Success is directly related to your ability to solve problems. With that said, I’ve drawn the conclusion that all plans are tentative. And that goes double (triple even) for those of small business owners. It’s a delicate situation when you’re working with limited resources as doing too much or too little could be damaging to some degree.
With that said, I’ve decided to cancel all orders for spring 09. Yep, you’ve read correctly: I’ve canceled all orders for spring 09. I had simply tried to do too much. Allow me to explain…
Having enjoyed a relatively successful season with fall 08, my sole focus for spring 09 was on improvement. For one, at two pieces, fall 08′ was simply too small to be considered a true “collection”; it was merely “a pair” at that point! I also felt that the design and fit needed tweaking. It was extremely important to me to be able to offer consumers an even better product and more options this time around. So I totally revamped the collection, which resulted in an improved design, a better fit, two additional thread color options, and two new (slimmer) cuts.
By the way, in terms of my blog posts, this means that everything from “10/25/08: Fade Update” down is the old stuff. Anyway…
Everything was looking good! And as a result, orders for spring 09′ were up 260% from those of fall 08′!! Great, right?? Well…I hadn’t taken into account the financial impact of adding all those extra SKU’s! In short, the seasonal demands exceeded my financial ability.
For instance, say it costs “$X” in order to product one unit at a sewing contracting company. Now let’s assume that said sewing contracting company has production minimums of 300 units per style. So for any given season that means that it would cost at least 300($X) to produce one style! Now, “oneculture: season 2” consists of 4 cuts, each offered in 3 different color ways; a total of 12 styles! And of this, 6 styles were ordered. Its simple mathematics:
300[6($X)] = I’m sitting this season out!
I have a great relationship with my sewing contractors. When we talk they give me valuable feedback and guidance. They totally believe in the potential of my brand and are always willing to offer me exclusive deals; it never costs me “300($X)”. I was still in over my head, nonetheless. Thus, all things being considered, pulling out of the season (rather than going deeply into debt) was an executive decision that I had to make; it was simply the most sensible thing for me to do under the circumstances. With that said, I’d like to apologize to all those who were looking forward to grabbing a pair of onecultures in the spring. I know that I was…
The Lesson Learned
So I plan to spend this time regrouping financially while continuing to develop new concepts, piece by piece, until I’m fully ready to re-enter the market; I’ll have an even fuller and more impressive catalog by then!! At that time however, I plan to offer *only* what I can afford to produce! You live and learn.
I’ll keep you posted…stay tuned!
For those who love jeans