How big is an idea? Just two week ago, Facebook launched its platform “Facebook Live” with the goal of giving users the “power to broadcast from a smartphone to anyone in the world”. An early interview of Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg proves that it’s important to remain focused on what your ultimate goal will be.
Here we see a young Mark, 21-years old to be exact, discussing his then “new” social media startup “The Facebook” in Palo Alto and holding a beer no less.
When asked by the interviewer “What was The Facebook?”, Mark explains that it was “An online directory for colleges” and also that it was interactive. “Growing from one university (Harvard) to three other schools (Columbia, Yale, and Stanford) gaining thousands of users in a couple of weeks. Closed with 29 schools and “came out to the mythical place of Palo Alto”. From here on we all know how the story goes.
It’s a short video, but it has some great gems for newbie entrepreneurs. Here are the most important lessons from this early interview in my opinion:
Define your goal.
Refine your goal.
Forget world domination.
Don’t think about being acquired.
Make a difference in the world.
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From the time she launched her fashion label “LUBICA” 10 years ago, business has been growing steadily for Lubica Slovak. She’s been busy developing several unique fashion collections under her brand that have included: Blue, Bliss, Bloom, Toucan, Trinity, Beyond, and Dream, along with launching her signature Lubica flower applique. I recently interviewed the talented young fashion designer to learn more about starting her own fashion line, the biggest lesson she’s learned to date, and her advice to aspiring fashion designers.
A Snapshot Profile of Lubica Slovak
Lubica Slovak is an artistic Slovakia-born, fashion designer who founded LUBICA, a clothing company based in Jamaica. Slovak has previously partnered and collaborated with international recording artist Tami Chynn on a female boutique dubbed “Belle” and an award-winning collection, “Anuna”.
Education: Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada Organisations founded: LUBICA and Belle
The Phresh Interview
Phil Rodriques (PR): What favourite quote/mantra do you live by? Lubica Slovak (LS): Don’t sweat the small stuff… let it go, everything will work out as it should. I have to remind myself of this one often.
PR: What sparked your interest in fashion? LS: I have been interested in fashion from when I was a little girl. I remember always wanting to pick my own outfits to wear from very young age and then as a tween and a teen always wanting to look different and stand out with my outfits. Looking back…I didn’t always stand out in a good way though. [Lubica laughs]
PR: You studied fashion design in (Toronto) Canada and never worked for anyone else. Why did you launch your own label straight away? LS: Because it was my dream to have my own line and create outfits that I really wanted to create. I am a Taurus [Zodiac sign] and we do things our way…it may not always be the best thing, but we definitely know what we want and go after it.
PR: How do you balance creativity with business? LS: This is very hard for me. As a creative person I think more about colours and fabrics rather than numbers. It is very important to balance the two as talent alone is not enough these days. I am still working on this one.
PR: What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your fashion company? LS: That you just can’t do it all yourself. For the line and brand to grow it is important to find the right people to work with. And also to take risks and follow your instinct.
PR: What’s your latest fashion design project? LS: My line/brand is a constant project.
PR: Where do you find the inspiration for each Lubica (fashion) collection? LS: [Lubica laughs] My “favourite” question. Inspiration comes from different things. It could be a song, a movie or a mood that I am in. [Lubica collections]
PR: Where do you see Lubica in 5 years’ time? LS: I would like to expand and grow the Lubica brand and for it to be a successful brand available worldwide.
PR: What advice would you give to aspiring fashion designers? LS: Be a dentist! [Lubica jokes] I would say make sure that this really is your passion. That you absolutely cannot live without it and then make a good plan and be ready to work really hard. Create cohesive collections and be clear on who your customer is. And most importantly be a business person as much as a creative person.
PR: Would you ever consider designing menswear? LS: Yes of course I have considered it and maybe one day I will. Just not sure when. [Lubica smiles]
When you first meet Carole Beckford, you’re in complete awe of just how animated she is. On the second meeting you realise her personality is 100% genuine; what you see, is what you get. It’s no wonder she’s such an incredible connector in her industry. She knows exactly how to leverage her network for either an ambitious goal or a noteworthy cause. Her latest professional adventure has taken her to the “Jamaica Film Commission”, where there’s no business like show business. I spoke with Carole to learn more about her role as film commissioner, the Jamaican film industry, and the upcoming inaugural film festival.
A Snapshot Profile of Carole Beckford
Carole Beckford is highly considered as a strategist for marketing, communications and public relations campaigns at the development and implementation stages. Carole’s work has stretched across a number of industries to include sport, entertainment and news. She was also the publicist for Track and Field Superstar Usain Bolt for four years.
Organisations founded: The Business of Sport
Books published:KeepingJamaica’s Sport on Track (2007) and Jamaica is in – Sports and Tourism (upcoming)
The Phresh Interview
Phil Rodriques (PR): What’s your favourite quote/mantra? Carole Beckford (CB): You get as much as you are prepared to give.
PR: What sparked your interest in Jamaica’s film industry? CB: Sport has been a favourite of mine, so entertainment/film was easy. Those industries have the same blessings and the same curse and they both involve creative minds. It challenges me to participate and to see how I can add value.
PR: Who inspires you the most in international film industry? Anyone who stands out? CB: I learnt Television as a producer and as a result inspired by live shows producers. I like living on the edge I guess, what better way.
PR: What’s your favorite part about being a film commissioner? CB:The idea of helping to make the connections necessary to unite the industry. Jamaica’s efforts are best served united.
PR: What’s your favorite film shot on location in Jamaica? CB: Can’t have a favourite; that would be telling too much. My job is to get more films, commercials, and photo sessions done here. The [film] industry needs the employment and those who want to grow much further, need the credits.
PR: What drives your work ethic? CB: I am results-oriented and I like to ensure people meet and connect with the right people. I have had access to some very important decision makers and maintain those relationships. That drives me to ensure others have the same opportunities.
PR: How do you balance creativity with commerce? CB: Oh that is a hard one, but I measure time so I am always insisting that folks I interact with have the same ethic. Once we honour that commerce becomes easier. Also people like when you deliver.
PR: What are some of the Jamaica Film Commission’s strengths? CB: Connections to international contacts; ability to create a friendly environment; and history of being in the business for over two decades.
PR: Where do you hope to see Jamaica’s film industry in 5 years’ time? CB: [In five years’ time…]
– TV shows created by Jamaicans shown on local, regional and international television;
– Series on Netflix, etc.;
– One feature a year in cinemas worldwide;
– Lots of filmmakers creating features for other film festivals globally.
PR: What’s the biggest lesson that you have learned since you became film commissioner? CB: Never underestimate the power of a creative mind. [Carole smiles]
PR: What have been some of the unexpected successes? CB: Being able to connect international media experts to people in the industry. Horace Madison for example, has made great connections here and is helping people. My association with Jeremy Whittaker, producer/director of [the film] Destiny (2014), which has promoted Jamaica in a really positive light and has been in theatre.
PR: What’s your latest project under the Jamaica Film Commission? CB: The coordination of the inaugural Jamaica Film Festival; an event which we hope can inspire the local industry to get organised. [July 7 – 11, 2015, Kingston]
PR: How has the upcoming festival been received locally and internationally? CB: [The reception thus far…]
Lots of interest from both markets, we are hoping for a turnaround in a few ways:
– Kingston must be credited as the cultural city of the region;
– Local producers must be inspired to work together.
PR: What aspects of the Jamaica film industry keep you up at night or make you the most paranoid? CB: You wouldn’t want to know. [Carole smiles]
PR: What advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers, scriptwriters, and actors? CB: Be prepared. You never know who you’ll meet on a daily basis. [Bonus tip] “Never leave home without make-up.”
PR: Is there anything else you would like to add? CB: Film is big business and the time is now to get involved. There are way too many platforms not to produce films for consumption – get involved now!