Today, armed with a short list of questions and a mini tape recorder, I ventured back over to see Roger at his studio (A Motion…) so that I could get a good old fashioned sit-down education.
We quickly got down to business upon my arrival. Roger and I were the only ones inside the studio; well, us and a couple of prospective customers checking out his merchandise. I started my tape recorder and that’s when Roger began asking me questions (heeey…no fair!). He basically wanted to get a feel for where I was; which is basically nowhere. I humbly admitted that I’m merely a man with a vision at this point and that this consultation was apart of my research.
I explained to him the idea behind oneculture, which he really seemed interested in. I tried as best I could to convey the point that oneculture is a concept and that the artwork–in this case fashion (jeans in particula)–is an expression of the idea. My goal as an artist is to stimulate people’s emotions by appealing to their sense of imagination.
With the creative perspective out of the way we soon got down to the un-fun part: the business. Roger, in typical “first thing’s first” fashion, shocked me with a sad reality: that 82% of new apparel companies, because of bad planning and money management never even ship their first run. In light of this, he told me that he wanted to help guide me according to my budget. My tape recorder and I were all ears…
He began telling me how he got started in the industry. In addition to learning about wholesale and retail prices I also received a few money-saving techniques.
I inquired about what went into a good business plan. He chuckled and told me that I would learn everything I needed to learn during my first year of purchasing materials, producing samples and shipping orders.
In order to avoid becoming a (sad) statistic, I was cautioned to remain focused and humble and to operate only within my budget. Doing this in addition to utilizing cost-saving techniques will help me not only to survive, but also to establish a healthy track record, which looks good to potential investors. On the other hand, spreading yourself too thin, taking orders that you cannot fill, etc, etc, will ruin your reputation and lead to your demise.
This was literally school; I mean *SO* much ground was covered. I’m very glad I bought a tape recorder!
In addition to some solid business strategies, I also received a short list of contacts, a couple of crucial documents and even a “vocabulary lesson” of sorts. For instance, I now know what “headers”, “tac buttons”, “in stock programs” and “cut tickets” are.
This was a very informative afternoon. I’m sure that I’ll refer to these tapes over and over again down the line. As I packed my things Roger wished me luck and told me to stay in touch. I thanked him for his help and stepped back out onto the streets of San Francisco a much more knowledgeable person.