Success Stories That Sprouted From Failure

by TEAM EC
December 16, 2019

Don’t get too down on yourself. Not hitting your goal isn’t the end, it’s merely a place to pivot.

It’s been a year and a half since the launch of Embrace Creatives and at our core, we’re a business network that unites artists with commercial buyers in order to facilitate revenue generating, professional relationships and ignite an empowerment movement for artists.

That’s our mission; Our “why”.

Our HOW, however has hit snags along the way and sometimes we REALLY want to throw in the towel, hang it all up, accept failure and shut down.

Then we remember that success takes time and we’re all on our own unique path. Here’s a few big companies that either had to change course, shut down and reopen or rise from ashes before they found their groove. We hope they inspire you too.

Airbnb

In 2008, when Airbnb started, investors passed on the concept, and the team had to resort to some REALLY creative ideas — like creating custom cereal boxes—to make ends meet. They persisted and FINALLY found funding.

Reddit

Reddit launched in 2005 and had NO USERS. Zero. Zilch! What did the founders do? They made up a few fake accounts that had fake discussions until some visitors started noticing and trickling in. Fake it til you make it, right?

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Marvel

Did you know that Marvel filed for bankruptcy in the 1990’s? It faced declining revenue, steep losses and a delisted stock. The key to their newfound success was movies. They licensed out their comics and united its stories under the Marvel Studios banner. Pivoting to movies brought Marvel back from the brink of extinction.

Converse

A 100 year old company, Converse hit rock bottom in 2001, filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and sold its headquarter’s buildings. What saved Converse? Their competitor, Nike who purchased the company for an estimated $305 million in 2003. Under Nike, Converse began to focus on collaborating with artists, designers and other brands to offer new shoe varieties that put Converse back on the map.

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Starbucks

Yes, Starbucks. In 2008 Starbucks became one of the worst performers on wall street with a 42% stock price slide. The primary causes were due to rampant expansion, competition from fast food companies and rising food prices. How did they come back out on top? They invested in a national ad campaign, closed 600 stores, and rebranded and retrained their servers.

Betsy Johnson

After Steve Madden purchased the brand’s intellectual property rights in 2010, fashion label Betsey Johnson filed for bankruptcy protection. The company closed every one of its brick-and-mortar stores and let go of nearly all of its 350 employees. Yikes! What did Betsy do? What Betsy ALWAYS does. She used creativity to bring her label back from demise.

Johnson went on a design spree, collaborating with Urban Outfitters and branching out with bridal wear, intimates, kids’ clothes, eyewear and more affordable options. By the end of 2016, subsidiaries like Betsey Johnson LLC helped Steven Madden deliver more than $1.4 billion in net sales and $121 million in net income.

Johnson went on a design spree, collaborating with Urban Outfitters and branching out with bridal wear, intimates, kids’ clothes, eyewear and more affordable options. By the end of 2016, subsidiaries like Betsey Johnson LLC helped Steven Madden deliver more than $1.4 billion in net sales and $121 million in net income.

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Burberry

Founded in 1856, this iconic brand took on more than it could chew and had lost its identity in the process, licensing its iconic pattern out to TOO many companies that produced everything from dog leashes to kilts. Branding and marketing saved the company. They hyper-focused on Burberry’s classic English startup story, regained a sense of exclusivity and began catering to millennial fashionistas with social media and digital marketing efforts.

We know that quitting can sometimes truly be the best option but don’t take early signs of failure too literally. Instead, get a strong support group who can help you learn from them to move forward.

Maybe you aren’t selling as much as you’d like or you’re growing but not quick enough. All of the entrepreneurs above, including us at Embrace Creatives, recognized that their businesses were faltering and decided to change something rather than let the idea die. If you’re struggling, take a good look at the problems, make sure you know what your buyers want, transform some areas of your business, and give yourself another chance..

Empower Others