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Archive for the ‘Sales Tools’ Category

I love this piece that came out in WSJ.com. It talks about how consumers are experiencing brand fatigue from big luxury brands and seeking something unique in fashion, hence the strong emergence of indie fashion, and websites and TV showcases like Etsy, Smashing Darling and IndieShop that give consumers unprecedented access to beautiful, independently produced goods, while creating a mega-million dollar industry.

Read the article here:

Crafts, Clothes and Clout

Small Designers Reach Larger Audience With Growth of Web and TV Showcases

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A few months ago, the amazing Kathleen Fasanella from Fashion Incubator chimed in on a blog post of mine buy posting a comment with some great links from her website on how to better work the fashion trade shows. Here are links to those tips again, posted front and center for everyone to see.

1. How to promote yourself bef1ore a show
http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/how_to_promote_yourself_before_a_show/

2. How to promote your line at a tradeshow
http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/how_to_promote_your_line_at_a_trade_show/

3. What it’s like to exhibit at MAGIC
http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/what_its_like_to_exhibit_at_magic/

Tip from Kathleen:

“One last take away, I CANNOT stress this enough:
Make sure your booth number is on EVERY SINGLE piece of material in your booth. EVERYTHING, down to press releases, press reprints you give away, line sheets, order forms, business cards, swag, whatever. If that means you have to order little stickers to plaster on everything, so be it. Seriously.”

And lastly, I found this great interview with the folks who put on MAGIC on Fashion Biz Inc’s website. It also has some great advice on how to work the shows. It’s called “Get the most out of MAGIC!”

http://fashionbizinc.org/blog/selling-at-a-trade-show/

Good luck at market everyone!

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My latest article for Nolcha.com contains advice on how emerging fashion designers can impress retailers when going to market for the first time. All info was gleaned from interviews with successful boutique owners. Insider info, just for you. Here’s a quick excerpt and a link to the full article:

As an emerging fashion label launching in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, you are undoubtedly making every possible effort to impress buyers at market and gain a competitive advantage. Chances are, you’ve made a considerable investment in all aspects of your business, from samples and production, to branding, marketing, PR, and sales efforts.

But because of the recent economic down-turn, retail buyers are scrutinizing new labels more closely, and some are favoring tried and true brands over new ones, for fear that new ones may not be as “buttoned-up” and therefore a financial risk. With tradeshow season upon us, how can you show retailers that your label is a good investment? Show them that you’re pulled together and super committed to helping them sell your line. Here’s how….

Read the full article here.

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I just wrote on this topic for Nolcha.com. Social media—word of mouth on steroids— can give your fashion biz the boost it needs to gain traction.

Here’s an excerpt:

Social media is all the rage: fashion brands like Gucci, Rachel Roy and Louis Vuitton are all tapping into this medium to have their voices heard in a free-global marketplace.

At the 9 Festival for Fashion and Photography in London, fashion executives spoke about the impact social media is gaining in their business.

Stephanie Phair, Director of www.theoutnet.com explained the new presence of Facebook and blogging in business. “In traditional media fashion designers and retailers had a push mentality where we told you what you wanted and what your should buy.  Now with social media a push-pull mentality has emerged where customers have a very important voice.”

The beauty of this media revolution is that anyone can participate, from the consumer to the independent fashion designer, yet few fashion brands are embracing the full potential of social media’s impact on their business. Here are the top 5 reasons you should be using social media now….Read the full article here.

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On July 19, I will be conducting a Coffee Chat through CRAVEbusiness along with fellow superstar consultant Juliet Sander. It will be an informative, informal, and entertaining session where we discuss the ins and outs of launching a successful biz in the retail, fashion, and beauty industries, and what to expect in your business, over coffee. Here’s the official event description and a link to sign up. Hope to see you on July 19 in Seattle!

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This Coffee Chat is for fashion, beauty, lifestyle and retail business owners (or those who want to be) and will give you a snapshot of what to expect for your first 0-10 years in business, how to get off the ground, and how to use branding, marketing, and social media to your advantage. We’ll also focus on your own individual business challenges and will brainstorm helpful ideas to keep your business growing.

Speakers: Giannina Granata Silverman and Juliet Sander
Topic: Make it happen – Strategies for Launching and Growing a Fabulous Fashion, Beauty, Lifestyle or Retail Business
When: Sunday, July 19th, 2pm-4pm
Where: Pilates on 10th, 2351 10th Ave E Seattle, WA 98102
Price: $25 per person

Click here to sign up.

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Another reader has written in with a question, which I will reply here for everyone’s benefit:

From Shannon:

Hi Giannina,
I was wondering if you ever covered the topic of how to approach the buyer at a boutique? I have a new product (it falls under the Food & Beverage category I guess) and I am just now starting to work on getting the product into stores. I would love to know if there is a protocol on how to go about doing this – without going to a trade/gift show. Any advice? Or any suggestions of articles/blogs/posts that address this question? Thanks for your time. I love the blog and can’t wait to read more of it!!

Hi Shannon, I have covered this a little before but will address the topic again. I have a client with similar situation to yours, she could not afford trade shows or gift shows, yet by simply pounding the pavement locally, has managed to gain entry into major stores here in Seattle. It is completely acceptable to approach local boutiques directly.

However, emails didn’t seem to work, as they got lost in the shuffle, but what did work was calling and asking for the buyer and getting an appointment. Once at the appointment, being very organized and professional is helpful. Of course, it really helped my client that her brand image was in order ( I designed all of her packaging) as it really, really helped sell the product. What also helped was having some sort of professionally designed literature (which I created for her) accompanying her product that would explain it to the customer, and help the product sell. This really clinched the deal, as it made her look like she was thinking ahead about how to sell the product, which store owners love.

I hope you find this info helpful. Good luck!

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