Tag Archives: business

Production Planning For Your Small Fashion Apparel Business

I have started a series on production planning over on my website blog.  I will help you to define your production needs, inform you on what is involved in the production process and will finish with a download that will help you plan your production to increase your sales and income.  

Come read my last two posts to get caught up!




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June 13, 2014 · 5:05 pm

TFBM Magazine Issue 3 is LIVE

I invite you to come enjoy issue 3 of TFBM Magazine Spring 2014: The Photography Issue!

I couldn’t be more proud of an issue!  This is the prettiest issue yet as it is focused on product and fashion photography.  Whether you are a designer looking for tips on how to take photos for a line launch, a photographer looking for information on shooting an editorial, or a model looking for posing tips to show off product this issue has something for everyone!

AND I haven’t forgotten my followers that just appreciate the work of independent designers and love the opportunity to shop unique designs.  The online version of the magazine is FREE and all the company names have live links to take you directly to their shops!

Come see for yourself and don’t forget to let me know what you think.  🙂  CLICK HERE OR ON THE COVER BELOW


TFBM Magazine Issue 3 Spring 2014

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Filed under fashion, magazine, Modeling/Photography

Is your ego in the way of your success?

Often times the word ego is thought to be a bad word.  It is connected with words like conceit, entitlement and self importance.  So before I continue I want to define ego here.  Dictionary.com gives the following definition.

e·go  [ee-goh, eg-oh]  Show IPA
noun, plural e·gos.1.the “I” or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thought. 

So really Ego is our way of being an individual.  How we display our ego to the world defines who we are as people.  As a creative person or designer you have chosen to display your brand to the world as an extension of your identity.  It really is a beautiful thing but this is where ms people get hung up on taking their brand to the wholesale market.

There are 3 types of Egos that designers have in his industry.  Only 1 of them will lead you down the path of success.  Which are you?

The Under Inflated Ego
Designers with an under inflated ego have a product/design they love but lack confidence.  These designers often wait to long to share their product, drag their feet on moving forward out of fear, or allow doubt to control their business decisions.
Most “under inflated ego” designers come to me with the following questions/fears:
1.  Who do I sell my designs too?
2.  What if they say no?
3.  How do I find a seamstress/sew shop?
4.  I really like my design but no one is buyng.  Help!
5.  What’s the best way to market?
6.  Should I ask my friends for feedback on my product?
7.  Is it hard to wholesale?  How do I start?

The Over Inflated Ego
Designers with over inflated egos then to be over confident in their product or abilities.  They move forward quickly and many find temporary success.  They often come to me with the following questions/statements.
1.  My product is great, I know it and all my friends have told me.
2.  Noone makes anything like this.
3.  I know exactly who to sell to, everyone, because my product is so fabulous!
4.  What connections do you have for me?
5.  Can’t I just get the orders and then find a manufacturer?
6.  5 stores already bought my product.  I know what I am doing and I am ready for Nordstroms.
7.  Hiring good help is impossible so I just do it myself.
8.  I’ve been doing ti this way for 3 years.  Why change it now?

The Business Minded Ego
Designers with a business minded ego have a healthy appreciation or their product but are able to separate it from themselves.  They understand the saying “it’s business, it’s not personal”.  These designers know they need a solid business plan and fresh product to have a healthy business.  They make decisions for their business based on profit not on ego.  They often have questions like this:
1.  I have interviewed 3 manufacturers and need help selecting the best one for me.  Can you help me narrow it down?
2.  I have a business plan but an element seems to not be working.  Can I change it or should I be more patient in the process?
3.  My top selling product is slowing in sales.  What should I do?
4.  My sales rep is under performing.  How do I handle this?
5.  I have done some market research on a new product and it didn’t do quite as well as I thought but still yielded good results.  Should I add it to my line?
6.  How do i improve my profit margin for wholesale and retail?

I will be honest with you that I started as an under inflated ego with over inflated ego tendencies and then moved into an over inflated ego with business minded tendencies.  With some experience under my belt I am finally rebuilding my brand with a Business Minded Ego.  I will share my journey with you and how I came to this place as a business owner in the coming months.

NEXT POST:  Overcoming an under or over inflated ego an prepare yourself for success.

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WIN an Ultimate Business Start Up Guide!


Sylvia from the Business Plan Mentor is here to help with all things business related.  She is offering one lucky winner a copy of her ULTIMATE ONE STOP BUSINESS START UP GUIDE 

Includes ALL of the following: 

  1. Step by Step Timeline Instructions – This is the secret to success! Designed in an easy to follow step-by-step style to get your business launched as quickly and painlessly as possible! Save countless  weeks and even years of research. Get started with your new small business that much sooner with a step-by-step timeline. 
  2. LocationLocationLocation-Learn all about how to choose the right location and how to negotiate a lease like a pro.
  3. Franchises – where to find, how to choose. Very comprehensive manual written by a franchise owner. Inside information and tips only a real franchise owner could give you. Great info for ANY business,  not just franchises.
  4. Business Entity – learn which business entity type is best for your business. Sole Proprietor? Partnership? S Corporation? LLC? Learn why incorporating may not protect your personal assets as widely believed. This tip alone can save you thousands of dollars!
  5. Credit Card Merchant Account- accepting credit cards  means doubling and tripling your sales! Learn how to qualify. It’s actually quite simple and affordable!
  6. Insurance – workman’s compensation; liability; etc. Not sure what you will require? This section explains it all.
  7. Web Site – in conjunction with your “physical” business or as strictly a web based business.  Even the smallest of businesses should have a presence on the Internet.
  8. Advertising – a new business must be marketed to draw the most customers as quickly as possible. Learn how.
  9. Press Release – The ultimate in free, highly effective, publicity. Learn how easy it is to write your own press release and see your business in newspapers (complete with pictures!), television and radio. Jump start your advertising with this FREE (!) strategy and watch your customers streaming in.
  10. Payroll/Bookkeeping – Save thousands of dollars by doing it yourself with affordable, readily available software. Hiring an accountant to handle your day to day bookkeeping is longer necessary. You have options.
  11. POS System (Point of Sale)- learn what type is best for your needs.
  12. Business Bank Account – learn what you need to open your business checking account. (It’s more involved than your regular personal checking account.)
  13. FUNDING– bank loan; venture capital; angels; SBA loans; microloans; grants. Discover little used options to fund your start-up.
  14. Employee Relations –  Written by a Human Resources professional.
  15. Taxes – Learn about the myriad of deductions available for small business owners. Even the cost of this  guide can be deducted! Also, learn what forms are required and when to file.



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Frustrated that your Facebook Fans don’t see or comment on your posts? Then this workshop is for YOU! And if you share it on your Facebook page you get 25% off making it less than $19!


  What People are saying about this workshop!

I just posted one of your suggested posts and I got 60 comments in a matter of about 20 minutes!!”  

“One of my posts reached over 1,000 people (without promoting) and when I posted a picture it was reaching 200-300 people where in the past a picture barely reached 100-200 people. Thank you!”  

“You helped me tremendously!”


This workshop is to help you gain a better understanding of your fans and what makes them engage with you.  During this workshop we will do simple exercises that help you interact with your fans and will help you analyze how to better engage your fans moving forward.  There will be a heavy focus on increasing your Facebook EdgeRank so that more of your fan see your posts.  The first week is focused on getting your fans to comment on your posts. Week 2 will be about getting them to post on your wall, getting your fans to buy something, and gaining new referral likes.

I will be giving you sample posts for each day to help you through the process.  Posts will need to be customized a bit to fit your company and product.

Benefits:  Increase Facebook Edgerank (this means more fans will see your posts), Get your fans to engage with you in effective ways to increase sales



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That other business is driving me mad!

When I was a little girl my parents told me I see the world through rose colored glasses.  I resented them for this.  Not because I thought it was bad but because they said it with contempt as if it was a set back to have a rosy outlook on life.  Today at 34 I still prescribe to the same colored glasses.  I still believe the world is smaller than we think and that all people have a common thread and that we actually can get along.  It is that common thread that brought me to write this blog.

I believe in the power of connecting with others.  I believe in the healing power of relating to others and realizing there are many others on a  path such as your facing the same struggles.  I believe by being vulnerable and sharing these struggles we become closer and learn to “get along”.  Now isn’t that rosy?

What does that have to do with fashion you ask?  Well it has more to do with business.  A successful business knows how to connect with it’s customers, suppliers and peers.  If you want to be successful you have to be willing to reach out to others.  You have to be honest and forthcoming.  You have to strive to see the positive in others.

And I do.  More times than not the business owners I talk to are genuine and nice.  They don’t deliberately copy each other, they don’t conspire to bring down another business, they don’t badmouth others to build themselves up.  Most business are just trying to survive and as a result they make choices to put their business first.  Now I said my glasses are rose colored not that I am blind.  There are some bad apples out there but I choose not to focus on them.  You should not focus on them either.  Why?  Because you are then taking away from your true focus.  Being a successful business with a good reputation.

So in case today you are feeling down about what another business is or isn’t doing that may be effecting your business I want to give you 5 things to focus on to benefit your business instead.

1.  Share some of your favorite product photos with your fan/customer base.  Whenever I do this it generates sales.

2. Post a survey to help you come up with your next product.  For example, “I am going to make these top selling dresses in another color.  What color would you like to see?”

3.  Run a sale.  Inventory is never a good thing.  Get rid of it by running a sale and free up space to create new product.

4.  Email your wholesale or retail clients to thank them for their business and offer them an exclusive coupon code to use this month.

5.  Reach out to a fellow business owner and do a cross promotion giveaway or photo collaboration.

Now aren’t those better things to focus on than worrying about that other business giving you the blues?

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Filed under facebook, fashion, marketing

Are you for real? International Wholesale Inquiries

Here I am poking my head out of my hole.  I have missed writing and interacting with you all.  Seems that lately my days are planning me instead of the other way around.

I recently posted on my fb page that I would write about a large (650 piece) international order I worked on for an overseas company.  Between that post and now I have received several emails asking questions about handling international inquiries.  Identifying if an inquiry is valid and if the company will actually pay you for your product should be more than just taking a leap of faith.  Here are my tips for qualifying an international inquiry before moving forward with the order.

1.  Hello Google my old friend!

It is amazing how much you can learn from googling an email address.  Even an international one.  I have been able to weed out an inquiry from Japan that was just a mom blogger wanting to offer her friends cheap American clothes.  I have been able to identify an inquiry was from Syria who we are not allowed as Americans to conduct business with.  I have also been able to find the person inquiring on LinkedIn and was able to verify they had a valid business.

2.  Will I get on a watch list for doing business with you?

Be sure to look up US Sanctions regarding the company making an inquiry.  My recent order was with Lebanon, a corner of the world the US does not have good relations with.  There are many people and companies in Lebanon and surrounding countries that the US has sanctioned US citizens cannot do business with.  If you do, your assets and the FBI will be at your door.  It doesn’t matter what you sell them, cotton balls are still a violation.  To look up a country just google “united states sanctions ______” the blank is the country you plan to do business with.

3.  Ask for a web address.

Just as you want to be sure quality retailers are offering your product in the US take the same care in other countries.  Check out their web page to learn about their company.  Some may not have one if they only sell in a store.

4.  Ask for a 50% deposit or all the money up front.

You need to secure the materials to complete the order so this will cover costs.  It will also cover you if the company backs out of the order at the last-minute leaving you with product and debt.  A company not willing to give a deposit should raise a red flag for you.

So now that you have qualified your order you can write your PO and terms.  And that my friends is a future post.

I always welcome your questions and emails to katie@kangacoo.com.  I am also on the lookout for guest bloggers.  Email me if you are interested.

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Filed under International Business, Resources, sales, Uncategorized