Welcome! I’m so excited to introduce you to my online course, something that has literally been years in the making. Thanks to my hands-on experience in fashion, I’ve been able to take everything I know and turn it into a 7-step program. This program takes eager entrepreneurs from idea to production faster and more effectively than you could ever do on your own. Whether you have experience in the fashion industry or are brand new, you’re about to understand exactly what it takes to be successful, turning your dreams into (wearable) reality.
Completely online, this innovative step-by-step course gives you videos and downloads so that you can work through, from start to finish, at your own pace. I’ve specifically designed this program to work around you, your availability, your life and your business goals, structuring each step in a way that is educational and practical.
Not only will you learn about the fashion industry, but you will also gain the confidence you need to move forward with your brand and business. Each individual step tackles a particular aspect of the production process. As you move from one step to the next, you will receive all of the training you need to strategically create a business that is lucrative - and fun.
A new module will be launched every month until October 2018, allowing you to work step-by-step so that you can start your fashion business with a smart plan in place.
Take a moment to imagine what your life will be like when you are in charge of your very own clothing brand.
While it sounds exciting at first, a lot of people are disappointed and turned off by the seemingly insurmountable lists of “what ifs” and “hows”. Scared of what might (or might not) happen, many potentially successful entrepreneurs set their dreams aside and shift their focus to something that feels safer, albeit less fulfilling.
Is this the path you want to join them on?
Rather than worrying about all of the questions, wondering how you’ll ever get from the idea phase to the actual business phase, take action instead. No matter how much (or how little) experience you have in the fashion industry, there’s no better time than now to bring your vision to life.
With my help, you’ll be able to:
* Understand exactly which steps you need to take to get your idea from its initial stages all the way through to production
* Understand and use essential fashion industry terminology so that you can confidently communicate with all of the best suppliers
* Feel confident when contacting fabric suppliers and manufacturers
* Identify the variety of production methods available and discern which one is right for your brand’s needs
* Effectively calculate pricing while being aware of hidden costs
* Decide when it’s important to invest money and when it’s okay to save
* Develop a custom plan for your fashion brand that aligns with your vision and mission.
* Successfully avoid the many of the pitfalls that destroy new brands ALL THE TIME
By taking this course, you will be more prepared than many other entrepreneurs entering the field, giving you the advantage you need to excel in a cutthroat industry.
* Move beyond just having an idea and enjoy the exciting business of actually seeing your products get made and be available for purchase.
* Have all of the tools you need to be successful at your disposal, which means you can go back to watch and re-learn whenever you want and at your own pace. There’s no limit to how many times you can view or how long the videos and downloads will be available.
* Have the confidence you need to propel your fashion brand forward, even with zero industry experience. Most of my students are brand new in both business and fashion, but that doesn’t stop them from being successful.
* Have all of your questions answered personally by me. Through the Q+A section of each module, I’ll answer all of your questions, leaving my comments available for everyone to view. Sometimes the questions your peers asked are the most helpful!
* Feel equipped to create your own personalised business plan so that you have a tailored strategy to follow. This step-by-step road map is the best way to get your business to where you want it to be. No more wondering what to do next or where you should be heading.
* Have minimised the risk of starting a new business by having an industry insider explain the most common pitfalls and exactly how you can avoid them
* Have saved tons of time, money and energy because you’ll understand all of your options before making any costly decisions. In the course you’ll learn how to effectively start your business even with a small production budget by implementing smart business models, such as pre-selling and custom orders.
* Be so glad that you didn’t wait any longer to get your business of the ground and ready for sales!
Ready to take action?
Is it time to finally start your fashion journey?
I know it's a big step. And I know that it can be hard to say “yes”. But aren’t your dreams worth it? By making the decision to start your own business, you are saying “yes” to a life you can really take control of, a life that puts you in the driver’s seat, a life that leaves you feeling fulfilled and exhilarated each and every day.
Taking that first step is scary, but that’s why I’m here to help.
If you’re not sure if this journey is right for you, I’m happy to offer you a free enquiry call so that I can answer all of your questions. Together, we’ll find out if this next step is the right one for you. I know what it takes to be successful and, if I don’t think this course or my training is a good fit, I’ll be sure to tell you. My success is dependent on your success - and I’m known for my keen ability to sense when someone is meant for the industry and when another path is a better choice.
To book a call with me to see if this decision is right for you, just click on the button below and choose the “15 Minute Enquiry Call” option. You can schedule the call at your convenience!
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 2 hours of video training, plus downloads, such as help sheets, workbooks + checklists - whichever is most relevant to the module content. The videos + downloads give you actionable steps to help you complete the task I set - helping you to work towards your goals. You'll get;
* Over 14 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
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 your brand strategy is + who your customers will be, 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 do my designs work together as a range
- How will my collection be perceived by customers/press/buyers
- What can I do to help with pricing and manufacture?
- 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 your brand identity + who you want to cater to, it's time to develop a strategy – 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 + business models that you can consider. These include concepts for the actual product offering, as well as the two main selling strategies + tips for creating a sustainable and/or ethical brand.
There's several downloads with this module, which include an Excel sheet to help you understand timelines, PDFs with a summary of the pros and cons + a workbook which you can use to note down your preferred options.
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?
What current students are saying;
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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.