how they could start their own apparel brands. We had gained experience from starting our two brands as well as working in the fashion industry for years, and running the design agency. Apparel Entrepreneurship is the online educational platform that educates and empowers apparel entrepreneurs around the world to start & run profitable, meaningful, and successful clothing brands. Apparel Entrepreneurship helps start-up brands through workshops, coaching, courses, a membership program, and the AE book.
The Top-Rated Apparel Entrepreneurship book
2018 we published the book Apparel Entrepreneurship: How to Start & Run a Successful Apparel Brand. It is an indispensable manual, an inspirational and educational book that will guide you in the achievement of starting and running a successful apparel brand.
This book provides you with hands-on tools, business education, and actionable steps to achieve it. It also gives you valuable advice, tips, and tricks that they don’t teach you in school, as well as telling you HOW to implement it in your business. It teaches you the full process from idea to market launch and beyond, get extensive content that will make you take full ownership and grip of your business and entrepreneurship.
The Apparel Entrepreneurship Podcast
2019 we launched the Apparel Entrepreneurship Podcast with listeners in over 100 countries. In the podcast, we discuss hands-on tactics touching all areas involved in running and growing a meaningful, successful apparel brand. We teach practical strategies about sustainability, design, product, marketing, sales, community, e-commerce, and entrepreneurship. You’ll also hear inspiring interviews with industry experts and entrepreneurs about their tips and journeys in this fast-paced industry. A must-listen for everybody that is running an apparel brand or is working with apparel.
Becoming a fashion business consulting firm
After 40 years of combined experience, helping small, to mid-sized, to large brands grow through the design agency for 13 years, and coaching hundreds of brands, from Los Angeles, to New York, London, Paris, Dubai, and to Sydney through Apparel Entrepreneurship, we have now accumulated an extensive international network of experts in various fields in the fashion industry. Because of the increased interest in our services, we are now scaling our design agency to become a fashion business and consulting firm. KrissCo now helps product-based brands with brand-building, business & digital strategy, sustainability implementation, design & product development, and optimizing their business operations. The projects are tailored to suit each client’s needs, and the talent and tools needed are brought in to reach desired impactful results for fashion brands that want to leave a mark today and be well prepared for the future.