verbal croquis


notes from networking tuesday

Posted in advice,DE stuff by verbalcroquis on May 10, 2007

I go to a small networking event every 2nd Tuesday of each month I found through meetup.com.  It’s a ritual at the house.  I whine, scream, curse, cajole, beg, cry, anything to not go, and the husband physically drags my whiny butt out the door.  I go, and invariably am glad I did.  I always have a good time, I always meet interesting people, hear interesting stories.  So why do I dread going?  I have no idea.  I think it’s a mental block with my shyness around fashiony people.

Listening to some conversations around me, I wanted to talk about a few things that don’t get mentioned very often.

A woman was talking about doing her production in China.  She was talking about meeting deadlines.  I suggested to her it might be a (very) good idea to exchange holiday calendars with the factory.  Factories in Hong Kong tend to  celebrate both Chinese and British holidays.  They take a lot of time off for New Year’s.  Italians take the entire month of August off for holiday.  The United States actually takes much fewer days off than many other countries.

Someone was talking about starting a new line.  One style, six different prints–brand new prints that they would develop and have the rollers carved expressly for them and everything.  I didn’t want to butt in, but honestly, I winced at how much startup money that might take.  But maybe she has the means?  Maybe she discovered an amazing factory that will do all six cheaply? Anywhoo, often the more cost effective way to use prints, especially high minimum exclusives, is to use the prints on different fabrics, across different bodies.

Another person was talking about selling on their own website as well as finding outside retailers to carry his goods.  Later, he spoke about his difficulty with pricing.  If this is something you’re planning to do, it’s wise to consider your own retail pricing matching up closely to your retail outlets’ pricing.  No store wants to carry your goods if you sell wholesale to them for $50, which they retail for $150, if you’re selling them to the public off your website for $60.  Just some food for thought.  Companies like Ralph Lauren and Built by Wendy have agreements with retailers that items shouldn’t be sold for less than $X through the manufacturer’s own stores.  Ralph Lauren also sells items exclusive to his own stores to provide shoppers an incentive to shop their store over the Ralph Lauren section at Bloomingdale’s.

Anywhoo, just some bits as food for thought.

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3 Responses to 'notes from networking tuesday'

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  1. mmm. very good post. very helpful for us “makers” (i think i’ve given up the term “crafter”… i like Maker so much more) as well as designers.

    A blogger I adore (kirinote.blogspot.com) has been designing her own prints and selling them in short runs (i’ve bought several) but she’ll do 2 prints at a time in diff. colors… that also might be a good idea for them.

  2. Edubya said,

    You’re last point is a great one. I have a good friend who has been in business for a few years (not fashion, but a commodity, nonetheless) and talks a lot about what bad form it is to compete directly with your own sales channels.

  3. SRR said,

    I feel the same way you do about networking. I hate doing it, but once I start talking to people, it’s pretty OK and I learn a lot.

    Pricing is always a struggle. I’ve been in many discussions about it with many crafters, and while people price things for different reasons, we can all agree that undercutting people you wholesale to is just unprofessional.


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