Our first week of business for 2018 felt like three months of work, which makes me extremely happy! Last year I focused the business in a new direction that really took off, and it appears that momentum has carried through to this year.
Since the majority of you guys reading this blog will be doing so wearing clothing, I hope you’ll enjoy hearing about what we in the industry go through to keep you fashionable…or at least covered.
Five Things I learned from Four Years in the Fashion Business
#1 You can’t polish a turd
The fashion industry is awash with clothing businesses that offer inferior workmanship and service, and there’s really just no excuse. The number of garments that have ended up in my studio absolutely ruined by shysters is shocking beyond belief, and nothing will kill your business faster than poor product.
On the flip side of course, nothing will build your business faster than delivering a good product or service. Many businesses spend a great deal of effort in chasing the next deal, rather than managing the business they already have well. ‘A bird in hand in worth two in the bush’ has been my constant motto, and has urged me to ensure each customer leaves my doors with a great product, neatly presented in friendly and efficient service.
Word of mouth, although moving at a glacial pace, is still the most effective marketing known to man.
The sinister version of this catch phrase originated with a good friend of mine, referring to a roundly disliked person she quipped: ‘Well, you can’t go to gym for your face’.
#2 You cant buy cool
But you can certainly buy it’s trappings. People are easily seduced by a nice suit and a good fragrance. Take advantage of it.
# 3 Remember your mission
In hard times one always turns more to the Lord, and in such a time in 2016 I asked God if I was really doing the right thing here. It’s all well and good to be using my talents to make people more fabulous…but I live in the f*cking basement!
I dreamed of a dusty township, and foreign fabrics and food, and the many in this world that live in poverty. Shockingly soon after this dream my mother introduced me to a fellow Mormon Sister Desere.
She happened to run a sewing NGO in Daveton. In 2017 we began collaborating, producing some great fashion and having a general blast of life.
I’m happy to announce that, on reflection on our successes and trials last year, Sinikiwe and The Green Tailor will be continuing our partnership, bringing you such high fashions as have never before been witnessed yet in this life!!!
#4 Fashion uses nudity to sell garments to the wealthy, in order to clothe the homeless.
And that’s why I love this industry
#5 Life is just nonsense
I think any business takes everything you have not just to start, but also to run. I’ve sacrificed my health, my social life, my music and everything not bolted down to keep this business afloat, and I know still more will be demanded of me.
Through it all I try to remember that there are other things out there besides this business, and having a business fail is not the biggest tragedy of all. I keep trying not to take it all so seriously, and enjoy this opportunity to learn and grow from the experience.
Thank you to everyone who has supported my business over the past four years, financially and emotionally. I’m excited to see where this year takes me, which new interesting clients it’ll bring me, and whether or not I can actually find a skilled tailor out there to take the business to the next level.
I’ve been writing these blogs each year since I began the business, and if you’d like to see what the Benjamin of the past thought about the fashion industry, you can go here.
I also write a monthly newsletter of fashion scandal, news about the business and exclusive designs, which you can sign up for here.
And of course you’re most welcome to drop by any Thursday between 9am and 8pm, when we’ll be fashioning like there’s no tomorrow!!
The Studio is at 625 Levinia Street, Garsfontein, and open every Thursday from 9am to 8pm. You can also subscribe to this blog by hitting the follow button, and join the monthly newsletter here for fashion scandal and awesome designs.