Author Topic: Advice on bootstrapping a small line of professional womenswear?  (Read 2466 times)

FIREby35

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
Re: Advice on bootstrapping a small line of professional womenswear?
« Reply #50 on: July 22, 2017, 07:07:54 AM »
Another question (thank you so much for helping!): if a dress had pockets, what would you put in them? (Affects size, number and placement.)

I know I'm late to the party, I'm not a woman and have no idea what the challenges are for women's clothing...but, I'm going to say that you want pockets equivalent to a men's suit jacket. Those pockets hold a wallet, keys, cell phone, pen, business cards, and anything else. There are two one on each side of the chest on the inside (the outside ones are all show). I'd check their size/dimensions and try to put them somewhere discreet.

I don't know how you would convert it to a dress, but the suit jacket pockets are awesome because the pockets on the side of your pants show all the stuff you would have in your pockets and are uncomfortable when sitting. So, somewhere on the dress that still allows all the movement.

Side note: I actually laugh at all the people who don't want to be a "suit" due to their moral hangups. Suits are very functional and I don't have to think about style or being hip of whatever and I look "sharp."

FIREby35

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
Re: Advice on bootstrapping a small line of professional womenswear?
« Reply #51 on: July 22, 2017, 07:28:14 AM »
Shelivesthedream:

You are getting lots of dress ideas - what business problems are you facing? I mean, what is your budget?

I really like your idea of starting small. You must sell for a profit, no matter how small, on each batch of dresses. You want to start a cashflow positive business. Sometimes you will hear people talking about getting investors or trying to build critical mass of customers as more important than "short term" profit or operating at a negative cash flow, 99% of the time these people are idiots masquerading as small business people. But, what is your budget to start?

While I'm at it, you really, really, really need to read a book called "The E-Myth." I think it gives really good practical ideas on starting a business but it also captures the idea of how your business can be a reflection of yourself and your values. When your business is a reflection of all that, and it is awesome, it is a great feeling.

On last thing, making one dress and selling it at a profit is being in business. Don't let big problems for "future you" stop you from making that first dress and selling it. For example, how to source consistent fabric for a thousand dresses is not your current problem. Also, to make your dream, perfect dress on your first try is not your current problem. Your problem today is how to make your first dress (which will get better and better as YOU get better and better) and how to sell that single dress.

As an example of "making the first dress," imagine your research the fabric find what you think is perfect, you order it and it comes back to you as shitty non-durable fabric. What are you going to do? First, you make your dress and sell it at a profit. You sell it for what it is - not what you wish it was. Second, you don't order that fabric for the next round. Third, you decide if the producer of the fabric is the problem or if you just made a poor choice based on lack of experience. Fourth, you take any and every lesson your first round of dress making provided and start your second round - with more experience. Rinse and repeat until you know who your favorite fabric provider is, your seamstress, your customer, etcetera. Think of each round as a trip around the block. By the time you've done 100 trips - you'll know exactly what the problems and opportunities are. This is growth and the process of growing is invigorating. If you do this then you can not fail.

You can do it :)


Villanelle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1846
Re: Advice on bootstrapping a small line of professional womenswear?
« Reply #52 on: July 22, 2017, 08:00:08 AM »
For sleeves, in order to make fit less of an issue, could you make it a blousier sleeve with a more fitted cuff band at the wrist?  If the cuff had a small slit and closed with buttons, that might even give a bit of flexibility to those with wider wrists, perhaps, because the buttons could be moved slightly. 

Something similar to this, which came up in a quick google.



I think two generous pockets on the seams would be enough.  I can't imagine any way to implement the suggestion that it be like a man's suit's pockets, without being incredibly unflattering and, frankly, ugly.  To me, patch pockets are pretty much decorative only.  I wouldn't put more than maybe a business card in them, if that. 

Playing with Fire UK

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1561
Re: Advice on bootstrapping a small line of professional womenswear?
« Reply #53 on: July 22, 2017, 08:53:16 AM »
I know I'm late to the party, I'm not a woman and have no idea what the challenges are for women's clothing...but, I'm going to say that you want pockets equivalent to a men's suit jacket. Those pockets hold a wallet, keys, cell phone, pen, business cards, and anything else. There are two one on each side of the chest on the inside (the outside ones are all show). I'd check their size/dimensions and try to put them somewhere discreet.

I don't know how you would convert it to a dress, but the suit jacket pockets are awesome because the pockets on the side of your pants show all the stuff you would have in your pockets and are uncomfortable when sitting. So, somewhere on the dress that still allows all the movement.

One of the bug bears in my life is that so few women's suit jackets have the amazing inside pockets! I've sewn some into my jackets because they are AWESOME! And they sit underneath the bust or pecs so there is no reason that I can see why you wouldn't have them in women's jackets. I think they hide so well because there is a lot more material on the inside of the pocket and it is thinner; so there is plenty of space for the pocket lint to hide and not change the shape of the jacket. Think of a 3D pocket rather than two flat pieces sewn together (I don't actually know though, because I'm not blessed with the sewing talent).

shelivesthedream

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1891
  • Location: UK
Re: Advice on bootstrapping a small line of professional womenswear?
« Reply #54 on: August 06, 2017, 04:03:03 AM »
I just read MMM's latest blog post. Look at this!!! http://www.popupbusinessschool.co.uk/

I'm all booked up with freelance day job work from next week til mid-December, but I am finding the first course I can possibly get to in 2018 and GOING. So the plan is to have a prototype in the final fabric that I can wear to day one of the course :)