Skip to main content

Diversifying Your Product Line

Lesson 3 of 32

Concepts and Inspiration


Diversifying Your Product Line

Lesson 3 of 32

Concepts and Inspiration


Lesson Info

Concepts and Inspiration

So what's your product ok that's a very kind of open ended question so that's first have a level set, ok, what is the start point? So an existing idea or maybe a kind of existing product line? This is what we kind of need to be looking at now I within the course I'm going to be looking at a lot of examples within the deck that you're going to see of existing companies that I found on etsy on have used those in slides to really kind of demonstrate kind of good collection bills or interesting concept or colors, but the other thing I've done is I've actually created a company I have a mythical company that I'm going to use to document the process all the way through this deck so it's a very imaginative name, I'm going to reveal it in a few slides you'll be you will be astounded of how clever this name is, but I thought it would be kind of like a good idea from taking it from a very kind of like simple idea that I'm going to launch on etsy right after these two sessions on dh then I'm goin...

g to basically build out so it's a great way of kind of demonstrating the facts, so the first thing is what you're stopping everyone has a start point, what is the end goal of the product? Eso so really you guys in the audience and also in the lifestream let's understand what? You know what your end goal is when you kind of started creating your business what was the end goal actually and stuff I mean with my specific product I think the end goal was to fill a need right phillips but I feel like I'm I wanted to make something that was useful to people um there was unique and also like beautiful right there not just like, you know, going to spend five dollars on a on a makeup bag you know, something that was visually appealing and functional ok, ok the team um let's say the end goal um I I have spent quite a bit of time in my life being a performance artist whether that is being a vocalist or performing kind of like theatergoing things or danced through all this you know, stage stuff and I started making jewelry in high school in nineteen eighty four to date myself, but um but I've been making jewelry for a long time and sort of got out of it at a time when it wasn't as popular as it is now writes and when the economy was much harder to do something like jewelry is as your career but throughout they ain't doing performances and then also just creating stuff custom for people sort of married the two and wanted tio find a way to I don't know help people kind of like help people get ready for the stage. Okay? Hey, whether that's like the stage of life or whether that's like an actual stage for a performance. So through jewelry and accessories cool. Yeah, catherine well, I have there's three different product lines and the steampunk kristen sermons or basically to fill a match that a lot of people and you're the same point community didn't have access to the mormons for their christmas trees, and so those are very popular on at sea. And then I realized my need something that I can market the rest of the year, too, and sherry creativity with people, and I started trying to do steampunk accessories and just sort of migrated over into other jewelry styles. Okay, so it's really kind of like looking for the nation's market and jumping in that right? Yeah, well, I was kind of two fold. One was just the kind of life I wanted to lead myself and the flexibility I wanted to have within my own life and raising a family and, um, utilizing my own personality. I I'm a jokester, and I like to make people laugh, so I like to be creative, so then it became, what can I do? The kind of embodies all of these things and on the product and nothing gives me more pleasure than to have someone walk into my retail storefront, walk around and read the cards and just crack up in point and, you know, and then be able to to realize that that person is enjoying it enough to purchase it and then give it to someone else that's also going to enjoy it and it's just a little light hearted, you know, brighten someone's day kind of yeah, simple thing. Great. Okay, chris, we're going to come back in just a second on that. So really, for potential goals, they're really things that you need to be kind of thinking about when you're looking at developing your line is are you providing something unique? Ok, is it does it really enrich the existence? Uh oh, someone's existence, existence of the world is that something that really kind of liked fits the nation? Does it combine luxury with technology? You know, that kind of a random connection, but this is very kind of current right now. Is it purely decorative? Is a custom product? Is it functional? All these things I think you need to kind of think about when you're when you're looking at developing and you product her a line and needs to address some kind of need, so the goal of what you want to achieve really needs to be known as your vision statement okay, we're going to looking a couple of things vision, statement and mission statement over the next couple of minutes or so it's a vision statement he's really the goal of what you want to achieve out of your product. The second question is what does your company stand for? Here's what's your company ethos now I always give when I'm teaching always give a really an example of aceh everyone heard of the of stella mccartney? Okay? Yeah designer in in the u k she is has been working a kind of luxury level for probably I don't know ten, fifteen years, maybe a little a little bit more but her company thoughts is that she never uses leather and she never uses for and that's what her company's no awful so bearing in mind that she works in a very luxury level where everyone uses a leather and fur she's really kind of dug their heels in and she's really said no, this is not part of my aesthetic and so all her all her clothes, her accessories especially they're all made from from synthetics from fake letters from fake furs. She has an unbelievable product line but that's that's so intrinsic to her company ethos, andi it's so important to have that strong belief in your brand and your mission in order to be to be vocal about something so really the mission statement should reflect what your companies stand for on be great if if we have anyone out there in the online world let us know what we all mission statement is on feel free to kind of tweet away is my twitter handle there and also creative life it's important it be great to hear back from from people about their different mission statements ok so for me is a key tip is is really the mission and a vision statement your start points ok, this is what should start if you're thinking of launching a new company or your twenty to validate where you are right now with your brand is to kind of go back and just think what do I stand for as a company what is my vision because that will kind of bring everything together that will kind of be almost kind of the glue on the kind of closing the loop of where you want to pay okay so I know you've been waiting for this for a long time for several slides now so I'm going to give you the mission and vision statement off my company susie scarves I don't know you finding this funny finding it amusing okay um so basically let me introduce you to my company I am a big scarf collector not kind of a woolly scarf collector anything but a silk scarf collected so I collect vintage scarves these things beautiful great colors this kind of this kind of thing what I like about them is I like the colors I like the vintage patterns are like the asymmetric you just can't find anything like this these days than I thought would be a great idea is tio build a little line of very solid colored scarfs which would sit along with the retro ones some what this could be quite interesting so my company susie scarfs is going toe basically launch imminently as we speak I'm not really as we speak but imminently on etc and it's going to be ah whole collection scarves I'm going to talk you through the whole process is we go through the next two sessions every element building a time and action sourcing materials building a collection plan we even have a concept board ok so that's the background of my imaginary company and here I have my mission and vision statement so my mission statement is to build a brand of luxury goods for men and women with retro in stride prince and fabrics manufactured in a lean way with artisanal techniques ok, I'm trying to capture every single nature have you noticed so I have kind of luxury goods I've thrown in a little bit of retro I've got lean manufacturing I got men's and women's which is a lot to take in I'm just using it as a zone example my vision statement retro luxury desirable yet accessible it took me about two months to come up with that vision statement, but it's ah, so you can see the difference, the difference between the mission statement and a vision statement? Okay, vision statement is changeable because your vision will change, it will evolve over time. The mission statement of the company should always be there should be constant should be consistent. Okay, so these are the two things, the two things which I believe when you're when you're really working on a brand justo have them in the back of your mind, but maybe kind of have them on a wall kind of printed out so that when it's pretty tough when you're juggling and your plates spinning four hundred plates and you're like, why am I doing this? Take a look at the mission and the vision statement, and this should can go, okay, it should be an ah ha moment really of what you should be thinking about. Um, chris, do we have anything happening on mission statements out there in the world? We do, yes, so red scorpio in the chat room says my company stands for quality artisan products and excellent customer service in order to create a beautiful experience, and our secret tree house says we just try to keep things affordable to everyone while bringing joy and making people smile. And love, sherry says, to increase representation of girlie geeks and geek culture through elegant, understated jewelry with a bit of wind z daily geeks. Girl, I like that I need to I need to find out more whether I'm but I can classify myself windy jewelry, nice number when you say vision statement I found the best way to use it is an example is that I like everything right taking music maybe as the easiest example, I can listen to anything from classical to hip hop, tio heavy metal and I like it all and I find that that's kind of of good representation of sometimes where I have difficulty in paring down what I like for my own product line on making sure everything fits right in that it's cohesive. So for your vision statement would you say that that's very interchangeable with what I would have called or what I did do is give myself a tag line? So I gave myself a tagline and thought to myself, if it doesn't fit within this tagline, then perhaps I should table it for now, because maybe it's not part of this brand I was so I definitely I would say definitely it's you know that and being really honest, it's it's hard to do a mission and vision statement because there are a lot of overlaps, which is why I kept my vision statement kind of like a tagline and fatima, you've got a great tag line, you know, it's everything should kind of fall in line with that it should be kind of like a check and balance situation since I have this great idea for a product does it really fall in with my tagline? We're not really ok well that's not disregarded that just put it to one side right now because all ideas of valuable ideas and they can be you can evolve them into maybe at a later date to kind of bring them into where you want to be but I would definitely use it as a tagline I'd use that you can also have just have like words you know just like doesn't have to be kind of like a cohesive sentence or anything like that well for ours we did they ours for mine I did it's stationary for the keys and starkey so I felt like I like that wait right there cleanses like jewelry for bad ass is stationary for the cute stock if they felt like I could fit a lot of what I like in there, I can have something sweet and sentimental because there's a need for that in the stationery, you know, line yeah, but a lot of my stuff extremely snarky didn't define snarky little bit just for just for our viewers out there well, one of my favorite cards is the best part of being married to use watching you turn into your mother said no one ever so it's stuff like that got it thanks to a specific person to give that I like that it's also really big sellers so there's there's gotta market you say the market is now but then I also find myself liking things that are a little bit less a little bit more subdued that maybe are not cute and I want to bring them in and they know that they'll sell based on market research of what is selling right? So then I feel like, oh have I cornered myself into this vision statement or tide line that now I can't do this and that's why I feel like I'm at another crossroads so I read again I would say that's very valuable point I would definitely start thinking about just keywords in that case, you know, because and she stopped producing product and as your as your product line evolves, you're kind of creative direction is going to change a little bit you're going to be influenced by different things, you know, saying that the person's saying with jewelry it's it's going to evolve and that's right? Because that's the creative process so a vision statement is ever changeable I mean even if you can review every six months you know, rethink it. Is it's still valuable for where I am? Do I need to adjust it slightly? Bring in some extra key words? I mean, we were talking earlier about the cohesiveness of the line. We're going to talk about that a little bit later on in this session. But having the key words in a vision statement is a great way to kind of look back and just kind of like cross check it. So so definitely yeah, he worked. He words something very small, short and punchy, is that I would definitely go that direction. Okay, so first oval. So we have a first question. So end of the first lesson post question is make a draft of your mission and vision statement so people out there in the chat room would be great to hear what your ideas are. More ideas for mission of vision statement on this is in the workbook. Chris, what page do we have on the world book for this? Uh, let's. See, I'm gonna have to grab that and take a look. I've got a printed out here. Right yeah we've got a print it out you can download the pdf of this you can print it out and find it like we have here are students are working through it so yeah if you're not doing that you're not getting the full experience and this comes when you upgrade to any time access or get a hold of your workbook and follow along cool okay when you were talking about vision statement just now you think the team that you have a great tag line for your vision statement catherine do you have any any kind of like keywords that you kind of think about a few vision statement just just off the top of your head now now even before I heard the other vision statements I've worked on us before things I made people smile and flimsy and something I can realize what was being interviewed recently is that you know, I have a lot of desperate design elements but they're all inspired by natural cultural and has a historical environment right here in the bay area in the pacific northwest where he used to live ok great so you can really kind of tie those back and make sure everything is cool he's even within that great um actually yeah I was thinking about the mission same because I also do I'm thinking about the mission statement in terms of like my broad sort of identity compiles I'm a teacher and so I was thinking something like infusing creativity into people's lives. Nice. Something because that's, the product that I sell is a result of sort of that creative energy. Great, like that's, where the design of the product came from. And I also teach selling and quilting. So it's, kind of like a natural transition. Yeah, and then, in terms of the vision statement for the product, I'm still still working on that one. Yeah, so throwing ideas around. Yeah, right.

Class Description

Once you’ve established your business with a single, successful product, imagining what else to sell can be daunting. You don’t want to end up with a disjointed collection of products, but you do want it to be fresh and exciting for existing customers. In Diversifying Your Product Line, you’ll learn the art and science of expanding your offerings and growing your business.

Susie Breuer is the author of Blue is the New Black: The 10 Step Guide to Developing and Producing a Fashion Collection and in this class she’ll help you generate ideas and make smart decisions about expanding your apparel and/or accessories business. You’ll learn how to:

  • Research the market to understand both price and your customers.
  • Build a concept and action plan for starting out
  • Manage multiple product lines
  • Source raw materials and manufacturers

You’ll learn how to accurately assess a product's viability before you waste time and money developing it. Susie will also teach you how to develop a consistent, logical pricing strategy you can use again and again.

Susie makes the complex process of developing a financially solvent product and production plan easy. You’ll get expert-level insights into all aspects of developing a new product and walk away confident that you know everything you need to know to expand your business.



Thank you for an excellent class on a key pivot point no matter what industry you are in. One stellar quality of this course is how collaborative, friend focused peer culture and (rather than hostile competition or dysfunction competition environment and psychological atmosphere). The structure suggestions enable creativity and acknowledges different mindsets required in different phases. Susie honors the joy that comes from making and creating. She celebrates the interdependence between all stakeholders and the fun and flow as well as learnings and choices from being a 'business'. She is pragmatic but high on the inclusiveness of fun and satisfaction. She is interested and interesting: safe, enjoys being a customer as much as teacher and expressions of creative generation for herself. You can be caught up in the delight of her view of the world if you have become jaded or burnout. This brings perspective and empowerment to your desire and goals.


Susie has this most amazing experience in business - she is fashion royalty - but has an amazing ability to put all her knowledge across in a way that you can learn so easily. I was so pleased that she could show you how to learn from her experience and it would make sense for your business. Pretty much whatever you are doing. I came away from these sessions with so many ideas. But of course ideas are cheap. She has made me understand how once you have an idea, how to make it real. So many great learnings about avoiding pitfalls, practical check lists and honest to goodness 'know how'. I am already putting her advice into practice and can see I am going to transform my business just because of these classes. I am going to come back to those videos again and again. Thank you so much for making this great resource available.


I LOVED THIS COURSE. After being a small business owner for 10 years it is easy to focus on what's right on your desk at that very moment instead of evaluating the bigger picture, to forget how to look at what is working as well as what isn't and how to improve upon your process. Courses like this make me want to jump up out of my seat and get back to work. Susie kept me engaged and focused. It can be a long day but time seemed to fly by. I am really glad I got the opportunity to take the course, not only would I take it again but would highly recommend future Creative Live courses and Susie's latest book. Thank you again for the opportunity and now I gotta get back to work!