Here are a few 101’s of the evening:
1. When you are looking for stores to pitch, do your research and find 100 boutiques that you want to hang with before you begin reaching out to them.
2. As you are doing store checks and competitive analyses, find the retail sweet spot for your items and make sure you can hit that number. For example, if the the sweet spot for contemporary dresses is $395, you need to be at or around that range because as an emerging designer, you will have to compete with already established brands in the market.
3. When pitching a buyer, have your elevator sales pitch down so you can deliver it in a concise way. You should know who you are talking to, why they should buy your product and how it will fit with their customer.
1. Social media is a must for any entrepreneur and the term “non-negotibale” was even thrown out! It’s free and with platforms like Twitter and Facebook you can build relationships and connect with people you want to work with such as editors, boutiques and industry contacts.
1. Sabina Ptacin’s motto is “plan your work and work your plan.” This means that your public relations push should have a strategy. To do this, research all of the editors, bloggers and members of the media you will be pitching. This can be done by a Google, Twitter or LinkedIn search and of course, by going to the outlet and reading what they’ve covered. To keep these names organized, use an Excel spreadsheet to keep tabs of who you will reach out to and the status of the pitch.
2. When you are emailing your press contact, be sure that it’s concise and consists of a few sentences or bullets along with an image. Don’t forget, mass emailing doesn’t work as you want your outreach to be authentic and targeted to that news outlet.
Sourcing and Production
1. Whether you want to source locally our outside of the US, there are several options for young designers. Domestically, resources like the The Fashion Center, GIDC and About Sources provide a good range of factories and suppliers. If you want to explore international production, companies like Colombia, Brazil and Peru have trade organizations with match making services to connect designers and suppliers.
2. When looking for a factory, see if you can find a full package one that can do everything from patterns, samples and production to make the process efficient.
1. Jeff Trexler gave great advice about intellectual property, the importance of trademarking your business and spoke about the Fashion Law Institute’s pop-up clinic that offers free legal services once a month to designers. To learn more about legal issues facing fashion brands, he suggested reading Counterfeit Chic, a blog written by Susan Scafidi, the first attorney to offer a course in Fashion Law and professor at Fordham Law School.