When it comes to launching a small business amid tough economic times, Tan France can certainly relate.
“I started building my business within the [2007-09] recession, which was so unwise but I had no other choice,” the Queer Eye star, who founded fashion brand Kingdom & State, tells PEOPLE. “The first year-and-a-half, in particular, was so dire.”
“I started very late 2009, and 2010 was a wash. Then in 2011, I learned how to change things up to make it appropriate for what people were actually going through at that time,” France, 37, continues. “So I absolutely know what it means to pivot your business and switch things up to cater to the new market or audience.”
What France didn’t know, however, was that his experience would benefit him years later as he takes on his newest venture: starring on Facebook Watch’s Boost My Business, a show where he and other Facebook experts help eight small business owners grow online using social media.
The show, which is part of Facebook’s Summer of Support program and offers small businesses six weeks of free educational training, was filmed before the coronavirus pandemic swept through the U.S.
At the time, France was encouraging businesses to adopt online strategies, but his advice has taken on an entirely new meaning in recent months as businesses have been forced to rely on their digital sales to survive.
The 12-minute weekly episodes now feature a segment at the end where France reconnects with the businesses to