If You Can Overcome This, You Can Overcome Anything

Feb 7, 2023

She carried her business through a global pandemic, and has come out stronger than ever. What can we learn from Lexi Soukoreff about overcoming big challenges?


Every fashion apparel entrepreneur expects to face challenges in their business at various points in their journey. In an industry involving so many moving parts, problems such as manufacturing delays, supply shortages, or interruptions in sales are not uncommon.

But what if ALL the challenges come at your business at once? Is there any business owner who is ready for that?

Just three years ago, our world was turned upside down by the Covid-19 global pandemic. And like many fashion business owners, Lexi Soukoreff, Creative Director and Owner of Daub + Design, found herself facing the toughest moment in her company’s history.

In the spring of 2020, amidst huge uncertainty about the future, and new problems impacting her operations daily, Lexi took the time to share with us her mindset and approach to handling her challenges as an entrepreneur.

While many businesses never recovered from the pandemic, three years later today, not only is Daub + Design still standing, it’s stronger than ever before. Since our interview with Lexi, Daub + Design continues to grow—currently even operating their first retail location in the bustling shopping district of South Granville, in Vancouver, BC.

In today’s article, we take a look back at the changes and actions Lexi took to keep Daub +  Design running during the global pandemic.

  1. What did Lexi do to pivot her business during the pandemic?
  2. How did she use prior knowledge and experience to handle the challenges that she was facing?

If you are a fashion apparel entrepreneur, we hope that Lexi’s story will inspire you to not give up in the face of challenges. And as a bonus—at the end of this article—we’ll suggest proactive ways in which you can prepare your business for the unexpected, and be confident that you can get through difficult times—even when many things are out of your control.

With that said, let’s dive in!

What! No trade shows? Where do we go from here?


How Lexi pivoted her business during the pandemic

What would you do if your main source of revenue for the year was suddenly cut off?

Before the pandemic, Daub + Design relied primarily on selling at trade shows, with e-commerce making up a smaller percentage of sales. And at the time of our interview in the spring of 2020, Lexi had everything in place for a long tour of upcoming shows

“There was a whole lineup with about six weeks of travel, and we found out on Friday afternoon, before the Monday we were supposed to ship all our goods, that the show had been canceled. There had been discussion about it, but it felt so unreal. But then slowly everything else got canceled as well.”

You’d think that by then, Lexi would be curled up in the fetal position on a pile of her leggings that could no longer be sold in-person—but NO! Lexi took control of what she could, re-focusing on selling her products online. She also seized the opportunity to explore new ways of marketing and also produced face masks to meet current demands.

Saved by her contact list — getting the word out to her loyal clientele

When Lexi’s trade shows got canceled, Daub + Design quickly pivoted to launching their new collection online, and made sure to get the word out to their customers.

“Luckily we do have a number of our clients in our database just from our newsletter, on Instagram, and Facebook. That’s something we’ve really built up over the years. So I’m so thankful for those clients. We jumped on board and shared our message.”

Embracing a brave new world of marketing online

With the new focus on selling online, how did Lexi bring the in-person engagement experience from her trade-shows to her customers across social media? When things were “normal”, Lexi would be busy prepping, traveling, setting-up, and selling at trade shows. Since trade shows were no longer happening, Lexi could spend time experimenting with new ways of marketing.

“It’s been an exciting time because I actually have time to sit down and market things, or come up with a story. I’ve been doing a lot more try-on videos and those always help to sell because people can see how the garment fits, and it’s fun. You get to know me, you get to know the product.”

Giving the people what they want — making face masks to meet demand

In addition to focusing on selling her garments online and creating marketing content, Daub + Design launched non-medical face masks during the pandemic. At first, Lexi was hesitant to go down this route, but after encouragement by one of her sewers to give it a try, she put some face masks online and received an overwhelming response!

She then realized that it was the right thing to do as a business that had the capacity to produce much needed supplies. She could help consumers while giving her sewers the opportunity to continue working through the pandemic.

Hard work, sensitivity, and a hands-on approach


How Lexi used her prior knowledge and experience to handle real time challenges

Even though Lexi never imagined that a global pandemic would arise and impact her business, much of her success in getting through it can be credited to the RIGHT things that she had been doing since the beginning of her business.

Built from the ground up

During the pandemic, with fewer staff on board, Lexi’s experience and knowledge about all aspects of her business allowed her to jump into any role that required her attention.

“Basically I’ve done everything from the ground up, bootstrapping it the entire way. Doing everything from the ground up has really helped me understand the business.”

Doing whatever she needs to get the job done

As a leader, Lexi believes in using good judgment and taking ownership to meet objectives.

“There’s nothing that I am too good to do. As the boss, I’ll sit down and I’ll clip threads. I will do whatever needs to be done. Part of being an entrepreneur is learning to let go, but also knowing when you should be executing on something. I am super hands-on, because everything is my responsibility. If something goes wrong, it’s on me at the end of the day.”

Staying in touch and being transparent

In the middle of a crisis, our first reaction might be to lay low and be silent as we try to gather ourselves and make sense of an unexpected situation. But according to Lexi, we need to do the opposite of that.

Yes, like so many other business owners, Lexi was mentally and physically drained—but never was that a reason for her to avoid communicating with her customers and business contacts. Active engagement and timely response to inquiries is crucial to maintaining trust and positive relationships—especially during times of high stress and uncertainty.

“Don’t hide. For example the worst thing that you can do if something has gone awry, is to not respond. Just be honest. Let people know what is going on. People will respect you for that, over ghosting. Because at the end of the day, this is going to turn around. Everything will be okay. It’s just going to take time, and you’re still going to need those contacts when you move forward and they’ll respect you for how you handled the situation at hand.”

Lexi shows us that we need to have faith that our customers will understand when we honestly explain to them our circumstance.

“We had a huge demand for product such as PPE during the pandemic and we couldn’t produce the product fast enough. There was a delay in our expected delivery for manufacturing as everyone was in a panic for manufacturing locally and we had shipped all we had. People were asking where their product was and we were honest. We said we were trying our best to get the product shipped as soon as possible but we were hit with so many orders. People understood, supported and encouraged us.”

Being sensitive to other’s needs — people first, business second

Having just discussed the importance of proactive communication, Lexi notes that there are certain times when holding off on reaching out is more appropriate—in order to be sensitive to someone’s situation.

“A lot of our fabrics come from Italy but they were hit extremely hard by the pandemic. It would have been insensitive to email and demand our order be shipped when the entire country was in crisis. My heart breaks for them. And are leggings really that important?” 

Lexi reminds us that sometimes we need to put our business’ needs second when we know others are suffering from bigger problems.

You don’t want to think about it—but you should!


What can we learn from Lexi Soukoreff about overcoming big challenges now that the marketplace feels like “business as usual”. You might be tempted to forget about that challenging moment in time when nothing felt normal. But instead of wanting to just “move on”, why not begin today to proactively set yourself up to win over any challenge that might come your way?

Now that you’ve read about Lexi’s experience of overcoming the pandemic, what can you do to strengthen your business and prepare for the unexpected?

3 Things You Can Do Now to Set Your Business Up for Success:

  • Grow your customer database and keep them informed

Do you have a quick and efficient way to inform your customers about changes and updates to your business? Social media is a start, however having an email list to send your message directly to your client base is essential. By collecting emails at every stage of customer interaction and using this list to keep them up to date. Owning your own customer information is the most important part. Any social networking site could disappear overnight or if you lose access to it, then all your data would be gone.

  • Make your brand visible online

Remember when we couldn’t visit stores in-person, so we relied on Google search to find what we needed? Your store’s ability to rank high in search results will give you an edge over your competition. And since SEO is a long game (it takes months to start seeing improvements in rankings), now’s the time to implement improvements to your site.

  • Understand your business and create a guide to train others (and yourself)

You don’t need to perform every single task related to your business, but an understanding of how it all works will keep things from falling through the cracks. Make a list of each business function. Map out the processes. You can even get your current staff involved in documenting their steps—so that, just in case, you can use this guide to step into any role, or use it to delegate tasks to new members of your team.

We are so thankful that Lexi was able to speak with us during the pandemic. And now, three years later we can revisit her experience in order to share with you her winning mindset and strategies to give you hope—because if you can get through a global pandemic, you can get through anything! 

Thirsting for more of Lexi’s story? 

Listen to the full interview with Lexi Soukoreff of Daub + Design

Ready to take action, but need help getting started?

Book a call with me to explore SEO and Business Consulting for your fashion e-commerce business!