In honor of my commitment to a month full of independent design today I bring you my favorite picks to help you throw the most perfect Labor Day Party ever! All of these items are made by independent designers and you can visit their shop by clicking on the photo. Enjoy!
I am so excited to sponsoring the kangacoo and friends BIG Halloween Giveaway! The prizes are so fun and they are divided into 7 prize packages so there will be 7 lucky winners!!!! Get on over to enter! http://bit.ly/19EbGA6
Get on over to enter!!!! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/NmEzOTc4ZWZlY2QxMDUyMjUyMzgwZWZhM2E3YTE1OjI5/
The weather is a bit dreary here in So Cal this week. Being close to the ocean we a bogged down with a bit of fog in the mornings and it has me dreaming of winter (my favorite season). I know it's still summer but this San Fran Bay Area native just can't help herself when it comes to lovely jackets. I have found a jewel of a shop that I MUST share with you! Meet Little Goodall. Click on any photo to visit their shop and see all their items!
This month I am celebrating 30 days of independent design by sharing some of my favorite independent designers with you! (I may not get in all 30 days but I will do as many as possible.)
Today I am excited to share a little gem of a women's line that I found on Etsy, MISSKARRET
Miskarret's designs are colorful, unique but most of all wearable!!!! Just take a look and click any photo to visit her shop:
Don't miss out on my post on Independent Designer Rose Hill Designs by Heather Stillufsen
I wanted to take a minute to share a bit about my experience with showrooms and why I decided to cancel my contracts for the time being. It all comes down to numbers. I recently read an article by Fashion Brain Academy called Sales Do Not Equal Profits and this could not ring more true to my decision to pull out of my showroom contract.
First I will say my showroom rep was very nice and most likely well intentioned but as she grew to take on 3 locations expanding from LA, to Dallas, to Atlanta and she had some other big names in her room that required special attention and that she traveled to other shows for, (just their line) I think my line took a bit of a backburner. Even so she wrote a little over 40k in orders for me last year. That sounds like a nice number to some but here is the math:
50% material and production expenses
2% samples and marketing material
We are down to $19.2K
Showroom Fees $400/mo for 3 rooms LA, Dallas, Atlanta (actually not a bad deal) $4800
12% commissions $4800
My profit at the end of the year $9600
While it is a profit it is not one that was worth it to me. I spent 80% of my time on the wholesale side of my business. I was dealing with production and production issues, working on fabric sourcing and getting prices down, sometimes sewing myself if my production team wouldn't take on a small run, dealing with customers not taking orders and no pays, the list goes on.
I spent 20% of my time on the retail side of my business(Online sales on FB or my Etsy Shop) and on obtaining my own wholesale accounts. In this area I almost doubled what my showroom made me plus I kept 24% more of my profit! (24% is what I ended up paying my showroom after sales and commissions, it makes me throw up in my mouth a little.)
While I was in it I had a hard time cancelling my showroom contract and I should have done it sooner. I was getting burnt out working so hard for so little and my designs started suffering and my attitude sucked. My family suffered due to my stress level. But I was dumb and determined. When I finally sat back and took a look I was able to think clearly.
If I took that 20% of my time and turned it into 50% of my time focusing on retail sales and managing a small portfolio of wholesale accounts then I would be working part time and making more money. I could work full time and make much more but I now had that option. I feel in control again.
I do want to take on that wholesale beast again eventually but next time it will be with a much more educated approach. For now I am taking things back in my hands and enjoying the ride.
Inspired by the Handmade Success Blog I am going to celebrate August with 30 days of sharing my some of my favorite independent designer finds. Today I am going to kick it off with Rose Hill Design Studio. I happened upon her page a couple months ago and I am so in love!!!! Every illustration she makes just makes my heart happy! Today she introduced new snail mail cards. How cute are these?
She also makes fabulous prints for your walls and notepads and all other sorts of goodies!