I'm excited to tell you about my intensive consulting programme, 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 programme is 1-on-1, so that you can get answers to your questions + receive personalised information that's tailored to your situation + business aims. I've designed this service 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 personal consulting sessions, as well as extras including design reviews by an industry professional, training on approaching + working with manufacturers + how to strategically create a business that works for you.
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, or don't want to do it alone + have no-one to help. What if I said we could;
* Make a plan that works for YOU
* Map out each step, so you know exactly what you should be doing + when
* Have regular calls to answer all of those questions that no-one seems to be able to answer, or even understand
* Most importantly, give you confidence, help you to understand the industry + knowlegably communicate with suppliers
As well as this, I'll also;
* Educate you on things to look out for, to avoid potential problems
* Help you to assess what expenses are necessary + what can be avoided
* Help you to avoid the mistakes that I see new brands making ALL THE TIME
The benefits of this programme
* You'll go from just having an idea, to getting your products made!
* You'll get the 1-on-1 help of an industry professional with 14 years experience
* You can work on the programme at your own pace + just do each step when you're ready; there's no rushing to be prepared, or waiting for help when you need it
* You don't need any experience at all, most of my clients don't have a fashion or business background
* You can get your questions answered; it's so hard to find reliable fashion info online, everyone is so secretive!
* You'll get a 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
* You won't be like the customer below, who emails 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 programme 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 programme work + what do you get?
I've split the programme up into 7 manageable steps, I carefully chose this number as it gives you enough time in each session to cover everything, without wasting any of your precious time. Each step includes a 1hour 1-on-1 consulting session with me + extras which vary depending on your business + which stage you're at. For example, some steps include resources + worksheets, while others allow you to send your ideas over to me for a personal review + action plan.
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, you can still fit the programme around it, or if you want to move quickly + do the programme in a short time frame, you can! What's more, as the sessions are just for you, you can book a time that suits you, where-ever you are.
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, I'll find out about your ideas + aims for the business, so that I can tailor advice to you specifically. I'll provide you with helpful worksheets which suit where you're currently at (so if you've not done anything, or made a start, it's not a problem - any progress, or lack of is fine).
I'll review your business ideas + in our 1 hour consulting session, we'll talk in depth about your ideas + what we can do to achieve them + also look at your budget + how we can work with that. Even if you have a small budget, it's still possible to create a successful range, by choosing the right strategy
Step 3; Design review
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. When you have some design ideas, either that you have created, or designs from someone you've hired, I can then take a look at them from a professional point of view + consider things such as;
- 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
After I've reviewed the designs, we'll have a 1hr call to go through my findings. We’ll also speak about 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 package), but I'll also give you alternatives that you can use to find someone to help. During the call we'll cover what information to include + what it means, so that you can understand questions from the factory.
Step 5; Manufacturer review
When you've had some positive replies from suppliers, you can send 4 of them to me, so I can assess the pros + cons for you. I always recommend reaching out to several potential suppliers to get ideas of what they offer and their pricing. But I often find that their quotes include different things, for example some may include fabrics while others don’t. I’ll review the responses from your 4 best factory options + help you to understand what they’re offering + let you know if there’s ways to improve the price.
In the 1hour consulting session, we'll talk about things you can do to minimise the risk + also effective ways to manage factory production. Communication can often be very different when working with factories + we'll talk about ways to approach it to get better results.
After this session, you may need to ask some further clarification questions (which we'll discuss) + then you're able to begin sampling. We'll cover a brief overview of the sample process, so that you can confidently organise this ready for the next step.
Step 7; packing + shipping
After you've received the training on fittings from me, you'll be able to go through the rest of the fit process independently. This will then give me the opportunity to go through other considerations with you, that are often forgotten. This includes;
- Transporting the stock
- Tax + customs considerations
- Allocating stock for different sales channels (if applicable)
- Quality checking
This final 1 hour session helps you to understand what's involved in getting your stock to the right place.
Step 2; Roadmap
After we've established what you would like to achieve with the business and who you want to cater to, I can then help you with a ‘roadmap’ – put simply, I can outline the steps that I believe will be the best for your business. For example, the production methods that are best to use, the overall strategy + the action you need to take to move forward.
As well as written information, you'll also get an Excel sheet, which outlines the expectations for the timeline, which helps 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 easily be used + updated for future collections.
In our consulting session, we'll go over the road map + what it involves. You're welcome to ask questions, so that by the end of the session you'll feel confident with what you need to do to achieve your aims. The roadmap is broken down into manageable steps, like the programme, so that you don't have a feeling of overwhelm.
Step 4; Finding a manufacturer + fabrics
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. We'll start with a 1 hour training session, to go through the following;
- 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
I'll provide you with checklists for questions to ask, a list of websites where you can start looking for factories + the Excel template that I use to keep track of + compare options.
You'll then use this to go + source your own factory options, for us to discuss in the next session.
Step 6; sample fittings
You may have heard me say that sample fittings is one of the most important steps you can take. It's really important to test the garment, check the quality + sizing.
In a 30min session we'll talk about organising a fit session, what to do + what to look out for. I'll also provide you with a checklist to help you on the day. I'll ask you to take photos during the fitting + you can send photos of 3 styles to me. I'll then review the photos + make some notes on suggested improvements.
In the next 30min call, we'll go over my suggestions + 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.
I'm proud to maintain 100% positive feedback across all areas that I work in
29andSeptember Studio has been featured on;
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 service 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 phone (nothing fancy, even a landline is fine) for me to call you on
- an email address for sharing files
- access to 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 programme take
As long as you want it to! The programme is completely tailored to you, so if you want to complete all of it quickly you can, or if you'd like to space out steps to accomodate your job or holiday, that's fine too.
+ How is the programme structured, do I have to be available at specific times?
No, the programme is completely tailored to you. I'll send you a link to my calendar, which will show you the available session times available, in your local time zone. If none of the available times are suitable, you can contact me to arrange something separately + I'm happy to make arrangements outside of usual working hours.
+ 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.
- If you opt for the full package, the full payment will be taken when you confirm your place.
- If you opt for the payment plan the first installment the first payment will be taken when you confirm your place. The subsequent payments will be made before the start of each step, at a time convienent for you.
+ I’m starting my business with a friend(s), do we all have to pay for the programme?
No, it's just one payment for the business! You + your friend(s) or partners are welcome to be present + ask qustions on the calls. As you're all working to the same goals with the same business, you don't need to pay more than once.
+ What are the terms + conditions?
There aren't any strict terms + conditions, but I do have a contract which outlines how much you've paid + what I will deliver. The expectations are the same as this page, but the contract is for your records + security. You can read a copy of the contract by clicking here, before you commit to anything.
+ 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 one-on-one sessions + downloads will help you to understand the entire process, without the need for doing a fashion course.
+ Is this open worldwide?
Yes, all of the consulting sessions take place on the phone or via Skype + I can call you wherever you are. Currently I have clients in 11 countries + 4 continents, so geography really isn’t a problem. If English isn’t your first language there’s also the option to have instant message chats, rather than phone calls, which some clients have preferred as they can use a translator if they get a little stuck on a particular word or phrase.
+ 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. When I work with clients I’m always open to their suggestions + ideas, but even if they’re right, I always think it’s good to offer up alternatives + challenge reasoning to ensure that every decision you make is because it’s the best option, not because it’s the only one you can think of.
+ I already have a business + have a collection in production. Is this programme 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 programme, 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. I’m flexible with my way of working + if your busy during normal office hours I’m happy to schedule calls at evenings + even some weekends if that helps you. In terms of the time it takes to do the work, this can also be done outside office hours. You may find that it takes you longer to launch as you don’t have so much time in general to commit to your fashion label, but having a full time job won’t stop you from being able to work on it. In fact, many of my current clients also have full time jobs. For the most part you wouldn’t need to take any leave from work, unless you wanted to travel to one of the trade shows, but this isn’t a compulsory requirement. Each of the steps can be taken in your own time, there’s no fixed schedule so if you need extra time to complete the steps that’s absolutely fine – you can go at your own pace.
+ Will I have to share my sessions with someone else?
No not at all – this programme is completely private + any sessions will only be between you + me. This isn’t group training, it’s 1-on-1 + the actionable steps I provide will be customised for you, your business + situation.
+ How is this programme 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 programme 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 sucess 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 good places to start looking for contacts.
Who's your mentor?
Hi, I'm Vicki! I'm the founder of 29andSeptember Studio + the mentor for 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 + programme - 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.
In my opinion, one of the best things about this programme is the 1-on-1 aspect. It's really rare that you're able to get 1-to-1 help with a company founder + industry expert with 14 years of experience. I felt it was important to offer this, so that you can get the most from the experience. The problem is that there's only one of me + I want to make sure I have enough time with each client, which means I'm limiting the intake to 3 clients a month. Only 3! So, if you're interested in taking some positive steps to launching your fashion line, let me know as soon as you can to confirm your place, as places will be on a first come, first served basis + I'm anticipating that I'll be taking advanced bookings.
If you're ready to start working together, great! I've put together 2 pricing options. The first is the complete programme. If you buy all 7 steps at once, I'm offering a huge 25% off the individual price. Alternatively, if you'd rather pay in smaller instalments, you can purchase the first step + get started straight away for a smaller investment. You can then pay for each step individually, when you're ready to start it.