Monthly Archives: April 2013

Diary Of A Fashion Designer: #Real #Fashion #Business

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Anything's possible in America...I’m beyond the turning point, now it’s on to real fashion business. I’ve made my first manufacturing deal with production to begin within 60-90 days. Yes it’s exciting but now what? I’ve never come this far so the next steps are critical. Well, there are a few important things to consider before I even send the tech packs off to the manufacturer. I have to draw up contracts between myself and the manufacturer that include non-disclosure statements to protect the integrity of my brand; and its trade secrets.  I have to complete a marketing plan because once the collection comes back, who will I sell to? What stores will carry TSXDH, and how many pieces should I put on somebody else’s  sales floor versus my own  online store? Most importantly, how will I price the collection to make a profit?

It’s tricky, as a designer your focus is primarily on the design process. You tend to have tunnel vision, and sometimes you’re not prepared to move to the next level. But me, I’m ready for full range motion, and I’ve figured out the first part of my strategy; that will take me from pre-to-post production.

            1.     Revamp the whole collection to cost it down.

The reality is this, I have a budget to follow. I have to re-design the whole collection to assure I can turn out a quality product at the price point I set. I can only launch once, so everything has to be perfect. If I’m charging designer prices and pitching to a specific market/customer, the collection has to represent that. Value added design details that are not within the construction will have to be done by hand, by me and that’s all there is to it.

            2.       Prepare a formal presentation of the collection.

Once I choose from ALL these designs and send them off, I have to re-sketch the whole collection with a mood board, and fabrication board. Digital or traditional doesn’t matter, but it has to be flawless.

            3.       Do some up to date demographic research to find my market.

I have to take about 40-60 hours out of one week and do some up date demographic research. Who’s buying what, and where; is what I need to know. Because I’m expanding into a global market with my Etsy store, this information is critical. I have to saturate the areas that are pertinent to my brand while I’m building a buzz.

            4.       Create and send out catalogs

This includes photo shoots, printing costs, shipping costs, and lots of follow-up.

            5.       Make a list of stores.

I’ll sell local, and reach out to surrounding areas like Chicago. I have about five stores in mind in my state. Next time around I’ll extend to Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, New York, and Alaska.

            6.       Contact the buyers from the stores I want to pitch to, and try to make an appointment.

I’ll have to visit each store in town, and try to get an appointment with their buyer.

            7.       Only take samples that are relevant to the market of the store you pitch to.

What’s cool about limited edition collections is I can split it up between two totally different areas without selling the same thing. Some things in the collection that may work on the Eastside, may not work in Brookfield or on the Northside.

            8.       Create a detailed purchase order which includes a disclosure statement.

My purchase order doubles as a contract. My worst nightmare is finally getting my product on somebody’s sales floor and they steal my design. The disclosure statement helps to prevent knock-off action from occurring.

            9.       Check product for loose threads, or any imperfections before you present it ot the buyers.

Every piece has to be fresh and crispy. No wrinkles, loose threads, uneven hems, puckers, loose beads, stains, weird smells, messed up linings or funky zippers. Clothes present themselves. If the product isn’t ready to go on the floor, I just can’t take it.

          10.    Be prepared for rejection and keep on moving.

I am very fashion forward, so there’s a possibility that the Midwest market might reject me. It just depends whether or not the store owner’s vision fits my aesthetic. But if it’s not a go locally I’ll try Chicago, or go hard online in my Etsy store.

          11. Make sure I have a plan B, just in case…

In the world we live in shit changes on a daily, everything can be peaceful on Monday, then by Wednesday somebody may have tried to declare war. Anything can happen. So I have to make sure I have a contingency plan in place, just case something goes down. But in reality I’m ready, even if I have to do it all in house, this collection is coming out this year.

          12. Do some fundraising.

I’ll probably apply for a business loan, have an art show and sell some of my work, freelance write like crazy, and go hard in my zazzle store. I need a fashion show in the fall, and a commercial too; as I said in my blog last week, I need money. But I’m no stranger to squeezing water out of a rock.

          13. Increase my online presence.

I have to take 15 or more hours to update all my online profiles. More pictures, blogs, tweets, and on a daily basis. If I don’t step up my game I’ll be dead in the water. Engaging people and getting them interested, and invested in TSXDH will build brand loyalty.

          14. Pray.

No matter what, I have to just pray on it. Without God, I just wouldn’t have the endurance to keep going. This shit is happening to me for a reason, I’m serving a purpose. I don’t fully understand what it is yet, but I’ll never give up trying to figure it out.

See me on the catwalk, or on the cover of a magazine, either way my time is here, and I’m going with the flow of the cosmos…stay tuned, MUAH aaand scene

TSX Design House…Beyond New Style, Where Fashion Is Art In 3D

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Diary Of A Fashion Designer: I Need Money

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samnotepics1 031You can’t get this close to fulfilling a dream and let a small issue like finances stand in your way. I know I can’t and I won’t. I’m at the point where I need more money coming in, to move forward, and fund things like extensive marketing, fashion shows, hiring an assistant, and travel. So I’ve been looking for another, yes I said another(because I already have two), J-O-B. This is the part I hate, but I’m a hustler. And a true hustler will work a job they hate, to achieve that ultimate bottom line.

While I’ve been searching for another supplemental income, it made me wonder about other people, and why they work at jobs that they hate. It’s funny because sometimes people will excel in a position, make lots of money, and be as miserable as the person that makes the least amount of money and never moves up. It surprised me how many people I know right now, with six figures or more, that wish they worked somewhere else doing something else everyday. My dream is what moves me to even consider doing sales, or waitressing third shift. But I asked people, “What moves and motivates you to go to work everyday?” and this is what it all came down to:
1. Necessity
The number one reason people stay in jobs they hate is necessity. You have bills, a home, children; basically a life you are financially responsible  for maintaining. The dreaded Monday morning is overshadowed by payday.
2. Education and Training Limitations
Your training, experience, or degree may no longer be your passion. Fields like nursing and technology are exploding; but you don’t want to go back to school.
3. Fear
Some people are just scared to do an additional job search. There’s fear of ridicule from their peers, fear of failure, and fear of financial collapse.
4. Don’t Know What Else To Do
Maybe you don’t know what else to do. If you’ve been at the same company for ten or twenty years, how do you decide to move on? Where do you go, what do you do? You have to have a “realistic understanding of who you are, and what you want/can do.”
5. Comfort
You may be so comfortable in your current space, that you don’t want to leave. Even though you hate it, everything runs like clockwork, and that’s how you like it. You don’t mind trading happiness for stability.
6. Loyalty
Your boss may have given you an advance in a time of need, vacations, or even a big raise. People don’t want to seem disloyal by leaving a company where they have good relationships and good standing. They don’t want to feel as if they’ve left the boss that’s been there for them, “in a lurch.”
7. Benefits and Incentives
Sometimes the benefits and incentives in a position seem too good to give up.

  8. Thought It Was What You Wanted
When  you started, you thought it was the job you wanted long term. After a few years you realized that type of work was not for you, and you felt stuck.
9. Personality

Your personality may prevent you from branching out and chasing a dream because you don’t think outside the box.

10. Your Dream

You have to work the job you hate to finance the job you want…

And there it is, sometimes you have to do a little grunt work to get what you want. The experience, working outside my personal and entrepreneurial element: will make me a better businesswoman, boss, mother, and person. But I honestly hope I won’t have to do this for long…I’m not quite that patient.

Stay tuned, MUAH aaand scene………..#urbancouturelife

TSX Design House

Beyond New Style, Where Fashion Is Art In 3d