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Launching your own business is probably the coolest and most extreme DIY project out there. Especially when we’re talking about fashion start-ups—there are so many innovative and inspiring fledgling operations out there these days it's hard to be the most innovating and most inspiring of all. And while turning one’s vision into an actual business that people react and respond to is definitely more satisfying than an afternoon spent bedazzling a T-shirt, it goes without saying that launching a business involves its fair share of risks and death-defying learning curves. Take some of our favorites: first-time ventures like Of a Kind, Birchbox, and Fashism brilliantly sprang from heart-born desires and genuine needs for products and services that just didn’t exist, yet that didn’t make their evolution into full-scale enterprises any less daunting. Here’s what they taught us. (Note: they’re all women! Go ladies!).