Thursday, October 28, 2010

Next step - Start my own business!

Well, the late summer and early fall have led to big things, even though things seemed to be moving along incredibly slowly! I found that the sewing course I did in London left me with a huge boost in confidence with regard to my sewing ability, and that this boost translated into a much surer hand when I sew! Where I used to struggle a lot to get a straight seam, now it seems more or less automatic. I've also done dozens of zippers lately, and so zippers no longer present themselves as a kind of nightmare part of the project - I know exactly what I'm doing.

Between a massive amount of work preparing my fall courses, I managed to steal about one day a week for my designing efforts. Since the summer I've come up with designs for more than a dozen garments. I've mapped out two garment lines, each with a common flavor to them, and I've constructed the pattern, cut and sewn up the first prototypes for each of the two lines. Somewhat to my surprise, the results are... well, in my opinion, stunning. I've checked this perception out with some savvy (and critical) friends, and I don't think I'm mistaken.

So I started to plan a fashion show to launch the garment lines, what I call my Collection 2011 show. However, when I sat down to work out production and event costs, I realized that I couldn't do a decent event, even under a scaled down framework for a group of friends and colleagues, for less than, say, 5000$ - and that doesn't take into account much in the way of production costs. So if I actually want to turn my garments into something I can sell, even in a small way, I am looking at a significant outlay of funds.

This led me to rethink my strategy... Because, in my humble opinion, the garments I am developing deserve more than a "minimal effort" with a lot of corner cutting to show something for the effort I've put into them.

Hence, I decided to rethink my strategy - what would it take to launch a business to do this properly? Well, it turns out it will take some real financing, so I will need to go to the bank, and for that I will need a decent business plan among other things. So I have decided to go forward with this adventure. I am working on a name and a logo right now, I have a draft business plan developed, and at the same time I am continuing to develop my garments (while also working on my lessons at the university, sigh!). Busy times!

I will be reporting more here as the whole adventure moves forward.