I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about a new way of doing business in the post-Covid economy. As we start to venture back out into the community, and back out into the world, what will that look like. There’s sure to be a boom in spending, travelling, and having fun. I hope the lessons we’ve learned this past year will not be forgotten.
Wouldn’t it be great if making conscious purchasing decisions that are good for the economy, good for the environment, good for local and small business owners and their workers, and good for our well-being become the norm. Let’s not go back to the way things were with too much retail space per capita, and fast fashion with excessive amounts of inventory resulting in perpetual markdowns.
We’ve all had to adapt and adjust they way we work and live. Covid-19 may be on its way out but that doesn’t mean we can or should go back to the way it was. We, small business owners have to listen to our customers, be creative, agile, and open to trying new and different things. Be ready to pivot when things take a turn, and learn from our missteps and try again. It’s always been this way but even more so now knowing traditional means of selling can disappear at a moment’s notice.
Here’s where I’m headed moving forward…at least for now…
What I’ve learned
The worst-case scenario for a clothing business is inventory sitting on the shelf. That was me last Fall 2020. We were in the 2nd wave of the pandemic. Wait, who am I kidding, it’s really been one big wave that got progressively worse.
I seriously considered whether or not I could keep my doors open. So back in October, I decided to run a 50% off sale, one style per week, one week at a time. I would re-assess in the new year. Thanks to all of you, I moved a lot of inventory which gave me some cash flow to keep going.
At that point, I made a commitment to doing small one-batch limited edition collections. My thinking, once a style sells out, that’s it. There’s no more. I want to sell out every time. I can no longer afford to carry inventory.
Where I’m headed
Now, I want to take it a step further. I want to move to a just-in-time model. Here’s how it works: I share a new sample design with you, you give me your feedback, you pre-order, I make it, then deliver. You get to see the styles you love ahead of time, you get to order in advance so you don’t miss out, you get to choose delivery to your door for a flat shipping fee or free curbside pickup in about 6-8 weeks’ time.
I only make the styles you love. I know how many I need to make. No leftover inventory. It’s a win, win.
So, this is the official launch of my new Share/Pre-Order/Make/Deliver model.
The first pre-order style is the Maxine reversible tank in black or white. A staple piece for your wardrobe in classic colours that go with everything, in a style that can be worn with everything, and a fabric that can be worn year round. Delivery will be in 2-3 weeks.
Next up, will be the new Pamela hoodie. You’ve already seen the sample in fuchsia in a Size 1. Next you’ll see it in raspberry, the colour you voted on, in a Size 3. Then you’ll get to be an early adopter by pre-ordering with delivery in 6 weeks.
At the same time, the new hi-lo swing top will be offered for pre-order with delivery also in 6 weeks.
Lots of exciting new styles coming up. Keep your eye out!
Until next time,