29andSeptember Studio

What do I invest in to help my clients?

Studio, Industry how toVicki WallisComment

If you've been following along with the blog, you may be aware that I'm in Germany at the moment, having attended the Munich Fabric Start fair last week. This trade show was a good opportunity for me to meet fabric, trim + label suppliers, as well as manufacturers + some very informative seminars on topics relevant to fashion business + production. I attend several events each year + spend thousands on travelling to meet suppliers, trend information + education on the latest industry updates, so that my clients don't have to! You may already be aware that I offer a free trend board to my clients each month (if you're not already signed up to that you can subscribe to receive it below!), but how else can all of the information I'm collating save you time + money? Let me explain.....

If you've visited the 'work with me' section of this website, you may have noticed there's a few different options to choose from. You can work 'a la carte', meaning you simply cherry pick the exact services you need + I'll work to your requirements, or you can select a package. The packages have been designed for specific needs that a lot of my customers have. For example, some are starting from scratch, whereas others already have design ideas + just need technical help. The pages are tailored to those scenarios + offer lower rates than the a la carte pricing + have also been tested to ensure that they provide a solution to your particular need. 

It doesn't matter if you choose 'a la carte', or a package, everyone I work (or even, anyone who subscribes actually!) benefits from the investments I make in research, education + networking. For example, if you choose to work with me on designs only, even though we don't have a consulting session on the phone, you'll still benefit from the insider information I have, for example, because I'll select upcoming trends that are relevant to your customer, or I'll suggest fabrics that are available at your price point. This is also a good time to mention that the more information you're able to provide (I send a short questionnaire to all new customers), the more I can tailor any work I do, specifically for you + your customer. Best results usually come from people who have taken the time to give me as much information as possible on what they are trying to achieve! 

Another good example of this is tech packs. If I'm working on your tech packs, a lot more goes into it than me simply filling in information. A lot of consideration goes into each section, so that the tech pack is not only factory + sampling ready, but it also makes the most of current methods, fabrics + practices, to make the sourcing + production process as simple as possible.  

Attending a showing of a fashion collection + viewing other ranges to see how the industry is working

Attending a showing of a fashion collection + viewing other ranges to see how the industry is working

Swatch cards that I collect from suppliers to help clients make informed fabric choices

Swatch cards that I collect from suppliers to help clients make informed fabric choices

From my experience, working with a consultant has always been worth it. I appreciate that most businesses want to keep costs down, but after having seen the benefits of having a consultant, I can see why this is a worthwhile investment - in fact I now have 2 consultants! One who specialises in systems for websites + emails + another who helps with getting traffic to my site + customers through the door. Although those consultants are a cost to my business, the cost would have been even greater if I hadn't implemented any systems, or got any traffic (+ therefore customers!) to my site. I mention this because, as you may know I also offer consulting for the fashion industry + one of the most common misconceptions that people have is that they have to spend tens of thousands of £ or $ in order to start a fashion business. You can if you want, but I certainly wouldn't consider this a requirement, in fact, back in 2010 when I started my fashion business, I only had £150 to work with. Of course, this is a much slower approach, but I was still able   to grow a business that shipped to customers worldwide, was stocked in stores on 4 continents + had features in magazines - so it is possible to start with a smaller budget. By knowing the best places to invest your money + how to approach manufacturing you can save yourself a lot of time, stress + money. 

One of the things a lot of clients need help with is finding a suitable manufacturer. I've designed a specific package for this, so that I can offer the best, most relevant help to those customers. There's an upcoming post planned around factory selection, but essentially when choosing a factory, this is very much a decision that has to be tailored to your personal circumstances. There isn't a one size fits all approach to working with a factory, as some will work better than others for one particular business + what one company might consider a 'bad' factory, is actually perfect for another. For this reason, I've been meeting with + talking to lots of potential suppliers lately in order to have the best possible selection to offer clients. My factory sourcing service provides you with 5 factory names who can product the product you'd like, at a price you can afford + the amount you would like + I will have personally contacted the factory to make sure they 'tick all the boxes'. The service also includes consulting time, so that we can go through the options + understand what is on offer. If you're short of time, or unsure where to start, this is a great option for finding someone to work with. If you'd like to learn more about this service, you can click here to view the full details. 

Hopefully this post has explained a little more about what I do! If you're interested in working together, you're welcome to schedule a free 15minute enquiry call, by clicking here.