Category Archives: business

Diary Of A Fashion Designer: #2017ProductionPlan #Work

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Diary Of A Fashion Designer: #2017ProductionPlan #Work

When you say you want to have it all, what does that mean? Urban Couture Life has touched on the subject of having it all before but today I’ll address it from a much more personal perspective. As life happens, you have to re-evaluate what you really want, and revisit your action plan to make it happen.

Wanting it all in the past meant I wanted the career, the husband, the kids, the family, the money; everything. What I found, was that in 2017 I have to strategically assess my position. I’m that person that life has happened to that needs to re-evaluate. I have a daughter in college, a little one in 2nd grade, and a brand new one year old babygirl. I’m no superwoman, I’ve had many moments in the last year that I’ve definitely wanted to just give up and settle for a normal, traditional life. I could just be a soccer mom, teacher, and hum drum local seamstress. No more thinking of a masterplan to build a brand and launch a line; fashion weeks, hours of drawing, grinding online, burning the midnight oil; all while attempting to maintain my motherhood and some type of so-called love life. But that’s just not me.

2017 is the first year EVER that I’ve taken the time out to complete a full production plan for TSX Design House from week 2 through week 52.

I remember covering the production planning process in college, but I never took the time to create one. It was a challenge ladies and gentleman, and it took me a couple of weeks to complete it. It’s an extensive process! And this current plan doesn’t even include my household and family obligations. To actually see what I have to do from week to week to make things happen was an eye opener. Now that I have weekly goals, I’m constantly trying to figure out how to complete each task, and keeping a tally of when I don’t. It’s upsetting when I ‘ve had to push something to the next week and add it to the list of things that have to be completed. But, every week has been better and better, and it’s encouraging when I see what’s been done. The most valuable lesson I learned was that without proper planning, I m just aimlessly floating from project to project. Lying it all out puts the work I have to do in perspective, and in real time.

Collections

I’m doing 2 complete collections this year. A Spring/Summer 2018 and a Fall/Winter 2018. I have it broken down from concept to creation week to week. This method enabled me to take a broad look at what all has to be done, so I can work it into my 24/7. I’ve also gone back to the focus of my brand which is chakras, tantra, cultural authentication, longevity, and sustainability.

Budget

I’m playing no games or taking no prisoners this year. With another baby and my oldest in college I’m on an extremely strict budget. I’m trying to invest more into my company, marketing, bills, my home, and my family. I’m laser focused on my future. So no travel for me. I’m going to attend WWDMagic in August 2017 instead of February, and I’ll definitely be showing in September but I haven’t decided where.

Social Media

I am going to harness the power of my social media accounts and omni channel sharing tools. I’m working on a full scale marketing plan that will include Facebook and Twitter ads, Instagram/Snapchat/YouTube/Periscope videos, giveaways and possibly bringing in a third party marketer.

Online Stores

I now have 3 stores online: TSX Design House on Etsy   TSX Design House on Art Of Where and TSX Design House on Zazzle . I’ve devoted time each week to adding new products and added them to my marketing mix.

Writing

I also blocked out time to write. More time to blog, write for clients, and work on my book.

No Sleep Till Brooklyn

I will be on team no sleep in 2017. I can catch up during my limited downtime… I can sleep when I’m dead…………Stay Tuned MUAH aaaaaaaaaaaaaand scene

Transcend the Trends with TSX design House, Beyond New Style Where Fashion Is Art in 3d

 

Diary of a Fashion Designer: 2017 and Beyond

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Hello World! It’s been a longtime since we dished so this is just an intro to a series of 3 posts that will catch you up on what’s been going on in my world, and what to look forward to in the near future; like more video posts. 2016 has been the longest year EVER. So many twists and turns have made it memorable and full of so many lessons, not only in my journey to establish my brand, but also in my personal life.

In a nutshell, I gave birth to another baby girl, I’m still single, I had an extremely successful fashion show, launched new products: one of a kind leather handbags, sustainable active and swimwear, opened an additional online storefront, launched an unsuccessful KICKSTARTER campaign, gained some new writing clients, and much more.

I’m excited for the new year and what I have planned. People always claim, “This year is the year  for me, I’ll be successful, my careers going to take off, I’ll find love etc. etc.” But you know what, this time instead of making some vague claim about what’s going to occur, or how things are going to be, I’m going to focus on the steps I’ll be taking to get those results. 2017 will be all about action and what I;m going to call “proactivity.” At this point, I know what has not been working for me, and I’ve tallied all the casualties of my failures and put them to rest. However, I’m working hard to move on and NOT repeat the same mistakes. R.I.P to my past, and hello to my future…

Stay Tuned…….MUAH aaaaaaaaaand scene

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Diary Of A Fashion DEsigner: The Todd Tucker Reality Mixer “The Reality Of What It Takes To Make It”

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 Industry Panel: Shaun McKenzie, Todd Tucker, Chad C-Note Roper

When you’re out here trying to make it, it’s rare that you get the chance to have a face to face with a person that’s making strides in the TV or music industry. Even if they’re not in your particular industry, it’s important to take every opportunity to get an insider’s perspective on  the characteristics and actions of people with successful careers.

Milwaukee has a very small entertainment and arts market. So when it was announced on Facebook that there was an event, “The Todd Tucker Reality Mixer”, with an entertainment panel featuring Todd Tucker of the Real Housewives of Atlanta; I thought it would be the perfect platform to find out more about the basics of reality TV. The panel itself featured: Todd Tucker, public relations/marketing/branding guru Shaun McKenzie, and Grammy nominated producer/song writer Chad C-Note Roper.

The information and experiences they shared with the audience were priceless. No question was too minimal or too evasive, all subjects were fair game. People wanted advice on how to get discovered, how to tell their story, and if their journey was a viable option for a book or TV show. Out of all the advice, here are the three most important pieces of advice in a nutshell:

1. Social Media is EVERYTHING

This blog has stressed over and over again the importance of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat etc. are a real time representation of your brand. You have to treat it like the commercials or ads for it. Chad C-Note Roper stated that he chooses almost 90% of his new talent off of social media sites. It’s the perfect platform to shine, and showcase whatever your talents are.

Keep your personal drama off of your feed, keep the content cohesive, and make sure your timelines are current.

2. What Kills Careers

The panel was in consensus about what kills careers. Inconsistency, no follow-through, not valuing time, and not having self awareness. You have to do what you say you;re going to do and do it well. You have to value people’s time and respect the time you invest within yourself. You have to know yourself, and respect and utilize the position that you’re in to get to the next level.

3. Know Your Story

You have to have a story to tell, especially if you want to be on Reality TV.  You can’t be scared to share it, and you have to have the ability to effectively communicate it to the outside world. Shaun McKenzie kept reiterating that the clarity of your message dictates how it’s received by potential clients and audiences. Producers look for a person that will engage the masses.

In a nutshell it all goes back to old school principles. Make eye contact, smile, showcase your best work, keep your pictures and videos crispy and clear; and Todd Tucker specifically stated how it really annoys him when people are looking at their phones instead of paying attention in a meeting. So put your phone down!

It’s never too late to go after your dreams. Be persistent and do what you do best. Watch how your master plan comes into fruition.

Stay tuned………..Beyond New Style, Where Fashion Is Art In 3d

 

 

 

Diary Of A Fashion Designer: What Does Success Look Like?

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Anything's possible in America... Everyday, every entrepreneur and dreamer measures the level of success they’ve achieved. We can’t help it, we’re in a constant rat race competition with ourselves to see how much of our inhumanly impossible expectations we’ve met, and we beat ourselves up for the marks that we miss. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Once you sit back and evaluate the road you’ve traveled to get where you are today, you’ll truly respect and value all the strides that you’ve made. See celebrities, and fake social media celebrities leave the impression that the materialistic gains are what determine whether or not you’re successful. But that’s not realistic, or true. Bob Marley was a global music icon and philanthropist, and he always stressed that money was never the end result of his success or the drive behind his passion. So, let’s take a look at and bust some myths to smithereens about what success should look like…

  1. Success is not about money

Don’t punch me. I hate to break it to you but success is not about money. You may be the hardest working person in your field for ten years and not see the financial gains yet. It’s not because you’re not awesome at what you do, it’s usually because it’s just not your time. You may be ahead of your time, and the world just isn’t ready for you yet. Every time I make a new collection or show some new pieces people act like my clothes are from outer space, they just don’t get it. But, like clockwork, I always see the shapes, colors, and styles I debuted  two years ago is the hot trend of the day two years later. I’ve learned it’s a confirmation that I’m just ahead of my time, I’m fashion forward. It doesn’t mean the money won’t come, it just means it’s not coming today. Unfortunately, most artists don’t gain unprecedented fame until they’re dead. But I’m not going to wait that long, and neither should you, just don’t give up when the big checks aren’t coming in. Keep going hard and creating.

      2. Your success is not based on the next person’s success

Don’t base your success on what the next person has going on, or what they’ve accomplished. No two paths to the promised land are the same. So don’t get all upset or depressed when others seem to come up and you don’t. You never know what they did or what they’ve gone through; and once again it just may not be your time yet. You can’t get caught up in trying to figure out why the next man has reached a level thet you haven’t, it takes time and energy away from what you’re trying to do AND it’s just not becoming. Focus on your own goals and ambitions and how you can utilize more of your time to achieve them.

        3. Your vision of what success looks like can change over time

What you thought success was at 18 will be different at 25, 30, 35, and 40. That’s totally normal and probable very sensible depending on what you’ve got going on. If you were on the block at 18 trying to fund your rap career, oron the pole at 21 trying to fund your dreams; you should be doing something else to make it happen 10 years later. It’s ok, you haven’t failed, or been knocked off your square. You’ve just upgraded your hustle. Where you may have strived for platinum hits, cars and cash in the past; you may now strive for more cash, companies, and investments today

      4. Sex does not equal success

This may ruffle some feathers but sex does not equal success. Now if you’re in the sex industry then it does, but in every other industry it does not. I mean, sex does sell, but only so much and only to so many. I say this because I see a lot of people exposing themselves sexually looking for some type of instant fame, not realizing it may later affect their long term dollars. Too many twerk videos, boobs, vaginas, a penises are just out here for no reason at all. These people are not even getting paid. But if likes and views were money, some of ya’ll would be rich. So, don’t act surprised if you have 700 likes on your Instagram nudie pic and no money in the bank. Andon the flip side don’t feel pressured to post something outrageous thinking it will gain some attention for your brand.

      5. Different areas of your life may never be successful all at the same time

Unfortunately every area of your life may not be all good, all at the same time. You may want it to function like a well oiled machine, but in reality it may run like a jimmy rigged old school. Pretty on the outside, but full of non-factory issued parts under the hood. But that’s ok it’s your life, your dream, your vision, your world. And you have to do what works for you. When balancing a business, a family, a relationship, sometimes even another job(or two); things can get a little hectic. You may want to consider letting some of those things go to the wayside or get pushed to the backburner. One of the first rules I learned in marketing is that when juggling multiple projects and dealing with a multi-faceted skillbase; you have to choose 1-2 in which you’ll be exceptional, and the rest you will be functional but mediocre. Because a jack of all trades is a master of none so you have to choose what to master.

So what about me? What does my success look like? Well it looks like whatever my life is right now. All I can do from this point is keep it up, and wait for the checks to come in… See you on the catwalk

Snapshot_20131007_34 Transcend The Trends, Beyond New Style Where Fashion Is Art In 3d

Diary Of A Fashion Designer: WWDMagic Seminar Series-Fashion Tales: Creating a Compelling Product and Taking It To Market

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S/o to #BlaineVossler of #TheLocalBranch …#MadeInAmerica #awesome #MagicReady #fashion #urbancouturelife

A post shared by Ebony Adell (@tsx_design_house) on

  Me and Blaine Vossler @ WWDMagic 2015

nab-1.jpgMAGIC seminar series is a series of professional education seminars and panels where you, the buyer/retailer/designer/whoever you are in your supply chain, can go and get “schooled” on the latest trends and practices in the industry. The question that seemed to be on everybody’s mind that I talked to was, “How do I get money/investors to start my line or launch my brand?” Now, the four days I’m in Vegas for the show I always learn a lot. But a few key pieces of information always impact me more than others. This time around, one of the most important pieces of advice I picked up was to learn to tell my story.

What’s Your Story?

Every brand has a story, do you know how to tell yours ? Well that’s the thing, you think you know how, but ask yourself if you’re effectively telling your story to get the results you want. If investors aren’t breaking down the door to give you money then the answer is no! Barbara Ende hosted a seminar and panel entitled “Fashion Tales: Creating A Compelling Product and Taking It to Market” with guest speakers Sherry West founder of Daisy & Blue, Blaine Vossler co-founder of The Local Branch, and Jay Halistein co-founder of Brass Clothing. All three successfully have launched new brands; young companies with strong stories.

Telling your story is where it all begins, If you can’t verbally, visually, and emphatically express the personality, foundation, and history of your brand you’re screwed no matter how great your product may be. So how do you tell your story and get the money to make something happen?

1. Know the difference between storytelling and storymaking

Storytelling is just the repeating, improvisation, embellishment, or sharing of a story. You tell somebody your story, they listen and possibly repeat whatever you said to somebody else. Story making is when you create a story that the consumer wants to engage in and become a part of. They want to finish the story and make their own story based on the customer experience.

2. Crowdfunding

Use crowdfunding to raise money. Retailers speak to customers through floor displays, ads, and commercials; attempting to make an emotional connection. Written content, video, pictures, and whatever other creative elements all support the cause and assist in

Blaine Vossler shared that his company spent a full year creating their KICKSTARTER campaign before they attempted to raise money online. His story was a part of that campaign and I can attest to how compelling it was. Told through film/video, it was the story of how the brandGO F started, inspirations behind their products and reflected their pride of being Made In America.

Sherry West of Daisy&Blu chose animation as the media to tell her story. Intertwined with strategic placement. Of trademark characters and two staple products. As a mother, her story made me want to buy that soft, song soothing blanket to wrap my baby in and put him to sleep. The imagery appeals to the consumer across language barriers by using universal imagery, and draws them in.

 

3. Choose your platform carefully

All platform are created equal in the sense that you create an account, profile, launch a campaign, and try to raise the money. But you can’t just copy and paste your Facebook “About Me” section into the information section of your fundraising site.

3 well known crowdfunding sites with proven success rates are:

KICKSTARTER is the number one crowdfunding platform. However if you do not reach you full fundraising goal you forfeit the money back to the donors.

GOFUNDME and INDIEGOGO are similar Kickstarter but you get to keep all the donations you receive

 

4. Don’t be afraid to tell it all

You can’t be afraid to tell your whole story, no holds barred. Investors, customers, donors all want to know if you really have that drive, can you really deliver, where are you’re coming from, what brought you here, how you were inspired, and why they should trust you.

What’s My Story?

Ever since the seminar, I have been thinking so hard about how to tell my own story. The truth is that I ve been hesitant to really, truly open up about why and how I got to where I am today. I didn’t want to be judged, only respected for my work. But that’s not how it goes. My customer transcends trends, and loves a story when the Phoenix rises from the ashes. To commit to my brand they want to know the authentic, compelling reasons why TSX Design House deserves to be considered a luxury brand they should be loyal to. Why did I really choose the name TSX Design House? Why a focus on Tantric Sex, why chakras, why color?

To begin, TSX stands for Tantric Sex. I use the term “design house” because I’m not a certified “atelier”. chose that name because number one, as an adult entertainer selling the fantasy of sex and sensuality, I was looking for something deeper in my personal sexual relationships. After some research I decided to begin to practice and then eventually teach Tantric Sex practices. I discovered while learning the basics that clothes were considered a part of your body adornment, they reflect your aura and chakras, and body adornment is how you attract and entice your mate. In addition, the way you dress affects how people receive you………… to learn more about my story Stay Tuned for my KICKSTARTER campaign coming soon…MUAH aaaaaand scene

Follow me in TWITTER and IG@TSXDesignHouse

TSX Design House Commercial

 

 

 

Diary Of A Fashion Designer: Doing Business in Dubai

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10363615_10152624444215819_4348159745429295326_n  Every professional is now operating in a full service global market place. The possibilities offered by the internet have expanded the landscape of business and entrepreneurship in all corners of the world. Markets you never imagined you’d have an opportunity to touch are now just a click away.

Although Europe currently has a stronghold on the luxury market, e-commerce increases the possibility for entry. Brazil, China, Japan, and The United Arab Emirates have concentrated areas of spending on luxury products. The UAE in particular has a higher than average concentration of wealth within the region, which makes it a prime candidate for expansion. A major obstacle, is that you have to basically license your product to a business or distributor in Dubai, because it’s against regulation to set up shop, and sell directly within the country.

Thanks to increased web usage and smart phones, e-commerce is exploding in the Middle East especially in an economic powerhouse like Dubai. As online shopping gains popularity in the region customers get more familiar with the process and begin to regulate their online purchase behaviors. Finding the products they love, and just have to have, is how the online customer operates. Whether it’s the convenience of front door service, free shipping, or special patterns and colors; it’s your job as the proprietor to fill the need of the customer, create an aspirational shopping experience, high quality product, and bring some value to their life. Nurturing and mastering an international, multi-cultural market is a must if you want your brand to survive and have longevity, because online shopping growth is projected to increase 95% by 2018.

In the UAE you face many challenges on a day to day basis. Aside from producing and distributing the best product possible; your greatest concern is how to collect your money at the time of sale. In the past online payment options were almost non-existent where cash on delivery is the norm. Fortunately, there are a few four online payment options you can trust to process transactions that are safe and efficient.

Banks

  1. go to the bank and set up a merchant account if you don’t have one already.
  1. Depending on your products they may charge a security deposit to open an account. Electronics items they may have a security deposit of AED 150,000 plus setup and annual fees. Each transaction they will cost 3.4% in fees too. The rates vary bank to bank. 

Paypal

  1. Paypal doesn’t require a set-up fee or deposit, and it already has over 1 million active users in the Middle East.
  1. They charge 2.7-3.4% plus 0.30 USD. However you can’t transfer the money directly to your bank account in the UAE, you have to transfer it to a loadable debit card. Which are readily available in the region.

Innovate

  1. Innovate has built long-term relationships with US, European and Middle Eastern banks. They accept payments in common Middle Eastern and international currencies..
  1. Their transaction fees are 3.5%, set up fees $1000 USD, annual fee of $492 USD, and a security deposit of $10,000 USD.

Cash-U

  1. Cashu has a head office in Dubai, an office “in house” ensures you can get your funds transferred to any local bank in the region.
  1. The transaction fees range from 2.9-3.3% + 2 AED, set up fees $100 USD, annual fee is $1-$3K USD, with a security deposit of $10,000 USD depending on number of products and volume.

As demand for online goods increases, consumers need to be reassured they can trust your brand. Your security seal (secured SSL) should be verified and in clear view. Create a shopping experience that’s simple, flexible, secure, and fast.

Transcend the Trends: Beyond new Style, Where Fashion is Art in 3d

Stay Tuned…MUAH aaand scene

http://www.zazzle.om/tsxdesignhouse

http://www.TWITTER.com/TSXDesignHouse

http://www.Etsy.com/shop/TSXDesignHouse

http//www.Instagram.com/tsx_design_house

Diary Of A Fashion Designer: Strictly Business, The #BlueOceanStrategy

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Anything's possible in America...

Ive been getting alot of questions from my readers  asking “How will TSXDH compete with big name brands?” “How will you make money?” Well people, it takes some intense planning to establish any business. However, luxury branding success totally depends on which strategy you employ, and this is how I plan to break into the business

FACT: The total sales reported in the United States retail industry in 2012 exceeded 2.5trillion dollars and supported over 42 million jobs

FACT: In 2013, luxury retail sales exceeded 318 billion dollars worldwide.

Why would a company choose to establish a luxury brand?

Some people think I’m crazy for founding a luxury brand, to them it’s committing fiscal suicide. They think I’m setting myself up for failure. But in reality, luxury segmentation maximizes opportunity for expansion and profits in an uncertain economic climate by focusing on customers in a mid to high income bracket that find value in branding. Over
the next 5 years, spending has the potential to increase by 35%(www.BOF.com).
Consumer habits, social considerations, trends, and market size are important
environmental factors that contribute to a steadily expanding consumer base.

TSX Design House has implemented a blue ocean strategy. Because it’s a company that specializes in customization and “limited” collections, value innovation gives us the upper hand. This allows for a window of opportunity to stay ahead of imitators.  Competition is irrelevant because we expand industry boundaries by creating a demand for the value we provide and taking advantage of uncontested market space. We’ll thrive in a marketplace of our own making.

Why Do Customers Choose Luxury Goods?

Luxury goods leaders provide a premium shopping experience,
and high quality. This is how they survive recessions and economic downturns.
Competitive Analysis
The United States is the number one buyer of luxury goods with China close behind
in the number 2 slot (www.BOF.com) Driven by emerging markets and a trend of
“ affordable luxury” the market saw a 3% retail gain in 2013. Micheal Kors, COACH, and
Ralph Lauren are the American industry leaders; with Ralph Lauren reporting an
average 4.04 billion dollars in 2013 sales.

Ralph Lauren has maintained a steadfast position in the fashion industry by adhering to it’s design
philosophy and aesthetic focusing on classic lines/styles/silhouettes. This allows
them to survive trend cycles, and even increase their profit margin yearly. They have
global brand recognition and visibility, with a wide and expanding customer base.
These brands will only grow bigger as they expand into new luxury markets, like
Asia-Pacific and Africa.
TSX Design House is a high end American fashion brand positioning itself for
entry into the luxury goods market. The company is a custom design firm that creates
and sells custom made, limited edition, and Ready-T0-Wear high end fashion and art. We currently have one brick and mortar store in the midwest, and two online stores(http://www.
zazzle.com/tsxdesignhouse and http://www.Etsy.com/Shop/TSXDesignHouse). Our
current position in the market is good, but not ideal for entry. Lack of cashflow, is the
biggest obstacle we face at this time. 2012-2014 saw a profit of approximately
$30,000 after $12,000 in costs. However, as demand increases, costs will go up, while
profits may decrease or plateau. The company has yet to implement a strategy to
meet those challenges. Although we have established an industry presence,
brand recognition and visibility is limited.
Strategic Analysis: TSX Design House
The recommendation for TSX Design House is as follows:
To address the issue of lack of cashflow the company can solicit outside funding
from investors, or apply for business loans. They can also create additional cashflow
with minimum spending by taking advantage of their online opportunities, and using
that platform to test their branding strategy resulting in measurable results.

Since the luxury market is not saturated, the company will continue to pursue a blue ocean
strategy for entry into that market. To better position ourselves for entry we will
focus current marketing and sales efforts in the oniine zazzle store. Luxury shoppers
are motivated to purchase by brand loyalty. We have launched an aggressive targeted marketing
campaign via social media, radio, internet radio, e-mail marketing, print media, and direct mail.
It’s the most cost effective way to build brand loyalty, until we increase our marketing budget. Once the relationship is established customers will buy other products under the brand umbrella they trust.

When TSXDH gets a firm foot in the luxury market they can defend their position by offering
limited collections within the staple brand and co-brands. We’ve Implemented a balance
of a horizontal integration and differentiation strategy, and the brand is a prime candidate for repositioning at anytime. A strong product development foundation combined with a value based design philosophy is a major strength for the company. This can be used to our advantage while growing existing brands and clothing lines; while creating
co-brands.

Within five years expansion of brick and mortar locations in New York, Atlanta, Alaska,
California, Miami, Asia-Pacific, Brazil, and Africa will be possible as luxury goods
spending increases. To meet the needs of the customers, we will also expand the online business by offering online consultations via skype, virtual fittings, body scanning technology, partnerships with local tailors and in other geographic areas. There will also be an increase in in-house staff. Within the first year TSX Design House has the potential to penetrate and raise
awareness in 60% of the targeted consumer market and achieve a profit margin
of 50%.