Toronto born Jay Godfrey graduated from college with a degree in finance. He took a job with Salomon Smith Barney on Wall Street, where he made a good living but he wasn’t satisfied.
He thought his true talent was in another line of business and enrolled at Parsons The New School for Design.
With $40,000 from his savings and loans from family, he created his own line of dresses and went into business.
After some of his dresses were worn at industry and red carpet events, he received orders from Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Bloomingdales. Though there were many designer dresses out there that cost thousands of dollars, he specialized in a $300 to $400 price point. Today, he has 12 employees and his business is growing.
Quoted in Bloomberg Businessweek, Godfrey has this advice for future entrepreneurs:
Do what you do best. If it’s muffins that you make best, put 100 percent of your time into making those muffins perfect before you branch out and add donuts. Trying to be everything to everyone is a surefire way to fail.
Never get too high or too low. Don’t get too high on your highs or too low in your lows. Chances are, the highs aren’t nearly as good as you think and the lows aren’t as horrible as you think.