One of the things that limits the exposure of many accessory designers who are just starting out, is getting products to the stores. There are several ways a new accessory designer can start to gain exposure in the marketplace. However there are a few things you will need in place. Consider this!
1. The first and most important is production. Am I ready to fill an order? After you have come up with an accessory line, How do I get it made? What will it cost? Production will be a concern as long as you are in business. Think about how big do I really want to be? The answers may help you lay the ground work for setting up production, so that it expands with your needs. Another subject we will talk about later is Overseas Production vs US Production.
Size means more risk, less control, more people, more money, more reward. If… you measure success by the amount of possessions you have.
If you measure success by your happiness index then you may like smaller, profitable fun!
2. Do I have good samples? Samples can be made by you. The samples you see in my press releases were made by me. That’s what this blog is about, to get you to the point of having a set of samples that you can take to a show. a rep or buyer. If you are fortunate enough to afford manufacturing then the manufacturer will provide you with a set of samples. Patterns have to be made, 1st samples have to be made. You can cut your cost by making the first sample and pattern yourself. Every manufacturer will eventual make their own pattern.
3. Vendors Day or Open Call Day, believe it or not, almost every accessory boutique has a day when you can come in and show your collection or items to a buyer. My first order came for an open call day at Felissimo on 56th and 5th ave. They’re fun. You meet Buyers, other designers and you start to get a sense of the business. It’s fun! You can pretty much walk into any boutique and speak with the buyer. We got into Patricia Fields on 8 st. in the West Village by simply walking in and asking for the buyer.
4. Getting a Rep! Worth the effort! They know the market, they’re always looking for the next big thing, which could be you. But you have to chose carefully. The wrong rep and your work could sit. Price points are also a consideration when choosing a rep. Don’t have a $300.00 bag with someone who reps $20 items. A $300 buyer is not walking in to that showroom. Ask if they are boutique reps are do they have department store contacts. You may not be ready for a department store!
5. Can I sustain the debt if I strike gold? Big question! It will determine how you market your designs, who you market to and how quickly you can grow. Understand that in almost all cases you will have to have a 30-60-90-120 day net! What does that mean? It means you will have to carry that debt for those amount of days. Only in the smaller boutiques can you get paid on delivery.If you get one department store, that orders $30000 worth of product, can you take the strain of not being paid for 90-120 days! It’s an important question that needs an answer!
6. Create an eye catching collection! Be bold ! Get attention with your designs. Your first designs could be some of your most exciting designs So sketch and sketch some more and save each and everyone for tomorrows inspiration. Boutiques love to buy things that bring the customer through the doors.
The pay off is doing something you love!
Learn design, know design, love design, to design!