As we are counting down the weeks, I am trying to stay calm and collected but in reality, I am starting to stress out a bit.
14 weeks… that is just going to fly by ! Help !!!
Time to focus and get very organised.
Still trying to finalise the surface patterns but getting there. Read more about that in last weeks post.
In the meanwhile, an excel sheet has been created, in order for us to plan all patterns, colour ways and fabric requirements.
Normally, drawing up the designs is part of our design process but we did it slightly differently this time. We did all our design work through experimentation so don’t have any drawing of the designs. We combined traditional pattern cutting and zero-waste cutting techniques and sort of let the process determine our final designs.
I created some hand drawn sketches for the purpose of the spreadsheets only.
We have a total of 17 styles, which would make up a collection of about 40 different garments.
7 different fabrics, 3 all over prints and 2 placement prints.
Budgeting and price planning can now get finalised.
Fabric cost, trimmings, prints, labour, packaging/labels, expenses x 2 = wholesale price
Wholesale price x 2.5-3 = retail price
The juggling starts here because organic fabrics, local production, hand printing … it is all pretty costly.
Not only do we need to make sure that the end product is well-designed, stylish and well-made but at the same time, the price needs to be competitive with similar brands on the market too, otherwise it isn’t going to work.
There is an option. We could go down the direct-sale route and immediately almost half our retail prices BUT the question is, could we create enough sales being a small brand, with limited funds, to sustain the business The answer is, it would be tricky.
The logistics and structure of the company would have to be completely different. We would have to invest more in our sales force and distribution. Also, we would have to invest more in stock and merchandise. The overall risk is much higher than the traditional wholesale model, where you create a sample collection and all orders are then created to order. The risk is only as much as you put into creating and marketing that collection.
HOWEVER, we don’t really have to limit ourselves to just one model. We could do both. We could just produce a little bit extra for our own store (probably online or pop-up).
We could also wholesale the main collection and then produce a few unique pieces for our own store/s. A lot of larger brands do this now, where they create special edition pieces to attract more customers and to create stronger brand-customer bonds. This could work for pieces that are more costly to produce and would otherwise be above our target price. Selling it directly to our customers, would mean that our customers would be able to pay a lower price for a higher price product but how would this affect our overall branding and would this have an impact on our wholesale customers ?
Creating a children’s fashion brand isn’t just about good design, is it ?
It is in fact just a small part of it. The structure of the business is as important, if not even more important than the designs. Taste after all, is in the eye of the beholder and there is no right or wrong but the business structure, if you get it wrong, it is wrong.
As always, advice and suggestions are always welcome.
Perhaps you have your own brand and you would like to tell us about your process ? Or maybe you are creating your own brand and you want to share your story with us ?
Feel free to leave a comment below.
Have a good week and please do head over to our Instagram to see what else we are up to.
And if you are into sewing and DIY, do have a look at our #SharingOurStash project, where we are simply giving away our stash of quality fabrics, buttons and trimmings.