This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

A Study of the Success and Failure of Apparel Entrepreneurs




Vallone, Amanda

Type of Degree



Consumer Affairs


Anyone can be an entrepreneur, but to run a successful venture within the apparel industry may be more complex than one would believe. Planning every aspect of a business from finances to employees, down to having an exit strategy are important segments to having a successful business. Planning is only one of the pieces to success; the ability of the entrepreneur to be reliable, ambitious, and disciplined are a few of the characteristics that make an entrepreneur successful. Little academic research has been done on the topics of success and failure of entrepreneurs within the apparel industry based on business planning and personal characteristics. There has, however, been more research in other areas of entrepreneurship based on similar topics. This study investigated apparel entrepreneur’s personal characteristics, their business planning, and their success. A convenience sample of 33 apparel entrepreneurs was recruited to participate in this study. Profile information was gathered and subjects were e-mailed an anonymous, online questionnaire through SurveyMonkey. The self-administered questionnaire was used to collect personal reactions to statements within personal characteristics, success, and business planning categories. Findings show a pattern of apparel entrepreneurs encompassing the personal characteristics of successful entrepreneurs. A similar pattern occurred within the entrepreneurs that felt they were successful. Though many perceive themselves successful, a majority felt they underestimated aspects of the business such as finances and time. Therefore, those that did not do the most planning possible, including a business plan, financial plan, and having a board of advisors were those that have underestimated similar problems.