Want to Start a Fashion Business? Remember the words “baby steps”…

Want to Start a Fashion Business? Remember the words “baby steps”…

Oh how I have missed blogging!  To be honest, I have not totally stopped! I do most of my blogging on Instagram now and my goodness we do have some healthy conversations up in there.  So I find it easier to just post and start a discussion.  I had one just a few days ago and with the feedback I got, I just thought wow!  Means a lot of people out there are in this position and perhaps this will help them  So why not also put this up on the blog!  After all some people out there who are not following us on Instagram and Facebook can still be encouraged by this story!
I am putting it up exactly how I put it up on Instagram.  Short and to the point!  Hopefully it will help you as well if you are currently in this situation.  So here goes!






This is to encourage someone out there. Starting a business is all about determination, taking little steps and asking questions. @therealklakla came to Martwayne all the way from Bayelsa to work on her dream of becoming a fashion designer. Funding was a problem but my advice to her was #littlesteps And as I follow her success story and seeing something materializing from nothing, I am so glad to be a part of it.
You might be at a point where you feel lost or you feel things are not just taking shape. Remember it happens to everyone! We’ve all been there and are still going through it. It’s okay to feel a bit down but only for a minute. Don’t stay down! Pick yourself up and move on! Find someone to lament to – perhaps they can give you a different perspective on things.
I posted some of my conversations with Clara to show you how this journey started. This is less about the testimonials but more about the fact that someone who once felt lost made the move. She did not wait till a new year like most usually do. She did what she had to do to make it work and I know the feeling of building something from scratch. It is a GREAT feeling I tell you!
Some of us are waiting for 2018! And in 2019, it will be the same story. Why not start now with whatever you have no matter how little? Why put everything on hold till the new year like the New Year is just not another day. And you don’t have to quit your job either. If you really want to make it work, you will!
Congratulations Clara on your journey! I feel privileged to be a part of it! Soon your little drops will become a mighty ocean and we will only be too happy to have been a part of it! #martwaynestudentsrock ? Meanwhile… I LOVE those Chairs! Permission to adapt please. Adapt o not copy ? Muchos gracias!
And that’s it really! The message is pretty simple. #babysteps That’s all you need! Start with what you have and watch it grow into something big! Stop waiting for that MASSIVE BIG BREAK so that if it doesn’t come, you won’t be disappointed and if it does come – GREAT!
Wishing everyone struggling out there – which is pretty much everyone – the very best! And always remember that the struggles always make for a great story someday!
You too can join our Instagram conversations. Simply follow us @martwayne
New YouTube Video: “How to Leave Paid Employment to Start Your Clothing Line – Lessons from David Wej”  [A MUST-WATCH for Every Aspiring Fashion Designer!]

New YouTube Video: “How to Leave Paid Employment to Start Your Clothing Line – Lessons from David Wej” [A MUST-WATCH for Every Aspiring Fashion Designer!]



Hello good people!!!!!!!  I BET you all had a fabulous Valentine’s Day!!!!! Please don’t ask me what I did yesterday.  I can safely tell you that I did absolutely ZILCH for no reason at all!  Sometimes, the best gift of all is the gift of sleep lol! 😀

SO!  Today… the post title says it all!  It has been a while since I posted anything relating to “Fashion Beyond Stitches”.  I have been too busy hustling lol!  But I thought today would be as good a time as any to post this looooong overdue video… and by long overdue, I mean this interview was done even before fashion talk!  But since too many people have been resigning recently (Congratulations if you fall into those shoes :-D), I guess there’s no better time than now to post this video!  

Screenshot from www.davidwej.com

I know quite a few people watched my last FBS video on “How I Made My Move from Accounting to Fashion”.  If you did not watch it, you can watch it here:

BUT perhaps you were thinking, oh well, it was easy for you, you had no commitments!  Now here is a man who also had a GREAT job, with a great salary who had a pregnant wife!  If anyone had any reason whatsoever to hesitate, it was him!  BUT that did not stop him!

Those who attended Fashion Talk, can tell you this man is brilliant!  If you did attend, here is an extra freebie for you?!  If you did not, then you need to get that CD if you have not already done so!  He is simply amazing and extremely humble despite all the money he is raking in!

SO if you have also been considering taking the plunge and leaving your 9-5, hopefully his figures will give you that push you need!  We are halfway through the 1st quarter of 2016 already so you need to get cracking on that list of 2016 Resolutions if you are really serious about breaking those boundaries!

A wise person told me just last week that the best time to start a new business is when there is a downturn in the economy.  We all know how our economy is so now is a better time than ever to make this move! 😀
So without further ado, simply click on the link to access the video!  Don’t forget to subscribe to the Martwayne Channel and follow us on Instagram (@martwayne) and Facebook, Google Plus & Twitter (@martwaynedotcom).
Do leave your comments at the bottom of the video!
Money Matters: How Much Do You Pay Your Tailor?!

Money Matters: How Much Do You Pay Your Tailor?!


Hello everyone!!!  Please I need your help!

Lately, we have embarked on a project trying to match designers with the tailors they desperately need to move their businesses forward.  However, the general question I get from designers are: 

“How much should I pay?!  

Naturally my first question is “how much can you afford?” but to be honest that does not really help much because sometimes, we have no clue what we can afford and need help knowing where to even begin the negotiations.

So! Seeing I am totally clueless on what the answer should be or what the industry average is, I have decided to embark on a survey in order to ascertain the going rates for tailors.  We know these rates will vary according to location, specialty (menswear, womenswear, bridals, etc), competence and of course if you are paying via salary or commission but we need these details to help us move forward.   

So please please please, spare of a few minutes of your time by either clicking on the link or filling the form below.  All we need are the amounts and how you pay.  If you pay per item, please specify the rates for these items as well.

All answers are confidential and the results will be published here when we get enough information and I am sure we will all be interested in the results.

I truly and sincerely appreciate your time!  

To everyone who has already started responding to me via Blackberry and WhatsApp, thank you so very much!  I really appreciate this.


How Do I Start My Fashion Business?

How Do I Start My Fashion Business?

Hello good people!!!!!  I’m sure you all had a GREAT holiday!  I know I did!  I am already looking forward to the next one… (who knows when the next one is coming up?!)  Anywayz!  I had a pretty restful one – totally thankful!  
Haha…. I thought this was hilarious!  I just could not resist!
Image from:  http://trulteskogen.com/onewebstatic/04cb45fd25-24.gif
Ok!  So here is my BN post!  I have actually had this question thrown at me so many times, I knew writing about it was only a matter of time.  Seeing I managed not to lift a finger over the holiday, here is the article which was actually posted on Bella Naija on Thursday.  I made minimal changes to it since I realised it was edited and some portions of my thought process (re: punctuations and brackets) were lost in the editing AND I also added more pictures… 

Tope Williams-Adewunmi:  How Exactly Do I Start My Fashion Business?
Image from: http://www.bellanaija.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/dreamstime_xl_29485026.jpg
Great!  Glad you’ve taken the first step and decided to take your love for fashion more seriously. But you have no clue how to go about it.  So, we’ll start from the very beginning… hopefully these steps will help shape that vision and move you from concept to reality.
Oh…P.S… It will not happen in one day, or a week, or even a month!  If you want to do it properly, it will take a while. So remember these words… baby steps.
First Step? Making the decision!
Image from: http://davidduke.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Decision-Making.jpg
You need to decide what exactly what you want to do in the industry and stick to it! This really is the hardest part because you might not even have a clue. And even if you do, people will advise you to go down a different route. So please make that decision before you start off or else you will be miserable – or worse, act on that advice and end up wasting a lot of money in the process. 
But the money isn’t really the issue here. The issue is you waking up one morning 10 years from now wondering how exactly you got there.
So if, for example, all you always wanted to do was design wedding gowns, find a way to make this work even if there is a lot of money to be made from sewing uniforms – EXCEPT you are doing it just to gather enough funds to start off. In which case, give yourself a time limit and stick to it as best as you can.
Next Thing?! 
Writing a life plan for your fashion idea! 
Image from: http://i2.wp.com/homeschoolinghelp.com/wp-content/uploads/smiley-2.JPG?resize=244%2C258

No no… don’t roll your eyes yet… I am not talking about a business plan here. Yes many of us tune off when we hear the term “business plan” (including me).  Don’t worry, the business plan will come later and you can always outsource that.  For now, get a notepad and a pen and begin to write – in clear terms what you want to do. If 5 years you have deviated from this plan, you can find your way back.
For example, you can start off with… (let’s pretend you’re in italics and I’m the voice in your head [in brackets] guiding you along OR you can do this with a friend):
    I know I like fashion:  [Ok… yes we have established that. What aspect of fashion do you

   Ladies wear:   [Oh nice! Why ladies wear?]
    I don’t know… I just love clothes and dressing ladies up:  [Ok… so why do you need to 
become a fashion designer to do this?  You don’t have to be fashion designer to dress
people up. Perhaps all you really want to be is a stylist. Or do you want to do this because
being a fashion designer sounds cool?]
Well… At this point, you need to know who a fashion designer really is. So conduct some research and be sure this is what you really want to do. Convince yourself of why you want to be the person designing the clothes the ladies will wear… while I move on from this point…
[Ok great! So ladieswear! What aspect of ladies wear?]
    Everything! I would like to design everything a woman can wear!  [Errrr… Seriously?  How is that even possible? Even if you can, let’s take one idea at a time.]
[Let’s get down to specifics. What do you want to start off with?]
    I think I’d like to design ladies casual wear:  [You think? You’re not sure?! Let’s try
again. What is the first thing you sketch when you put pencil to paper?] 
Now would be a good time to quickly sketch something.  Even if you are not great at sketching.  You can also explain your design in words.  That will determine who exactly you are as a fashion designer. You might think you want to design casual wear but find yourself designing  evening wear.
    Okay…. Done! I know I want to design casual wear:   [Oh-kay! Nice! What type of casual
    Maybe t-shirts:  [Maybe? Or certainly?!  Try your hand at another sketch]
    Actually I’ve always wanted to have my own T-Shirt line:   [Ok great! T-Shirts then!
What type of T-Shirts?]
    Printed Tees with an interesting twist:  [Ok… now I’m rolling my eyes. Please narrow it
    Okay, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to draw faces on t-shirts with safety pins and sea shells for example:   [This is the point where I tell you it does sound bizarre but hey… stranger things have happened in fashion. So who knows… it can work.]
And that’s it! You go on and on until you begin to narrow it down or till you hit a road block. If you do hit a block… take a breather and start over from where you left off.
When you are done with soul-searching…
It’s time for Research! Research!! Research!!!
Image from: http://s3.amazonaws.com/libapps/accounts/12722/images/ResearchIcon-300×300.jpg
Oh this part is vital! Many of us hate doing research but it is key! Obviously, the Internet Institute is your first point of call! Many consume themselves with just the production aspect of design but I believe it is important to start from scratch.
Find out everything you need to know about making T-Shirts, right down to the history of t-shirts, how they evolved over time, who buys t-shirts, who wears the most t-shirts, how much do T-shirts costs, where are t-shirts produced e.t.c. Why? You might think ladies wear t-shirts but find out during your research that the type of t-shirts you want to design might actually appeal to teenagers. The question is, do you want to design for teenagers? It’s all up to you. Talk to people, ask questions, meet with t-shirt designers, etc. The research never ends – even when you start off.  And whatever decision you make based on that research goes into that notepad as well.
After research (which is on-going by the way), the next step is to:
Get the Relevant Knowledge to Excel in That Field
Love both pictures so decided to use both 😀
Image 1 (left) from:  http://www.cliparthut.com/clip-arts/269/study-girl-smiley-emoticon-clipart-royalty-free-public-domain-269958.png
Image 2 (right) from:  http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uAZ-NIHKUVI/USO3tx45tZI/AAAAAAAADDM/XI1FfKf84rQ/s1600/Smiley+Book.jpg
Now is the time to get the skills – either through some form of formal education or through work experience.  If you cannot sketch, learn how to sketch. If you feel you want to learn how to sew, then learn how to sew – though it is not mandatory for fashion designers to know how to sew. However, with the horror stories I have heard from fashion designers about their tailors and machinists, you might be better off learning – no matter how little if you want to live longer.
SO!  You can choose to go to a fashion school, be self taught (there are enough resources online if you do the research) or get some form of work experience – either paid or unpaid.  That knowledge is necessary to guide your production team – regardless of whether you are producing the T-shirts in-house or outsourcing production. I tell you, it will save you a lot of headache in the long run!
Next up?!
Testing the Market!
Image from: http://smallbusinessbc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/CustomerSatisfaction.jpg
You need to know if people will buy your designs before you take off!  Ask people what they don’t like about your work – that way they give you proper constructive criticism. It helps you improve your product and also builds you a thick skin.
Image from: http://www.netsolutionsindia.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Test-Market.jpg
Testing the market also helps you know if what you believe was the greatest invention since… errr… cellphones is really that fab.  You just might find out that the “oh-so-brilliant” idea you had of designing t-shirts with seashells and safety pins was a pretty dumb idea after all.  Should you dump that idea?! Nope. You might choose to go ahead and take the chance or go back to the drawing board and restrategize by replacing the safety pins with bugle beads.
And just when you are about to launch out:
Pray! Pray!! And PRAY!!!
Image from: http://media3.popsugar-assets.com/files/2015/03/23/783/n/1922398/652a1c95_prayer-hands-.xxxlarge.jpg
You really need that divine intervention. Only that inner peace can trump the fear that you are bound to feel deep down.  And you will feel that initial fear but just go ahead and launch – no matter how small.
Launching does not necessarily mean having a fashion show. It could mean uploading your items or sketches on your site or online platforms, selling to your friends and colleagues, or just simply showing people your designs and taking their orders whilst working with your tailor.  In my opinion, as long as you are ready to start accepting cash for your creative ideas, you have launched out.
Truth be told, it really is not that hard to become a fashion designer. The difficulty lies in being a successful one and I doubt anyone has the perfect recipe for success. But what I always say is what’s the worst that could happen right?  You fall flat on your face or get some mean comments from people who hate your work. What do you do? You pick yourself up after crying for days and try again! Someone out there is bound to like your work and you will eventually carve out your own niche market! ?
Great! Those are my tips. I do have more but I’ll stop here.  I’m sure there are a whole lot more out there as well so if you also have tips and pointers for us, do share them as well so we can learn from you!
This Article originally appeared on www.bellanaija.com… 
…(with only the first picture and the italics and the missing brackets here and there.  I honestly cannot do without pictures.  Makes for a more pleasant read methinks… :-D)
Anywayz… hope this helped.
Don’t forget to share your tips in the comments section so we can all learn from you and your experiences as well.  I hear some people have had issues with posting comments.  Apologies…hopefully it will become easier.
Have a great and productive week ahead!  And watch out for my next BN post! 😀
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