Build Your Business Model
This section is kind of getting a little bit more serious in terms of if you're you're approaching fashion design from business stamp point these are things that you don't want to ignore budgeting time and money the nice thing about this that I think people forget is that you don't necessarily have to do everything on a huge scale which requires tons of funding so ask yourself if you can't do a full fledged collection could you do that one item that starts it off and then add to the menu so don't I think we all can say we can put a little money aside and say I'm going to do this piece that really speaks to who I want to attract and then hopefully that would be something that would take off and sell and help you grow the brand and even if it doesn't again this is this little permissions that I think are important when it doesn't remember that's useful too because that's going to inform you as to what what's not your custer is not responding to and that's why it's almost is ah really goo...
d thing to start very small I have ah student china pope who do does a former student she graduated who does these beautiful I mean beautiful really cool cutting edge close and yet and she's concentrating on building that side of her business but then she had this little side business of bow ties and uh they were hit in her circles right and she start expanding she started getting everyone wearing them you know, a couple of them she would give away two prominent local people and and this was a way in teo sort of play with the fact that yes, we have a designer in our midst and I have this easy way in you know and to support her and to kind of show off her work and all these kinds of things so working very small and you know, both eyes a little piece of fabric you know it's like you can you can do that you could make a few of them it's easy tio give us a gift, eh? So think about, you know, budgeting within your means that's really, really key don't feel like you have to break the bank you know, I think there's a lot of pressure on that where you feel you have to impress on a big scale and there is also the option to impress on a really small personal, intimate level, and I think that the kind of story kind of speaks to that theatre thing that you want to figure forget about is time you want a budget your time and this doesn't mean just for a project but it just means you're every day investment I had someone once tell me, you know, you shouldn't call yourself self something you know that give yourself a title unless you're really doing it every day and that doesn't mean actually you know from photographer doesn't mean that you're photographing every day but you're thinking about photography you are reading an article you are researching online, you're going to an exhibit you're even looking you said you know you're in public you're in a crowded city or in the country and you're just looking at the world through your eye as a designer I mean as a photographer in that instance so you as a designer want to be doing that you want to be living and be living being a designer um in uh oh, sorry speaking to time that's how you can kind of figure out how much time to give two things things that I found and talking to other you know, artists, people who create things uh and have to build their time is, uh two really honestly determine what is my time worth and that's just a constant question when I talk to people what in my time actually worth? Because I don't I don't think that we actually value our time appropriately when were first starting out I think that we undervalued so could you speak to that for a minute that yeah that's a that's a really that's a very common in a very difficult question because I think when it comes to creative's we enjoy what we do so much that time flies often, so I temper my need for income with my desire to do the actual project or the, you know, their take on the client. So it's kind of a sliding scale for me, because if it's something that I feel is an investment in my time and resource is then for you, and it speaks to volunteering like, when is it right to volunteer your skills? And and this is just a little thing that I recommend you don't use because it's a little pet peeve, and anyone in the creative industry knows this, like when people say, teo it's, great exposure, I hear that all the time and you here in all the creative fields like you's a freeze ray for that shouldn't be this I don't think I think the show the cell should be we're goingto do something great. We're gonna have fun, we're going to collaborate, I'm going to learn from you, you're gonna learn from me and it's, almost like with interns. I've seen this with interns where some people take on interns and all they do is get coffee. Right? And for me, if you take on an intern, is your responsibility to make their experience a learning experience, and I think it's true, when you asked someone to volunteer or give you a good rate on what they're doing, there has to be some sort of incentive when it comes to balance your time, I would say the one thing you need to think about just very practically is, uh, what kind of resource is, is it eating up in terms of because sometimes you can you might really want to do it, but you really need to pay the rent, right? Or you really need to pay the electricity, which is going to power your machine. You're just very, very basic. So you want to ask yourself how much of that time and of your resource is, is that eating up on dh, then the valuing, you know, you want to think what's the wage, you want to do a little research and see what do people get in different markets and say and be honest about where you stand and say, well, if I'm new, you know, is my strategy to say, I'm this hot shot and it's a little bit more, you know? Or or am I gonna and this could be a tricky area because you khun undervalue yourself and say, oh, I'm going to do a discounted because I'm new, but it discounted because you're new or, you know, a lower price because your new is not a bad thing if you're choosing tto learn from that process. So if I haven't worked with clients before, I'll have less guilt about messing it up because I haven't tried it before if I'm you know if I'm either not charging or giving them a really good rate so it's all this balancing act, then I think that's why it's so hard there's no cut and drive, but they're our guide's online like you see always a lot of articles about you know what to fashion designers make or stylist make so that's a helpful thing always remember, though, that those are meant to be a little sensational sometimes, and they also reflect major markets. Not often, you know, like in boston is not gonna be the same in new york, so my work that the sewing part of the work is very devalued people really have no regard they have no concept of the work itself how much time it takes what's involved with that, so I try to emphasize de emphasize the sewing part and emphasize the skills that other skills that I bring to the work that I do the designing the uh experience and that kind of thing I feel sort of bad because really the sewing partisan essential it's the hardest but it is the least valued component part of what I do there's a reason for that I know what the reason is I mean for me the reason is most people don't don't know it you know don't haven't done it themselves and if you do the social media that we're talking about earlier about the process people couldn't get more invested and for me it's like art appreciation of what one o one you can look at a painting and yeah you like it you don't like it but once you know more about it and what the you know the the inspiration or the process or what their theory was all of a sudden that world gets a lot um or you know you can appreciate why something costs so much like this is great book it's like I know your kindergarten kid cannot do this you know like for modern paintings you know it's like they can't just left you know paint on there and it's art there's a reason you educate your customer and find fun ways of doing that and sometimes social media well social media like little videos like of the process like something as simple as an instagram siri's and you say to yourself you know, I'm working on this project every morning, I'm going to do a picture. Oh, right, and take them through the process. It's not gonna work for everyone, but it will start to cultivate the fact that you value it and you're showing them why it's valuable? And then you're serving them what the result is because we kind of take it for granted that okay? That's beautiful, you know, and it's great. And on the left. But we're so used to discounted prices and, you know all these kinds of things that devalue the fashion so it's kind of our job to educate our customer. All right? Um, investments not always the easiest thing to attain. So you know that it's not always gonna be this big chunk of money, you know, landing in your lap. But it is a root crowdfunding. We spoke to that, you know, within the go go and kick starter. And those are great places, teo there almost like etc for businesses in terms of before you get to see it's like this building your business. And because of the questions that a lot of those websites ask you and the information you need to provide, it almost becomes like your business model, you learn how to structure your business. When you do and you can do them project based, you don't have to do it for your whole business because that's probably not going to fly, but do it for a special project that you want to dio and see if you get a response and and be also realistic and what I think you're asking for in terms of funding, I think a lot of people over priced themselves and then don't get any funding, so a good way to manage that is to think about your project, and if it's a real big project, break it down into phases and do they kick started program for the first phase for the second phase, that kind of thing? My question about those crowdfunding in this industry, since I'm not as familiar with it personally, is there a ton of crowdfunding going on right now? And what are some of the successful things that you've seen funded? Well, I think I don't know if it's changed if there's someone who's taken over, but in boston, actually, we had, I think, the most successful, the first most successful fashion crowd funding for ministry of supply, and it wass men's wear shirts, I think e think they did one day at a time, I think it may have been a shirt where it's performance fabric and it's all about the tech, and so the great thing about it is that they brought in the fashion world, but they also brought in the tech world, so when we're talking about collaborations and maybe project based that maybe you're doing something with a theatre company are with a group, you know, maybe you're doing something special with a particular group like a convention, maybe you're doing a special thing that will be seen at the convention, and that gives people a little bit more buy in collaborations, we've talked I I always bring this up because it's my life like I think this is the heart of everything we want to have our time where we're alone and we're letting all this sort of sink in like we're researching and mood boards and become who we are like that full version of who we are creatively, but then we want to bring it to the table and because we can come up with some great ideas, but more often than not, if you really solid and what you what your specializing in you will get so inspired by people who are doing the same thing in other areas, um, entry level products, we talk about this with the bow ties, you know, like this special thing, what can you do the catch their attention and make it really affordable? And then reverse engineering timelines people are often very intimidated by timelines and I always like to say how much like work with the actual product and say how much time do you need to sew it oh are actually how much time do you need to finish it too so it to make the pattern to spend time researching it and work backwards because sometimes going forward you can just speak it keep going and things kept stretching out but if you work backwards and you give yourself realistic blocks of time it makes a little making it a little easier all right well fantastic a j that was a fantastic lesson so many things to think about in that so many things that I think everyone will want teo revue and revisit as well as those things change over time can you talk a little bit now about what we're going to be covering in our next lesson all right, so this next thiss next phase is all about storytelling and we've had a little introduction to that now but we're going to get that kind of go one on one with some of our students in the class and uh kind of doing what he's been doing in a big way but doing it on a more personal way about your experience or your projects or whatever is pertinent and that's the key here to remember throughout this whole class is that it is not um there's, no test and there's no, you know, grading it's a matter of well, I'll try that, you know, it's, like, I'm thinking about that right now. I'm going to explore through this filter, because everything we're talking about today is kind of a filter for your ideas and for your creativity, and you're not necessary going to use all of them right away. But you want to. I always have this framework, a za place to go when it's not coming, you sort of, you know, naturally. So if that's, why, I think is really important to have that baseline.