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7 Must-Read Creativity Books for Any Fashion Entrepreneur

Enjoying a book on creativity

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and start your own fashion business, but don’t know where to start.

I know from first-hand experience how that feels. The world of entrepreneurship is overwhelming at first, with many unknowns. Luckily, there are plenty of books out there that can provide some much-needed guidance.

Here are seven must-read creativity books for any aspiring fashion entrepreneur who is on the journey of starting an apparel brand. Let these books shape your mindset, fire up your creativity, and help you take on the challenge ahead with confidence.

The Creative Curve by Allen Gannett

1. The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea, at the Right Time by Allen Gannett

Ever feel like "creative genius" is too far off base for you to reach? I can tell you with certainty that's not the case, and "The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea at the Right Time" by Allen Gannett proves this truth! In his book, Gannett explores the concept of creativity and how people can develop and nurture their creativity to supercharge successful ideas. Most of the book's content comes from Gannett's first-hand research and interviews with some of the most creative people in top creative fields.

By offering a fresh perspective on creativity, Gannett debunks the myth of the "aha" moment and shows that creativity is a skill that can be learned and developed over time. One of my favorite key takeaways is his explanation of how the best creative ideas combine the familiar with novelty. In the book, Gannett provides strategies for balancing the two to develop original marketable ideas. He also shares practical tips for cultivating creativity, like setting up a dedicated time to work on creative projects, exposing yourself to new experiences and ideas, and seeking feedback from other creatives in your field.

Entrepreneurs must constantly innovate ideas and solutions to stay ahead of the competition. This book offers insights and ideas you can immediately implement to take your business to the next level. "The Creative Curve" is a valuable resource for anyone looking to start a new venture or grow an existing one with an edge above the rest!

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

2. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

As an entrepreneur, big ideas often come with even bigger challenges, the most common being fear. Whether it's the fear of failure, rejection, or not being good enough, too much worry holds us back from pursuing our creative dreams. In her book "Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear," Elizabeth Gilbert offers a refreshing and inspiring perspective on overcoming and maybe even leaning into these scary moments to live a more creatively fulfilling life.

In "Big Magic," Elizabeth focuses on the creative process to help you understand how to conjure more of your creative magic. Drawing on her own experiences as a writer and artist and interviews with other successful creatives, Gilbert offers insights and advice on everything from coming up with new ideas to dealing with the inevitable setbacks and challenges that come with any creative pursuit.

One of the most memorable anecdotes of the book is how a brief kiss transferred a fantastic unique story from one writer to the next. The kiss moved the concept because Elizabeth wasn't ready to nurture the idea and give it room to grow. I love her explanation about how an idea planted starts its process of becoming; you need to bring it to life or risk losing it altogether. Ideas don't want to be put on a shelf to save for when you're ready. Expect an idea to travel through space and time to find the individual most likely to bring it to fruition–it’s how they work!

I love Gilbert's approach to creative endeavors. “Big Magic” leans into the process with discipline and dedication while embracing the idea that creativity is a lifelong journey rather than a destination to be reached.

Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelley

3. Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom Kelley, David Kelley

"Creative Confidence" is co-authored by Tom Kelley and David Kelley, co-founders of the design and innovation consulting firm IDEO. Tom and David Kelley are brothers known for their human-centered approach and contributions toward design + innovation.

This book highlights creative thinking in innovation and challenges the belief that creativity is a trait that only some people possess, (Sounds familiar. Are you seeing a theme here yet??) The authors provide practical tools and techniques to help individuals tap into their creative potential and overcome common barriers that hinder creative thinking. The authors argue that by embracing creative confidence, individuals can cultivate a mindset that enables them to tackle complex problems and develop innovative solutions.

“Creative Confidence” is especially relevant from an entrepreneur's perspective. Taking calculated risks and embracing failure are essential steps on the journey to success. The authors encourage entrepreneurs to create an inclusive environment that fosters creativity and empowers employees to take risks and experiment. It’s a great read to give you instant access to unleashing your creativity.

Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull

4. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace

"Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration" by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace is a book that offers insights into the creative process at Pixar Animation Studios and how entrepreneurs can cultivate an environment that fosters creativity and innovation.

The book emphasizes creating a culture that values collaboration and experimentation. Catmull shares how Pixar's culture of openness and honesty has helped the company continually push the boundaries of what's possible in animation and encourages entrepreneurs to create a similar environment in their organizations.

Another critical theme in the book is embracing failure as part of the creative process. Catmull argues that the fear of failure can stifle creativity and innovation and encourages entrepreneurs to create a culture that encourages risk-taking and experimentation. By creating an environment where it's safe to fail, entrepreneurs can encourage their team members to take risks and try new things without fear of reprisal.

The book also highlights the importance of fostering a sense of purpose and meaning in entrepreneurs and their teams' work. Catmull shares how Pixar's mission to create films that inspire and entertain has helped the company attract and retain top talent and encourages entrepreneurs to develop a clear sense of purpose and meaning in their work.