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! :)

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for the insight ! I'm a stay at home mom trying to start a vintage baby boutique I was wondering how do you manage all your sales ? Do you have a special program to keep track and print invoices ?


Proudly designed by | mlekoshi playground |