New York fashion week; the time of the year where hundreds of like-minded people gather all over the streets of New York in anticipation of viewing the newest collection (SS18) of their favorite designer just recently ended.
Although bummed because the festivities came to a halt, a fresh cycle began!
If you haven't heard of StartUp Fashion, you may have been living under a rock.
We're not just saying that to be funny. Founded in 2009 by Nicole Giordano, the StartUp Fashion Community is the community for emerging brands and designers. Boasting over 100,000 visitors a month and thousands of subscribers and active members, this community is where it's at in terms of building a successful fashion business.
We recently had the opportunity to sit down and speak with the founder of Par en Par, a new sustainable women’s resort collection based in NYC.
As we all know, starting a fashion line is not easy.
Being able to sit down and speak with Laura in a very open and honest way about what it took to get the brand off the ground was quite an interesting conversation. Laura really knows merchandising and what it takes to create a collection.
It doesn’t matter if you are selling apparel, jewelry or footwear, every business’ sales eventually will slow down or come to a halt. You might be freaking out because you think you have done something wrong but the thing is that this is the ideal time to: reflect on areas you kicked ass, think of things you can improve and of course create new ways to make more money (aka-sales).
But...you’re probably thinking, “seriously what buyer is still buying when it’s slow?” Well, you’d be surprised by the number of buyers who place “at once” orders.
Let’s review three things you can do right now to keep sales rolling.
My mom’s go-to wedding shower gift for many years was a set of metal measuring cups. She knew that the receiver wouldn’t guess they had cost $50, but she loved her own and knew that they would be appreciated in time.
For my mom, the value of the metal measuring cups was that they looked better and lasted way longer than plastic ones, whose measurement markings wore off, handles broke, and that occasionally even melted. The $50 was worth it, even if at first the newlyweds only noticed the “looked better” part.
Lately, we have been obsessed with podcasts. Especially podcasts surrounding the fashion business, marketing, and personal development space.
To be honest, it’s something that in only the last couple of years we even knew existed.
Sure there’s XM radio and things like that, but podcasts that you can download and listen to wherever/whenever was something completely foreign to us five years ago.
Whether you’re sitting on the subway or in your car (stuck in traffic), these bite-sized and easy to consume forms of audio is a game changer for us when it comes to learning and keeping our mindset on point.
Most people’s eyes seem to glaze over when you talk about numbers in your business.
Let’s face it.
As a designer, you are a creative being.
The last thing you want to do is analyze your business.
We see this time and time again with designers.
Designers who are all about the creative aspect of the business, but when it comes to bookkeeping, pricing their products, and analyzing their sales figures, these types of responsibilities seem to fall by the wayside.
Have you always dreamt of becoming a fashion designer but you don’t understand the process or where to start? You are not alone! In fact, the most widely asked questions from startup brands are where to begin and what steps to take.
Starting an apparel line can seem like a daunting task but with the right research and preparation, you will save yourself a lot of headaches. Designing can be very exciting but when it comes to apparel manufacturing there are some key aspects that you must first consider.
Wouldn’t it be nice if a buyer says, “I will take one of everything”?
Taken by surprise because it’s always been a dream that someone else would love your entire collection as much as you do.
You reply, “Sure, let’s start writing”.
Now in a perfect world, some might think this scenario is ideal but is it really? efore we let our imagination run wild, let’s pump our brakes for a sec and deep dive into the three critical reasons why selling your entire collection to a buyer is the wrong move.
When it comes to merchandising, are you properly segmenting your collection?
You may ask, well what exactly do you mean by “segmenting”?
Well segmenting is basically just another term for “assorting” and is essentially one of the biggest aspects of merchandising. If you’ve followed us for a while, you may have heard us talk about pricing strategies, sales strategies and creating proper and profitable assortments. The segmenting part of merchandising is referring to the actual customers you are selling to.
Let's face it, Sales are the heartbeat of any company. So, it's crucial that you're crushing your year-to-date numbers to not only stay afloat but to be the leader in your industry.
There's a common notion that "New Accounts" are the epicenter of increasing sales; which I agree to some point. However, we must be cognizant of the peeps who took a chance and purchased our line in the first place (that’s right! existing accounts).
Nurturing existing relationships is an unspoken Goldmine!
When it comes to being a success in the fashion industry, there seems to be some key concepts that many fashion designers advise no matter their actual market category.
So whether you’re a high-end designer or a more street focused brand, these pieces of advice come from a variety of designers and entrepreneurs that have one main thing in common...they have built a business and understand what it takes to get there.
When it comes to starting your own fashion company, there is so much pre-planning and major hurdles to overcome before you even go to market.
We loved hearing the behind-the-scenes story about where the idea of Neeshe came from and how they've quickly gotten their company up and running. By differentiating themselves and ultimately carving out a new category among the crowded women's space, the leggings based brand is slowly becoming the go-to brand for a "legging-centric lifestyle collection".
When it comes to merchandising your collection, sometimes less is actually more. Now what exactly do we mean by that you may wonder. Let’s dive into this topic in more detail.
When you are first starting out you’re probably not going to be selling thousands of units right off the bat. This is why it’s very important to limit yourself when it comes to designing and creating new styles.
We recently had our first ever event for The Sales Concept at the amazing new space The Mezz, located at theCoworkrs in the financial district. The event was called Fashion Founders, in which we featured different fashion entrepreneurs who shared their entrepreneurial journey toward becoming a "fashion founder".
You may have heard of a sales mindset, but what exactly is a merchandising mindset you may ask?
A merchandising mindset is changing the way you think about your product or collection and thinking outside of the box of what’s really going to sell.
It can be quite easy to fall into the trap that many merchandisers and buyers can make, which is personal preference. If you personally like something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your customer will want to buy it.
It’s one of the key elements in business that makes the world go round. Think about it, everything you own or rent involves some type of transfer of goods in exchange for money.
The expression, “He could sell ice to an Eskimo” is an indication that some are natural born sales people. However, for most entrepreneurs they cringe and struggle with the concept of asking a complete stranger for money.
I’ve been working in the merchandising industry pretty much my whole life. From my very first job in retail as a shoe salesperson for Macy’s, to working as a makeup artist for Estee Lauder. Even as a fashion stylist for famous people such as Charlize Theron, I was dealing with merchandising.
While I didn’t realize this at the time, my entire pre-corporate background had consisted of different aspects around merchandising.