Sho wow three years…is this just a nightmare?!? Last year the business basically tanked twice, and I’m still in one of the darkest personal periods of my life to date.
To be entirely honest 2017 may be my last year, as I wrestle personal demons along with the regular barrage of business troubles. None the less I did learn a great deal in 2016, and that’s always worth a new blog post 😉
Please indulge me once again as I bring back some of last years best pics, and share with you
What I’ve learned from three years in the Fashion Business
#1 Communication is Key
Clients, staff, suppliers, tele-sales people, everyone is on their own mission and it’s a bloody sh*t show. To get anything done requires people to be on the same page for a certain amount of time, and this takes communication. For me this relates mainly to ensuring my clients know what’s happening, and my staff know what I want.
I find the only way is to listen more than you speak. Especially with sales, clients are eager to tell you what they want, and if you’ll take the time to ask them and listen they’ll love you forever.
#2 Know what you’re selling
I think because sewing is such an old industry, there’s something in every corner of the globe that gets put together with a needle and thread. Although different products do require different skill sets, the basics of sewing are pretty fundamental and it’s not too difficult for a tailor to produce a wedding dress, or a laundry bag or a cushion cover.
DO NOT BE SEDUCED!! Although you can indeed provide this random service someone wants from you, and although they’re willing to pay premium for it, unless it’s building up your business in the long run it isn’t worth it to get side tracked.
This also connects with communication; make sure you’re clear about your product, what it is and isn’t, and listen for confused customers.
#3 You can’t do it alone
This point I confess is at the center of my current anxiety. I’m adult enough to admit that firing my 8th employee is at least a bit my own fault. God knows I have little patience to explain things to people, and then get upset when they don’t execute projects exactly as I wanted it done.
But it isn’t just me. Employees have rocked up 4 hours late, deliberately damaged my equipment and purposefully disobeyed direct instructions due to pure laziness. And I hear the same stories from everyone in the industry, and this is besides concern over the quality of education in the fashion colleges.
Honestly I don’t know weather to laugh of cry about this one.
#4 Optimism is your only option
I don’t think I even need to explain this one. I have never experienced the dark depression of uncertainty like I did last year, and there was simply no option but to have faith and believe it would work out.
#5 No one is going to die
It’s difficult to maintain perspective when your every breathing minute is a live or die, fabulous or kitch situation. There’s no way to succeed in business other than giving it everything you have, and so it can seem like that’s all there is.
Through last year’s nightmarish episodes, and probably as a result of them I rediscovered my love of the outdoors. Stepping out into nature really puts things back into perspective. None of it really matters, it’s all just one big game and if you loose this business so what you’ll start a hundred more. The world will not fall off its axis, so you may as well just have a blast and see where the wind takes you 😉
Thank you all for all of your love and support over the past three years. Already this year has been pure madness, and it’s only the 10th!! Do head over and check out the businesses website The Green Tailor, and of course you should DEFINITELY subscribe to the monthly newsletter here 😉
Also, if you want to read what a somewhat more enthusiastic and naive Benji thought about business last year, check out this post.