LMD | Building An Empire - Insight

Thursday, March 13, 2014

As of late I've been getting a lot of requests to share some advice and insight on how to get into the business of making homemade goods. It's such a hard question to answer really. I mean I too am looking for that detailed answer of how to run a successful business that profits... but after 9 years of working in the fashion business, the answer is undoubtedly hard work.

Many may not know that I have went to FIDM in Los Angeles where I received my Fashion Design Degree when I was 20 years old. I then interned with a Fashion Company where I learned more than I could have ever imagined. I moved up to be the Director of Operations over the next 6 years where I overseen and managed a multi-million dollar company. It has always been a goal to own and operate my own Label since before I started Fashion School. It was in 2012 where I finally took the plunge and did a soft launch of my Women's Contemporary Label, under my own name, TIFFANY DESSA. Shortly after I found out I was pregnant with twins and after the complications started to arise at 17 weeks gestation, the rest was history. The dust settled in mid 2013, and it was then that I finally realized that children's clothing was where I was destined to start. I had the perfect model, the message, and the skills to launch a children's wear clothing line. My life was turned upside down yet I managed to come out of it--on top with the strongest faith imaginable. It was time to put in the hard work, yet again.

Too many it would appear that the ever growing success of LMD happend overnight, but the truth is it didn't. It's truly a learning curve that you have to be willing to dive right in head first.

The thing is, when I was in the business, I ran it from a much larger scale. I had employees, contractors, & vendors who I would outsource most things. I ran the logistics of putting all the pieces together  like a puzzle with design, production, sales, marketing, etc. Running the logistics of a homemade business is VERY different. You are one person who is ultimately doing it all. Even after being in the industry for so long and working 16 hour days back to back, I am finding it much more challenging to run a homemade business. (Get ready for a long post folks... lol)

A couple of things that I personally find challenging is time management. When I worked for a company, I left my home in the early morning and had 16 hours of non interrupted time to get things done. Now I have pick ups, drops offs, dr appts, etc. Lets not forget working from home is difficult because I am a Mother first and foremost so Liv & the boys get my undivided attention when need be. It's becoming more challenging as she is getting older and is mobile but I am trying to get a schedule down.  Then theres that whole "I work from home so when that door is closed you need not to interrupt" that my family is barely wrapping their heads around. I have always been available and now I simply am not. Laundry is now being done by the hubby because he simply can't take not having clean underwear anymore and meals are being cooked by my lovely mother. Yes, there are major sacrifices being made. Which leads me to my next subject --sacrifice. 

For me, this is not only my life, but my livelihood. 

As a business owner there are so many sacrifices that have to be made. From personal to financial as your business should always come first. At least I believe that's what ultimately creates a successful company. For me this is not a hobby, it is a life style brand that I am building. It entails so much more than a children's clothing line, as this is just the beginning.

Etsy has been an amazing marketplace to allow women to not only be creative but turn a profit. So many are doing just that. Whether that be small to a larger scale, it all depends on what you want?  Its a starting point. Ask yourself a couple of questions: What are you willing to sacrifice? What are your trying to accomplish? Is this a hobby? Figure out what you want, and start.

For those who want insight on how to get started it seems many are doing the headbands and leggings thing. Let me have a moment of honesty here. As a Director of Operations, I know how much I can physically handle when it comes to sewing. The simpler the sew, the better for a one man operation. Of course  as the business is growing and I will be having seamstresses sew, my plan in the coming months are to add more styles like dresses, skirts, etc. but to start, sewing 2 styles such as leggings and headbands were manageable with my already hectic Mom schedule. This is why everybody is doing it. Its feasible and you can find many legging patterns online. Just type in "baby legging patterns on google." Of course you have your babies to be your fit models!

 LMD however is different for the simple fact that I design and create my own fabrics. This is where my design background comes in. Therefore no one will be able to duplicate what I offer as I am the sole designer behind it so my advice is to create one of a kind pieces that you can't get anywhere else. Whether that be headbands, bibs, leggings, or whatever your heart desires to create, make it original.

No matter what you do, as long as you enjoy it, just take one task at a time and it will fall into place. I believe strongly in that. Some of those most successful people have no education background so don't let that stop you. It's ultimately up to you and how bad you want it!

A common question I've been getting is "How do you get your product out there?" Well this is hard for the simple fact that everyone is doing it however, you will appeal to someone. You've got to have faith and believe in yourself no matter what. Your style and design esthetics will attract those who like it but it will take time. Be consistent in putting out your products on social media, photographing it in creative ways & engaging with your followers.  Oh and lets not forget the craze we call giveaways! Its a great way to gain awareness of ones brand. I mean come on, Everyone likes FREE. 

If you have specific questions that  you want answered, please leave a comment and I'll be more than happy to answer to the best of my ability!

It's been a rather long day and the bed is calling my name! :)

LMD | Building an Empire!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

As I sit here with a million things to do, exhausted, and in need of yet one more cup of coffee, I realize I am building my empire. It was only 4 months ago that I decided to embark on this journey. Crazy how time is flying by and my dreams are becoming a reality. Slowly but surely.

I've always been a go getter. Your work hard-hustle harder type of gal. So working 16 hour days is easy. This is what I know. It's a bit more challenging with a baby, two growing young boys, a household, several doctor appts a week, and all the other wonderful things life throws at you. God help me as I am managing. Barely, but I'm getting the hang of things.

Regardless of the exhaustion, as I sit here looking around my studio, I see my empire growing. From one sewing machine to three. From one foldable table, to a pretty swanky one from ikea that wraps around half of my studio. {and by studio I mean my extra bedroom that has turned into my studio. Ha!} From 500 followers to 3500. Slowly but surely I am laying each block of my foundation & Im so excited to see what the future unfolds.

Here's a little sneak peek of my studio. {what you don't see is the Bermuda Triangle that is the other part of my studio! lol}

OOTD | Freshly Sweet!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Top | Old Navy - White
Leggings | LMD - Parisian Bloom White Print
Headband | LMD - Parisian Bloom White Print/ Pink & Metallic Silver Polkadot
Moccasins | Freshly Picked - Chrome

Liv has a major sweet tooth. Is that even possible for a 15 month old? Thanks to her daddy, he sneaks her all types of goodies and she LOVES it. So much to the point that I tell her I'm giving her chocolate as I am giving her daily meds. The insane thing is she'll open her mouth right up for it -- then spit the medicine right out once she realizes it's nothing sweet! Ha. Needless to say she'll be seeing a dentist early on in her childhood.

Since her doctors appt got cancelled, I took an opportunity to snap some photos of her outfit for the day. I must confess. Liv has a lot of shoes. probably too many for age really. Lately though, I've noticed that I am constantly grabbing her moccs. Ever since we got them in the mail from Freshly Picked, they've been our go-to shoe. They go with just about everything and more importantly they stay on. Most shoes she ends up trying to eat or kick them off. These however, must feel like second skin to her because she forgets that they are even on! I've seen Freshly Picked Moccs are all the rage these days, but i'm going to have to jump on that band wagon and agree. They are indeed what they are rumored to be -- Absolutely fabulous. Super soft, great quality, fashionable soft sole shoes for your littles! Yes they are pricey, but worth every penny. Let me tell you, I am as cheap as they come when it comes to certain things, but these are defintely investment pieces. 

OOTD | J' adore

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sometimes I stare at her and it doesn't feel real. That may sound strange but my past still haunts me at times and if I think about it long enough, it will put me out of commission. Nobody's got time for that so I just keep, keeping on. God saved her life for a reason. Although I wish desperately that my Abigail was still here twinning it up with her sister, it wasn't our faith. Every day I understand why this was necessary. Liv has changed my life in so many ways, and I thank God every chance I get.

Today was crazy hectic. Liv was more clingy than usual and seems as though a little cold is surfacing, yet again. Its extremely difficult when you have two other kiddos in elementary who bring home the germs. Although I have a strick policy of having them shower the moment they walk through the door, the germs still manage to sneak in. At least will be knockin' at our doors.

 Liv will be turning one (adjusted age) on the 13th & I'm finding it harder to get things done as she is sleeping less and moving more. All wonderful things, except when I have a ton of orders to go out and only two hands that Liv refuses to leave. On the other hand, she is at a very fun age -- at least for me! The proof is all in the photos. I don't think I can take too many pictures. Nope. Theres no such thing!

Shirt | Old Navy 
Leggings | LMD - J'adore Bunny
Headband | Little Hip Squeaks - Onyx Stripe
Moccasins | Freshly Picked - Chrome

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