Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fashion Incubator

I hardly ever blog about the rituals and ups and downs of having your own small business. Lately, I've been thinking about how frustrating and what a huge black hole getting into the fashion industry is. I have no degree in the arts, fashion nor business kind. I am armed with a microscope and some cells, so when I started Muntedkowhai, I was alone. Alone, with the exception of Tania of Arohasilhouettes, who, like me is also a scientist and a born again jewelry designer. There are alot of worries when it comes to producing a line and an image. What goes through our heads is "What do other people do? What do they say in emails when asked certain things? Is it appropriate to ask if stores wanting their branding or our own? Such questions run through our heads and we wonder, how other designers do it. We do not want to seem unprofessional but under that facade, we're a bundle of questions and really there is nothing we can do but go head first with common sense.

is over a year old now and looking back, I cringe at some of the emails, photos and submissions I sent to blogs and shops! Oh boy! In the past year, I've had a few wholesale accounts whereby I did not have a linesheet nor an order form for the buyer. This I found out this week, is crazily important and makes it SO much easier for you and the buyer. While making my line sheet, I realise how important it is to have a solid collection. A collection that is not big with tangent ideas but a small collection with limited colour selections. A collection that speaks volume in design and not how many pieces are in your collection. It is amazing how much you learn and how much there is still to learn from doing one aspect of linesheets!

However, the thing I find most frustrating is the magazines. The bigger magazines seem to be a black hole. I often, wonder where magazine editors or contributors scour to find their material because frankly, that's where I want to be. There are no email addresses to names you want to reach and the thought of sending in samples (which I have heard is frowned upon), leaves me in thoughts of my pieces sitting in the bubble mailer, piled up in other hopeful mail.

Sometimes, I wish successful small business jewelry designers would write a book. A book, a bible to get to where they are. But then, really, who is going to pave someone else's road for them? Unless they're wanting to make lots of money selling that book, WHICH I THINK THEY WILL!

Alas, I am not a pot full of business knowledge and the only thing I would like to impart on those who are curious, is the blog of Fashion Incubator. Fashion Incubator is a blog by Kathleen Fasanella, a pattern maker with 27 years of experience. She provides very helpful information about starting your own apparel business(which can be crossover to jewelry) and the steps required of a professional apparel business to cross over into the fashion industry. It is a good and helpful read. A most uplifting and motivational blog that sets you back on track when you seem out of whack with your line.

If you're interested in her post about Linesheets, check it out here.


Arlene M. Spencer said...

I am in the process of starting an online store for my handmade wares and appreciate your post so much. Thank you for sharing the lessons that you've learned and the fashion incubator post. It would be nice if there was a community for online craftsters to share, commiserate, and also help one another!

blue moss said...

i feel your pain....
thanks for the link to fashion incubator :)

lady ann de borja said...

Hi there, you should check out If you become a member you can gain access to the contact details of the people in the magazines. That means editors, marketing people, etc...Good luck. I love your work :) I just started crocheting and love that you're doing a modern take on it.