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Diary of a Fashion Designer: Marketing

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Diary of a Fashion Designer: Marketing

Running a business in the fashion industry is no easy task. Smaller companies with limited staff and limited resources have to make strategic decisions about what can effectively be done in-house and what needs to be outsourced. It’s important to maintain control of product development, distribution, and the supply chain when possible. That leaves you to decide whether to delegate your marketing efforts to an agency or attempt to pursue all the promotions on your own. Based on your situation, there are Pros and Cons to in-house versus agency marketing for small fashion companies.

In House Marketing

Pros

  • Absolute control of content- you create and pick images, text, video, color scheme, theme, music, models, outlets, when it goes out, how it goes out, etc.
  • Real time social media management
  • You can plan and execute your strategy using a tool like Buffer– create, schedule and execute social media marketing campaigns
  • Cost effective- create a marketing team within your existing team that knows your brand identity and culture
  • Personal engagement with consumers- engage with the customers making them feel like they’re a part of the brand

Cons

  • Time consuming
  • Time is divided- can’t focus on what you do best
  • Can’t keep up the pace- customers have short attention spans, marketing efforts need to be updated or refreshed more frequently as methods and platforms change

Agency Marketing

Pros

  • Leave it to the experts- they already have proven processes that get results because that’s all they do
  • Monitored control- you supply the vision and get the final say
  • Leaves time for you to focus on product development, distribution, and the supply chain
  • They have access to tools you don’t have that will make the content better and process more efficient
  • Pays off in sales, customer engagement, and acquisition of new customers

Cons

  • Less control
  • Can get expensive
  • Engagement may not be as personal

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: 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: Confidence & Endurance

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06show      Stay cool. That’s what I have to keep telling myself, as I continue on this journey. I’ve been praying a lot lately, needing some guidance other than a few words of advice, or a hundred results from a Google search. Some days I feel like I’m so close to making it. The other days it seems as if I’m just going through the motions, spinning. A better way to describe the feeling is frantically scrambling through an endless tunnel with no end in sight. But I know that for truly successful people, ones that make an impact in their field, and in this world; the grinding never stops.

1. Believe In Yourself

If you don’t believe in yourself nobody else will. Confidence is what attracts buyers, consumers, partners, investors, and customers. Nobody buys products that are promoted  by a spokesperson that says “This product might work, I’m not sure it’s that great.” So you have to walk, talk, eat, breathe and represent your brand identity, at all times, like it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Think back to what your original vision encompasses, identify and appreciate what has gotten you this far. Those same principles can carry you until the end.

2. Don’t Be Afraid Of Failure

Don’t be afraid of failure. Scientists perform experiments hundreds of times before they figure out what works. Those aren’t considered failures, it’s all trial and error. What you may consider a failure, may actually save you from moving forward with something that never would have worked in the first place.

3. Go Back To Square One

When something doesn’t work, you should always go back and refer to a point in the process that worked, and review the steps you took. Take those same steps again, you should get the same results.

4. Remember Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day

The mighty republic of Rome was not built in a day. It took a lot of trial and error for them to become one of the most powerful empires in the world. Your empire can’t be built in one day either. My dream can’t be realized in one day, it’s too big, too major to be shortchanged because I’m trying to rush it. Every move has to be strategic, every step productive, and every risk calculated.

5. Work Hard, Play Hard 

Take a break to clear your mind. Find an outlet when you feel overwhelmed. I like naps, baking, chilling with my kids, spending time with my boyfriend, and going out once in awhile to break it down to the ground(that’s dancing). I work hard, so I try to play hard when I can. When I get back to work my mind is clear enough for me to receive and create the next project.

Doubt is not meant to throw you off your square. It’s suppose to help you re-affirm your belief. One can’t exist without the other. So you can’t get scared off when the road gets rough, you have to stay focused on what brought you to this point. Winners don’t move forward driving backwards, they just check that rearview mirror every now and then. Stay tuned, MUAH aaand scene.

TSX Design House

Beyond New Style, Where Fashion Is Art In 3D

Diary Of A Fashion Designer: After The Show…”The Rules”

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IMG_0006  2013 WWD Magic Market Week

So now what? Well, to sum it all up, back to reality. I have to ask myself what do I do now; what is going to change, what life lessons have I learned, and how can I maximize this experience, to achieve dreams and reach goals?

Rule Number 1. Remember, nobody is going to chase your dreams like you.

You’re on your own. This is your baby, don’t expect others to understand or participate in this journey. But that’s ok, it doesn’t mean people don’t support you, they just might not get it. More than likely those people are not your target market, and that’s who needs to understand you as a designer.

Rule Number 2. Utilize your support system.

My biggest support system is my family. Chasing my dreams has been a pretty rough ride, and I just don’t know if I would have come this far without them. We all support each other and it creates a safety net. That stability adds to my confidence, and gives me flexibility to make moves like traveling to trade shows.

Rule Number 3. Synchronize your brand & your values

You represent your brand first. The life you live, and the choices you make are all influenced by your values. They define your personality from childhood, especially your creative/artistic perspective. Your brand should support that same value system. Before any celebrity spokesperson co-signs for you, you(the designer) should visually send a clear brand message.

Rule Number 4. Keep your social media profiles updated

Networking is an essential element of a success strategy. Social media allows you global networking opportunities, and is what currently drives productive promotion, as well as growth for small businesses and large corporations. When you first start out, lack of a solid, progressive online presence is an early death sentence. You miss access to markets that were very difficult to reach in the past. This offers the option of real time marketing, at an affordable rate, FREE. Remember to constantly update statuses and albums; including video. You’re basically filming commercials for your brand. Make sure the lighting is good, and the sound is clear. Use these outlets to maintain relevancy.

Rule Number 5. Pray on it.

A spiritual base is a must. Without it, you just won’t make it. You have to stay mentally on point when you’re trying to make it in any field. Constantly pray, meditate, do yoga, and try to go to church. It will give your mind clarity. No matter what your religious preference is, give thanks, communicate, and maintain a relationship with that higher power.

Rule Number 6. Believe.

Believe in yourself and go hard. Because if you don’t trust your vision enough to give it beyond 100%, an investor or a customer will not give you one red cent(or one of whatever their currency is)of their money. You have to be able to stand on your ideas, support them, and sell them. Otherwise the visual representations won’t work.

Rule Number 7. Know your shit.

This may sound crass, but I’m not going to sugar coat it. Get as educated as much as possible. At the minimum you have to have an understanding of sewing, construction, illustration, basic design, basic fashion design, basic technology, art, basic technical design, trends, some fashion history, and sourcing. You can never obtain too much knowledge. So enroll in every workshop, seminar, class, online group, webinar; and read every book, magazine and e-book on the fashion business(design/art).

Ok…no matter what anybody says or what happens keep going and moving forward. Obama didn’t use the word forward as his campaign keyword for nothing. The phrase is so simple yet so true. Control all that you can in your life and go with the flow. Stay driven, confident, and creative; and you can take this life journey wherever you want.

Stay tuned MUAH aaand scene…

TSX Design House: Beyond New Style, Where Fashion Is Art In 3d

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