I had a heck of a time fitting my lookbook pdfs into a reasonable sized document. I don't have the software to make it any smaller. I have everything else in CS except Acrobat. Bizarre . Until it is in fine emailable form, I have no business promoting myself to stores. You gotta back that talk up and make it very easy for them to enjoy. Thankfully, my friend is jamming it out for me.
I've been researching cold-calling, because basically I am selling my line, and my vision to shopkeeps. They have a lot riding on the curation of their store offerings. Just as much as I need to pinpoint my market, they have the same responsibilities. Some of the things I need to express are my value to them, my commitment to quality, my history, my longevity and even customer service, of which they are my customer.
What value do I offer them? This has been a great question to ask myself. Creating my script or talking points really forces me to focus on my goals and product.
Environmental awareness through fabrics, production and delivery. I'm doing my best to source my fabrics regionally and hopefully with all natural, sustainable, even organic textiles woven in the states. I use deadstock fabrics and would like to innovate other ways to use materials that are already available instead of calling virgin resources into being. I am regional, local even. The costs, carbon, dollars, what have you, of delivery should remain low. Both of these methods reduce my costs and can be shared on down the line.
I only want to make something of value. Something that lasts, physically and stylistically. I hate the throw-away culture we live in. Designing for men makes more sense to me for that reason. The trends don't move as quickly in menswear and men will pay good money for well-made items.
I am the DIYer. I taught myself to sew and make patterns; I study production methods and dork-out on equipment; I network with other designers when and where I can; I follow the industry. I want to be the total package. No one is paying my bills.
Wound has made a name for itself, locally and nationally and will continue to do so. I don't mind playing the hype game. It means photoshoots, educating the consumer and sales!
I have to ask myself why I'm doing this, is it just an art project, do I have something to say, do I want the hassle?! I feel that my designs are sweet. I've made sales and people say nice things to me about my line:) I have struggled and endured. I know I'm strong enough to hit my head against the wall a few more times. I've turned the suffering into valuable learning experiences!
As far as service, I feel this door-to-door technique has so many benefits. First, I love the old fashioned nature of it. The interaction between business owners, talking shop and weather. I am very interested in what is selling, what people need or want to see in their closet, put on in the morning, change into for the night. Since, I can make plenty of the inventory in my facility, I can offer a more customized experience in the designs as well. It gives me the ability to be flexible and responsive. At this moment, it makes the most economic sense for me. I don't have to incur the costs of a trade show. While a tradshow offers more exposure to so many more markets, stores and buyers, it also increases the pressures of production and material organization AND the upfront costs. I'd prefer to grow gracefully and have any mistakes, miscalculations or errors be more contained.
After spending more time wondering why I do any of this at all, besides that I hate being bored and unproductive, to me, it's a game, a risk, an adventure. Since I'm not off galavanting about the globe, this gives me the dose of excitement and challenge I crave.