I'm excited to tell you about my online course, which has been years in the making! Through my experiences in the fashion industry, I've been able to create
a 7 step programme which takes new entrepreneurs from idea to production, even if you don't have any experience in the fashion industry!
The course is online + consists of videos + downloads which you can work through at your own pace. I've designed this programme to work around you, your availability, your life + business goals + structured in a way that educates you about the fashion industry so that you can feel confident + move forward with your brand. Each step tackles a particular aspect of the production process + provides you with training to enable you to strategically create a business that works for you.
A new module will be launched every month between now and October 2018, allowing you to work step-by-step + start your fashion business with a plan in place.
Imagine what your life would be like with your own clothing brand
A lot of people seem to be put off from starting a label because they are scared of what might happen, are unsure of what to do or where to begin + are worried about their lack of experience in the industry. What if I told you that after doing this course you'll be able to;
* Know what steps you can take, to get your idea from the initial stages through to prodution
* Understand essential fashion industry terminology, so you can confidently communicate with suppliers
* Feel confident in contacting fabric suppliers and factories
* Know the different production methods that are available + how to decide which one is right for you
* Calculate pricing + be aware of costs, including where to spend + where to save
* Work out a plan that you feel comfortable with, so that you can produce a fashion range in a way that works for you + your brand.
* Avoid many of the pitfalls that I see new brands making ALL THE TIME
The benefits of this course
* You'll receive training to help you go from just having an idea, to getting your products made!
* You can work on the programme at your own pace + just do each step when you're ready; you can watch + rewatch the videos as often as you like. There's no limit on how many times you view any of the content
* You don't need any experience at all, most of my clients don't have any fashion experience or a business background
* You can get your questions answered; each module has a Q+A section, where you can ask questions for me to answer. You can also learn from questions that your peers have asked.
* You'll feel equipped to create your own personalised 'road map', so you know what your strategy is + the best way to get your business to where you want it to be. No more wondering what to do next
* You minimise the risk, by having a professional explain the common pitfalls + how you can avoid them
* You can save money, by knowing what to look out for + what options are available
* You can even start with a small production budget, by using a business model such as pre-selling or custom orders (if you have no idea what that is, don't worry. I'll explain everything in the videos)
* You won't be like the customer below, who emailed me saying;
Interested in learning more?
I know it's a big step to make the decision to start your own business, you may be wondering if it's right for you. I completely understand + to help, I'm offering free enquiry calls, so that you can see if the course is a good fit for you, see if I'm a good fit for your business + ask any questions you may have. To book a free call, use the button below, select '15min enquiry call' + I'll phone you at your designated time;
How does the online course work + what will you learn?
I've split the programme up into 7 manageable steps. I carefully chose this number as at the end of each module I give you a specific task to work on, which will help your business move forward. A new module will be released every month (until October 2018) + includes a minimum of 1hr of video training, plus downloads, such as help sheets, workbooks + checklists - whichever is most relevant to the module content. The video + downloads give you actionable steps to help you complete the task I set - helping you to work towards your goals. You'll get;
* Over 7 hours of video content, packed with helpful information
* Workbooks, checklists + help sheet downloads
* Information to help you get from initial idea, through to clothing production
Each step can be done at your convenience, you don't have to be available on a specific day, or do the steps within a specific time frame. This is great because if you have a job or other commitments, you can still fit the programme around it, or if you want to spend longer on a particular module you can, you won't miss out on anything! What's more, as the classes are pre-recorded, they're available to you whenever you have internet access, so you can learn whenever you feel like it.
I know people are busy, so I've worked really hard to make each video full of useful + relevant information. Each one of these steps is key to running a fashion business + we'll cover all of the following in the video lessons;
Step 1; defining your target customer, brand + business aims
You may have done this already, but ensuring that your ideas are really focused is the best way to start. Having an unclear objective makes it really hard to succeed as a business + will cause a lot of problems when it comes to negotiations, marketing + sales, so it’s best to iron these things out at the start.
In this step, we'll cover things you need to know about the business you want to create, before you make a start. You'll be given a workbook to guide you through making tough but important choices for your business. The training will help you decide on the specifics of your target customer + how you will inspire + sell to them. You'll also think about your brand, what will make you unique, what you'll stand for + how your business will operate. I'll help you to understand why a brand message + brand story are so important, not just when you're first starting out, but throughout the life of your business. I constantly refer to my target audience + use it to make faster + better decisions, + I'm going to show you how to do the same.
Step 3; Designing
When you’ve got an understanding of what you want to produce, who it’s for + how you make it, you can then start designing; in the videos I'll share my tips for designing a range. When you have some design ideas, either that you have created, or designs from someone you've hired, it's best to do an extensive review before starting to invest in samples. In the video training I'll help you to think outside the box and consider the following, among other things;
- How does this work together as a range
- How will this be perceived by customers/press/buyers
- Is this possible to manufacture? Are there any causes for concern, or elements that could raise the costs?
- Does this work with your sales strategy? We'll consider things like ATV (average transaction value) + add-on sales, which generate profits when done effectively
The class will also cover the technical documents that need to be prepared so that the factory can make your samples.
In the interests of transparency I should advise that I am able to create technical documents (not included in the course), but I'll also give you alternatives that you can use to find someone to help, if you wanted to.
Step 5; Working with a manufacturer
This is one of the main things that new entrepreneurs struggle with, how to find a factory that has the capability to produce their items + how to approach them. The video training will cover;
- Things you need to decide before contacting a factory
- Ways you can look for a factory, online or through networking
- Questions to ask the factory in your initial email/meeting
- Follow up questions
- Methods for shortlisting + pros/cons to look out for
We'll then move on to ways of managing your factory + ways to try + protect yourself + minimise the risk. As with any business, there's no guarantee of success + there can occasionally be bad factory experiences, but in the training I hope to give you enough information to minimise any risk as much as possible. I'll explain things like trailing samples, cross-costing + outlining expectations before confirming any large orders, or paying the deposit.
Step 7; packing + shipping
In the final module, I'll cover some of the less glamorous, but equally important considerations. I'll help you to think about;
- Transporting the stock
- Tax + customs considerations
- Allocating stock for different sales channels (if applicable)
- Quality checking
And then you'll be ready - you'll have the information to take you from initial idea through to finished product. You'll know what you're doing + have a plan in place - you won't be wondering what to do next, or frantically trying to come up with a plan, you'll have made all of the important decisions in advance.
Step 2; Planning
After we've established what you would like to achieve with the business + who you want to cater to, it's time to develop a ‘roadmap’ – put simply, in the videos I'll outline the options that you have for creating a business + help you to understand the pros + cons of each, so that you can make an informed decision on which is best for you. For example, I'll explain the production methods that are available, the types of business strategy + business models that you can consider.
As well as internal factors, we'll also consider outside influences that may affect your timeline. For instance, trade shows operate at specific times of year + can be a great way to make contacts + find fabrics. Or, if you're wanting to get your items into stores + sell wholesale, you'll need to think about the buyers calendar.
As part of the downloads you'll also get an Excel sheet, which outlines the expectations for the timeline, which helps you to manage production + keep on top of any deadlines (really important if you have a specific date that you would like the items to be available). The Excel sheet is easy to use + can be updated for future collections.
Step 4; Fabrics
Fabrics are really important to the success of a range. The right design can be totally wrong if you don't choose the correct fabric. Likewise, an amazing fabric can turn an average design into a best seller. The video will cover things like;
* Understanding the basics of fabrics
* How to approach sourcing fabrics
* Signs of a bad fabric
* The meaning of an eco-friendly or sustainable fabric
* Ways to develop your fabric knowledge
You'll then use this information to go + source your fabric options, having gained new skills + an understanding of fabric basics. I've also put together a download to help you, which you can use as a reference for some of the key terminology that we'll cover - great to take with you during fabric visits, or to sourcing fairs.
Step 6; Sampling
You may have heard me say that sample fittings is one of the most important steps you can take, in order to produce a great quality product. It's really important to test the garment, + check the quality + sizing.
In class I'll talk about organising a fit session, what to do + what to look out for. I'll provide you with a checklist to help you on the day. I'll also cover the most effective way of communicating changes with the factory. I have a system that I've been using for years, which I'll share with you.
As part of your downloads, you'll get a template to help you with communicating any sample changes that you would like to make. This is the same format that I use to tell the factory what to improve on - it's a great way of keeping all of the information together, rather than having to trawl through hundreds of emails (because let's face it, no-one has time for that).
Ready to join us on the course? Register now using the button below;
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I'm sure you've got lots! Below are some FAQ's as a starting point (click a question to see the answer), but I'm also offering free 15min consulting sessions, to answer any of your questions + so you can see if the course is right for you. You can book a free call via the button below;
+ What else do I need to budget for
There aren't any other financial oblications to me that you have to pay for. Of course, there are other costs to consider when setting up a business, such as production costs, marketing, website + you might want to get additional help + support with designs, techincal documents or perhaps PR + marketing advice. For some information about costs to consider, you can click here to read a free article on the subject, or we can discuss during a free enquiry call.
+ Do I have to buy anything else from you?
No, not if you don't want to. I do offer other services that you may find helpful, such as designs or tech pack specifications, but there's no obligation. I'll also tell you other places that you can look for these services, so that if you want them, you have the opportunity to interview others + get pricing from them.
+ What do I need to complete this programme?
- a device with internet connection (smartphone, computer or tablet will all be compatible)
- Excel or Numbers ideally as some of the documents I send are Excel files. I could send them to you in another format, but I find Excel/Numbers very good for keeping track of suppliers + finances
+ How long does the course take
Module 1 launched on April 30th and a new module will be released every month until October 2018. There are 7 modules in total. There is a minimum of 1hrs of video per module. You have unlimited access to the videos + files, so if you need more time it's not a problem - you can work at your own pace.
+ How is the programme structured, do I have to be available at specific times?
No, after the course starts on April 30th, the content will be available any time, day or night - so if you have the urge to complete the course at 5am, you can. One new module will be available every month, from April 30th 2018.
+ How do you take payment, is it secure?
Payment is very secure, I use Paypal for all of my invoicing, so I don't receive or have access to any of your card details. You can checkout as a guest, you don't have to register for a Paypal account if you don't have one.
+ What are the terms + conditions?
There aren't any strict terms + conditions, but I do have a contract to explain that any content is for the purchaser only, the files or videos cannot be shared, copied or distributed in any way + also to clarify my service to you. The expectations are the same as this page, but the contract is for you to view by clicking here, before you commit to anything. Please note that by purchasing this course, you agree to these terms + conditions.
+ Do I need experience in fashion?
Absolutely not! If you already have some experience that’s a bonus, but I’ve specifically designed the programme so that you don’t have to have any existing industry knowledge. The videos explain step by step + the downloads will help you to understand the entire process. If you get stuck, you can even ask questions in the handy Q+A section + also see questions that fellow students have asked.
+ Is this open worldwide?
Yes absolutely, the steps would be the same for anyone, no matter where they live, so the programme is suited to students living absolutely anywhere!
+ Do I really need this?
In honesty, no. You could start a fashion business on your own like I did + maybe you’ll be able to make it work. When I first started out, despite having studied fashion, manufacture + promotion for the last 6 years, I still wasted so much money on trial + error. + don’t even get me started on all of the awkward moments where I was trying to speak to a new supplier, manufacturer or even an industry peer + trying to sound like I knew what I was talking about but really didn’t have a clue! When you go it alone, the problem is that ‘you don’t know, what you don’t know’. For example, I’d been using Adobe Illustrator for years to create technical drawings for fashion. They looked professional + I could work reasonably quickly, there were a few issues that popped up + I simply closed the error notice + didn’t think anything of it. A friend recommended a course I could do, specifically for fashion industry professionals, which helped them speed up their work + automate some of the process. I was reluctant to spend money on something that I thought was going ok, so I kept putting it off. Eventually I did purchase the course + by the end of it I was able to complete the same standard of work, in half the time. On one hand, it was great to have such an improvement + so much extra time to work on other things. On the other hand, I was thinking, ‘why didn’t I know this years ago’, I’ve wasted so much time! + even scarier, was the thought that if I hadn’t made that investment, I would’ve been slow in Illustrator for the rest of my career. What I realised is that it’s so easy to go through life thinking that what you’re doing is right, but without anyone to challenge you, or show you another way, it’s really hard to get out of your own way, move forward + find a better way to work. This course will cover different ways that you can do things, so that you can make an informed choice on what's best for you - by knowing the available options + what they mean.
+ I already have a business + have a collection in production. Is this course suitable for me?
Possibly. If you don’t have systems in place + are struggling to get results you will still get a lot of valuable content from this course, as we’ll make sure that everything is in place for a smooth production run + also talk about effective ways to manage your manufacturer + communicate with them for best results. For businesses that have successfully produced a range + are looking to make improvements, perhaps on the profits or want to grow the brand, I have different options that would be more suitable for you. If you’d like to schedule a free call by clicking here I can go through the options with you.
+ I have a full time job, will I have to quit?
No absolutely not! I had a full time job when I launched my company too + it can be a great option to have some money coming in so you can fund the business. Each of the steps can be taken in your own time, there’s no fixed schedule so if you need extra time to watch the videos or complete the steps that’s absolutely fine – you can go at your own pace.
+ How is this course different to others?
What I found as an entrepreneur is that there’s a lot of information + programmes for marketing strategy + sales, but very little that focuses on the production side. + without producing a product, there’s of course nothing to sell. This course is different because it focuses on creating products that your target audience will love. Specifically, it gives you the knowledge to create a collection + have it made in a way that works for you – whether that be small scale as a trial run, or a large scale factory production.
+ Will I receive personal recommendations of factories + suppliers?
You won't receive personal recommendations, no. This is because the success of a supplier is usually down to how you manange them + the relationship you build. Therefore, just because a supplier was good for me + my situation, doesn't mean they'll be good for you. Instead, you will receive training which gives you the knowlege to make informed decisions about suppliers + I'll help you with places to start looking for contacts.
Who's your teacher?
Hi, I'm Vicki! I'm the founder of 29andSeptember Studio + the teacher of this programme. Prior to setting up 29andSeptember Studio, I worked in the fashion industry for 12 years + was fortunate enough to be able to work for a variety of companies + in different roles including buyer, designer, production management, merchandising, pattern cutting + more. As well as working for major retailers such as the Arcadia Group (Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, etc), Zara + French Connection, I also worked in house for high end designer Alice McCall + at over 50 fashion shows worldwide.
Most importantly, I also started my own fashion business back when I was younger + didn't have a clue what I was doing, so I can relate to those starting a business + feeling overwhelmed because I've been there. That's actually why I started this company + course - I found it was really hard to get honest, reliable advice if you were new to the fashion industry + I didn't find suppliers to be very helpful, you seemed to have to 'talk the talk' before they'd listen to you. Even though I started my company with a tiny budget + little experience, I grew it to a label that had loyal + happy customers worldwide, was stocked in shops on 4 continents + was featured in the Vogue diaries, amongst others. I love helping other startups to do the same + fulfuil their dream of having their own fashion brand.