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Diversifying Your Product Line

Lesson 2 of 32

Overview, Tools, & Credibility


Diversifying Your Product Line

Lesson 2 of 32

Overview, Tools, & Credibility


Lesson Info

Overview, Tools, & Credibility

Diversifying your product line okay it's a big title a lot of information we're going to be sharing breaking it down into two sessions thirty lessons session one we're going to start with the market and competition so this is really about understanding who your market is finding your competition understanding that you have competition second is planning and pricing so planning your line thinking about pricing structure understanding the pricing that you have concept and inspiration is really it's the creative stuff it's is getting your ideas out of your head onto paper to be able to work with them effectively and the final one for session one this time lines and action plans now I'm going to let you into a little bit of a secret I'm obsessed with timelines and action plans it's it's put to me into a happy place when idea I love to plan a big planner my husband does everything at the last minute and I'm planning like six months in advance so we have to we kind of settle on a month basic...

ally that's how happy place but action plans and timelines is what's going to drive your business and it's what's going to structure your business because essentially what you need is you want to be able to deliver a product on time and that's the most important thing and understand where to start and work back so this is going to be a really good interactive session we're going to have definitely going to have the the flipboard on, and we're gonna be working with the methods that you use right now to try and brainstorm and try and get some great solutions for you moving on to session to we start off the day with manufacturing, so the biggest question I always get asked is, how do you find a manufacturer and it's often that the hardest thing to answer is finding the manufacturer, andi exciting thing about tomorrow's we have a guest, ah industry expert going to be joining us at the end of the manufacturing session on a mission and white head, and she works for a company or she basically runs a company factory forty five. Now, shannon that's a great story because she started out with her own brand. I think about I want to say, about five years or so ago started out from scratch without any kind of knowledge base. She built her own product on a product line, and now what she does is she gives back all her experience as a kind of incubator company working with small businesses, so she has some great expert advice to tell you, so we're going to begin doing a q and a with her thie end of the manufacturing session tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to that. Raw materials runs on after the manufacturing very, very closely linked when you talk about raw materials because we're talking about such a huge mix of different products both in the audience and also out there in the chat room is hard to focus in on one thing, but for the raw materials were going to be looking at is how to identify really understand every single element which goes into your product ok? Communication runs on after raw materials to communication is something which is really overlooked. I think I'm a big fan of making people aware of how to communicate with the best practices of communicating with your supplies and your manufacturers, because too many people in this industry really ah don't communicate well, and that can kind of break relationships down great partnerships down, so communication is going to be a really interesting section of the of session to when we finish up with growing your line. The growing your line is really taking everything we've learned so far of the last two sessions, pulling it all together and understanding how you take one product second product, run it side by side so it's a lot of information, the key thing and I'm going to use this word a lot over the next couple of sessions is the principles we're talking about principles. Of a process every person is different every company is different important thing to understand is taking those principles and helping them adapt into the way that you work okay using them is a foundation and in order to kind of build upon and then drive your business okay, now you get many takeaways from the course. First thing is to kind of like hang out with us for two days on you know, hang up chris get to know abided audience but also to kind of listen to me kind of go on for two to four sessions but the other takeaways tools and credibility okay the tools tools of the trade or tools tools of the industry is what you're physically going to be working with. So researching your market, planning your product understanding how to physically plan a new product line building a timeline sourcing materials again challenging finding a manufacturer to produce your products all these things were going to give you the tools to work with your own product line if you wanting to to develop a world just kind of maintain what you have so I want to know and increase maybe you can reach out to the to the lifestream here what are the challenges of people currently have with their with their process with the product on also live so for team here actually what kind of challenges do you have right now well my biggest challenge is that I do everything myself right and I do it all from my tiny little studio apartment there's only so many hours in a day yeah and it takes me you know x amount of time to make one bag okay so that's probably my biggest challenge is just their space and time yeah coming up with enough inventory right with amount of time I have plus the other things I have to dio ok ok fifteen um I definitely play around with um manufacturers local some local people I've been approached by quite a few different kinds of outsourcing contacts and I really I can never tell who is the right person to go teo which emails I should pay attention to where it was flood right like oh hey you're young designer why don't you take up our business and faa's money to do this you know x y and z but I could never tell who the right person talk to it right ok so it kind of ignore them all pushing to one side and focus on what you can have it for you with your multiple plates spinning yeah yeah that's that that's definitely a challenge katherine well one of my greatest challenges is I don't have a fixed studio work and do all aspects of production and inventory in packaging so I'm forever having him go get things out a story so take things attack shop bring things home right? It's a kind of an organizing space. Yeah, definitely a challenge and let's, finish up with you so I'm super fortunate that I have a studio's face do you have any space that you can rent? How so seriously? Andi didn't mention before that I did expand to you that I have I also run a community art design center where we have classes for kids and adults and of community events where we feature local artists and things like that as well they're separate elsie's, but going to the point of where since I can remember I tend to spread myself extremely thin right on and I am I feel like we all start off as do it yourselfers and then it almost becomes a trap right on dso it becomes a whole I've done this myself the whole time I think I can do that part oh, I can do that part of what I could do that part and then it becomes a challenge of at which point and where do you say this is a good little nugget to take off my plea give to somebody else on have them be able to run with it, you know so that therefore what is it the diminishing return theory so me finding people they can do those things has been that's, sir no, no it's been really hard on guy put it mostly on me as opposed to the people that I found and me being able to manage them and when you work by yourself for so long you're in your own head on so I know everything I need to do when I need to do it on it's hard to realize that they don't live in my head either right? So that's like a huge challenge is finding the right help in putting them in the right place, you know, utilizing their talents in the right way and making sure that the communication is super clear what the expectations are and like how to move on yeah it's definitely a leap of faith isn't at some point that has to be kind of like a point where you jump off and you do you bring other people in you you have to pass on that information then you have to pass on that knowledge for sure we're going to cover that in the communication section there's definitely a section where it's it's really giving that information over to a new set of people so that you can expand the line and really focusing on one element so so really again I would say good challenges because challenges and never good but you know, interesting and definitely things that we can work with together over the next couple of sessions chris what do you have lots of them in the chat room, adrian says finding audience specific places to advertise and market is a big struggle our secret tree houses that they struggle, figuring out the manufacturing process to expand the product lines sassy seamstress says, I struggle with adding products that seem logical to me, but then they flop. I really need help understanding the best way to diversify and understand how to tie my ideal customer information into the actual products on creating in order for them to be successful. Ok, interesting, yeah, s o we have a lot, we have a lot to work through. I feel really confident of the next a couple of sessions that we're going to be able to kind of manage a lot of thes these challenges turn them into hurdles for all of them, a challenge so you can just jump over them and then carry on going, you know? And I did that just like those yeah, doing right, thank you. Okay, we went, we talked about tools and his talk about credibility now, because credibility is so important when you're working in a new industry or any kind of industry, you want to have that confidence to be taken seriously by the people that you're working with, whether its suppliers, where there was people that craft fairs, where, whether it's, um doing some kind of social media you want to have some kind of credibility and credibility really comes from knowing your product and knowing the industry terms to work with on dh if you speak the language they need, the partnerships that you're gonna build are going to be a lot stronger people going, taking more seriously. So building credibility in your industry is something that we're going to cover. Um, a lot really is giving you the tools is giving you the information on, but most importantly, the confidence, because every time I start with a new product with a new company, you know, I worked in a lot of different product areas, but I don't know everything because the industry is changing on a daily basis with apparel, with accessories with the maker and craft a market new materials air coming in, which means I'm constantly learning, and I have to do my own research when I went on working with a new company because I can't go into an organization go hi, I'm an industry expert and I know everything about everything apart from this product because it just makes me look like a muppet, so I have to do I'm going to use that term a lot because, yeah, everyone loves him up. Most people so credibility is important no matter where you are in the industry, I still have to kind of do my research. I need to feel confident about what I'm doing it's, something that by knowing having the tricks, learning the information you'll get to that level. Ok, now one of the interesting things is the information that we're going to share over the next two sessions is great if you have an idea, it's great to validate where you currently are. If you wanted to start something out from from scratch, this information in these tools will really help you do that if you're kind of comfortable with your product line, but you just want a level set a little bit and just check where you are invalid a this is also a great information sharing space, so it's, not just for people who are wanting to start out from scratch is also for those who dislike you know what? I just want to check where I am and just to see, you know, if I'm on the right track, what you leave with apart from two fun days is you'll also leave with a bunch of templates for line planning. Glossary of terms. Key industry contacts. These key industry contacts of contacts that that I use. I've kind of dipped into my little black book and giving you all the information that I use on a day to day basis. I'm all about sharing about sharing, kind of like the product development and the production love time in action plans. You're going to get a couple of really great templates to work with. I'm gonna break that down as to how I usually work with a time in action and, more importantly, timing assumptions for sourcing. The timing assumption is released, like, how long does everything take in an ideal world? Because that is often what kind of catches you out. Basically, you think you have enough time, always takes more time, so timing assumptions for sourcing is, is something that I'm going toe drum into. You guys make you understand what you need to consider.

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!