Friday, February 2, 2007

Goh Girl

San Francisco, Barcelona, Singapore. No, this is not my travel itinerary, but just a few of the numerous “futuristic secret agent” characters featured in Liz Goh’s delightful line of baby onesies, tees, and paper goods under her company, Goh Girl. Somewhat of a superhero herself, just like many indie entrepreneurs, Liz is an efficient one-woman operation-designer, artist, creator, marketer, accountant…you name it!

Unleashing Creativity
“For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to do something in the creative arts. However, growing up in an environment where the creative arts wasn’t understood or nurtured, I didn’t embrace my passion until several years after I graduated from college. In my spare time or during off hours after my 9-5 job, I enjoyed drawing. I started illustrating these oddly cute characters that gained some popularity amongst my family and friends. Many of those close to me started encouraging me to do something with these drawings so I made the plunge and started my own small business. In 2005, gohgirl was born and I printed my illustrations on women’s tee’s and note cards.”

Start-Up Difficulties
“I was totally overwhelmed with the business aspects of starting/running a company. I had the idea for the product but felt like I didn’t have the knowledge of how to get it developed. For example, I had the final illustrations I wanted to use on tee shirts but I didn’t have the tee shirts, didn’t know the cost of the shirts, where to buy the shirts, how to buy the shirts, who would screenprint them and what those costs would be, etc.”

Jumping In
“I got over these challenges by just jumping in with both feet and figured everything out step by step. Initially, I was scared and not wanting to do anything to move forward but I knew I wanted to start a business so it didn’t matter what I didn’t know. I just educated myself. I did some research online and started off by registering my business name, getting a business license, a resale license, etc. and with each step, I felt myself becoming more confident in understanding how a business operates.”

Best of Show…
“My best [shopping show] experience was a 2 day event. The show was well organized and the organizers were very friendly. I found it especially nice that the organizers visited each vendor booth to introduce themselves. I was also surrounded by nice neighbors so it was a bonus having such a friendly atmosphere. I think having such a positive vibe adds to having a great show experience.”

And Worst of Show…
“My worst experience is not because of the show or the organizers but I was just in the wrong market. The audience wasn’t right for my products. It was very frustrating and disappointing since I had really high expectations about the show and sales.”

Multi-Tasker Extraordinare
“Since I’m a new business, I mostly do everything on my own. I also try to incorporate my talented friends/family to assist me with PR. A good friend just wrote a press release for me!”

“For marketing, I signed up with several business directories featuring independent businesses. I work with,, The Happily Handmade Giveaway, The Sampler, and the Switchboard swaps. When I have the budget, I do advertise in shopping blogs … I contact local papers, shopping/fashion related blogs, and send information to magazines.”

Hit and Misses
“So far, it’s been a hit or miss with the different methods… meaning I may advertise in a blog one month that drives a ton of traffic and sales but the next time I advertise in the same blog, I receive little traffic and sales. I haven’t quite figured out what works best yet.”

“ [In addition,] my biggest challenge is trying to find marketing/advertising avenues that are inexpensive. I don’t have a huge budget for it but at the same time, I need to get my brand name out there.”

With a Little Help from Friends
“Right now, I ask my friends/family about what items they would like to see. I run all my illustrations/ideas through a select group of people before developing the final product. I also have a question about this in my e-newsletter sign up so visitors/customers can share product ideas with me.”

Passion and Persistence
“I motivate myself and it also helps that my significant other is VERY supportive. Doing something creative, especially in clothing is my passion and goal in life. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue this at this time in my life and I want to give it everything I have. I will succeed because I love my job!”

Recommended Business Resources,,,,

Words of Advice
“Don’t be easily discouraged. In business, you’ll encounter those who totally understand and love your products and then there will be those who absolutely don’t like it. Get used to the fact that not everyone is going to like your designs or products. That’s just life. The only thing you need to do is be confident in yourself and your products.”

“You’ll also make many mistakes along the way but don’t look at it as failure. Instead, they are all lessons towards growing your business and increasing your knowledge about running a business.”



Liz Goh

Goh Girl

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