Get Involved!

Posted by on Nov 30, 2017 in Fashion Design | 0 comments

As a small business owner, it can be tempting to stay locked behind doors. You’re just starting out, with not much confidence in what you are doing. You ask yourself questions like:Am I crazy?Why am I doing this?What if I fail?Can I afford this?The questions of doubt can plague you when you are first starting out. It’s normal to feel uncertain in times of change. There’s something unsettling about being outside of your comfort zone. But we know, from being in business for a long time, that it is important to put yourself out there.We think it is helpful to get involved. Don’t sit at home, thinking that you are alone. Don’t sit behind the computer wondering if you are going to be successful. Open your own pathway by walking out the door and finding your flock.Sign up for everything, including email listings for businesses that are similar to yours. Sign up for marketing emails. Go to trade shows. Go to exhibitions. By getting involved in this way, you are going to connect with people who are in businesses similar to yours. This doesn’t mean that you are on the back foot, nor does it mean that the similarities of your products are going to set you against each other in a fierce competition. Rather, you can rely on their experience and take that important step to success.Listen to podcasts. Read books (or listen to them, if you prefer). Be hungry for anything that can improve your knowledge and business savvy. Understand the pros and cons of owning a small business. Sign up for Business Victoria so that you are up-to-date with the latest offerings from the government, as well as knowing where to find the mandatory requirements before you begin selling your product. Understand what the risks are for your product.There’s something unsettling about being outside of your comfort zone. But we know, from being in business for a long time, that it is important to put yourself out there.Click To TweetTell a FriendCloseYour NameFriend EmailEnter Message To FriendRemember too, that guidelines and mandatory requirements are set in place for a reason. It may seem as though the government is trying to make your life difficult, but there is more to it than a ‘nanny state’. It is likely that something horrific has happened previously and these guidelines and requirements have come after, to prevent further accidents and deaths. Children’s sleepwear has strict requirements in place, because some fabrics are a fire hazard, or something as simple as a button can be a choking hazard.Swimwear fabric has sun protection because of the very real risk of skin cancer. There are people and businesses out there that have done the hard work, they have the know-how behind them. Use them. Use us.Sample Room is behind you. We want you to succeed. We’ve been in business for a long time,...

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Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing

Posted by on Jul 12, 2017 in Emerging Designers, Fashion Design, Follow the Label, Industry Know How, Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

Influencer marketing. Have you heard of it? It’s huge these days. But what is it, really? Even if you haven’t actually heard of it, or recognised the term, we reckon you’re probably aware of it.Wikipedia defines influencer marketing as a form of marketing where the focus is placed on key individuals, or one in particular, rather than the target market itself 1. It’s really the sway of one individual over others, influencing choices, purchases, and lifestyles. We already know that people buy from others that they know and trust. Influencer marketing builds on that premise and is about people buying from other people who they admire and respect, and importantly, who are seen as authentic.But how does that affect you as a person who’s about to delve into the market? At Sample Room, we think influencer marketing has the potential to impact your business and the ultimate success or failure your brand. There’s a lot of murky waters surrounding influencers, so it’s best to be well-informed. Here are a few tips for you to ponder.• You need to think about your brand, about who you want to represent it. If your brand is luxury bed linen, you need to approach someone who embodies class, all things luxe and lavish.• Do your homework before you get involved with an influencer. There’s a lot of fake influencers out there, those who are in it only for the perks. Some want to be paid for their role in promoting your brand, others are content with discounts off your merchandise. Your homework should include an understanding of the other brands that the influencer works for, to make sure they complement yours, not compete against it.• To use an agent or not to use a PR agent? An agent might provide much-needed assistance to wade through these murky waters, but it comes at a mighty cost. Can you afford the outlay of an agent’s fees for your brand? Can your brand afford not to use an agent? You alone can answer this.Influencers do speak with each other. Despite it being a huge part of the marketing world, it’s still small enough for influencers to know each other. While you’re doing your research behind influencers, before you make your pitch, make sure you tailor your request to the individual influencer. Think about why you want to work with that particular person, and what is specific about them. Don’t simply ‘copy and paste’ your requests, as it will reflect poorly on you and your brand. You can also use various apps such as Tribe and Brandsnob.• Draw up a contract. Clearly outline what you want from the influencer, and what you’ll give them in return, whether that be product or payments. This is a business relationship, not a friendship or a favour. Make sure that the influencer follows through with what they say they will do...

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Mentee’s Launch: TRU ATHLETIC

Mentee’s Launch: TRU ATHLETIC

Posted by on Mar 28, 2017 in Emerging Designers, Fashion, Fashion Design, Follow the Label, Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

Today we’re excited to announce the launch of TRU ATHLETIC — a sportswear for the everyday, amateur athlete. Available exclusively for purchase at www.truathletic.com.au. Inspired by the the physical nature of sport and the essence of competition, their core focus stems from the competition and training segments of the Australian sporting landscape.  Team sports such as netball, basketball, hockey and Australian Rules Football, and the awesome ladies that play these sports and many more, are what drives TRU ATHLETIC.The owner, Trudi Langford, answered some of the important questions on how she started her label.1. What is your label and who is it for?My label is TRU ATHLETIC and it’s made with the everyday athlete in mind. Inspired by the Australian team sports landscape, my range is for any active woman looking for practical and stylish sportswear to take them from training, to game day and for off-duty athleisure style.2. How long ago did you start the process of your own label?I started slowly getting a business plan together in early 2015 (I think!) when my twin boys were only 2. At the same time I undertook the Fashion Label Launchpad program to just learn about the fashion industry. Being an accountant by profession, I knew absolutely nothing about creating garments so I just wanted an understanding before jumping in. In late 2015 I decided to get the ball rolling and properly start designing and sourcing fabrics.3. What is the biggest thing you have learnt through the process?Details! You’ve got everything in your head, but you need to be able to communicate it clearly with detailed notes to all your suppliers. Otherwise, you won’t get the product you desired and it’ll cost you more in the long run going back for alterations.4. What is one thing you would tell another designer before they were starting out?I would make sure you know EXACTLY what you want to create, right down to the nitty gritty details of design lines, stitch types, how you want it to fit, etc. and definitely have a well-thought out and documented marketing plan. How are you going to get people to buy your designs? How will you gain their trust if they’ve never heard of you?5. What was your next biggest hurdle?Cash! Unless you’ve inherited thousands from your great aunt, keep your day job for as long as you can. Besides the actual garment production process eating up the bulk of your savings, decent marketing efforts benefit from having cash to spend. I’m finding there’s only so much you can do on a budget of nothing!6. Would you do it all again?Yes. As a long held dream of mine to have my own sportswear range, I’d still be a frustrated accountant if I hadn’t changed direction and started it.7. What is the one thing you would do differently if you had your time again?I would want to put more effort into having...

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Off-Shore Manufacturing – Will I save money?

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Fashion, Fashion Design | 1 comment

 We have met a number of new designers the last season who have fallen into this trap. It is so sad to hear the stories of someone who has put $10,000 of their heart, soul and cold hard cash into their passion only to receive a shipment of disaster.This blog is for those starting out. I want to say, you can’t send a picture and a couple of garments overseas and expect to get a shipment back of 1000 amazing, top quality, well-made garments back for a fraction of the price of local manufacturing without any effort on your part, but I can’t really say that I can.What I can probably say is the process of manufacturing overseas takes a lot of detailed information, a lot of checking and rechecking and a lot of fingers crossed.Firstly, you need an amazing spec sheet.Secondly, you need to know how to choose a manufacturer a how to create a contract that sticks (even I don’t know how to do this one).Thirdly, you need to know what to ask and when you need to be signing off on it.Fourthly, you need to be in a position of bargaining so that you have the upper hand.Fifthly, you need to go over there and check up on production and you need to know what you are looking for and how to fix it.Sounds easy right! Wrong – This is why overseas manufacturing is for the big boys. People who have had long standing relationships with manufacturers (and even then, as one customer this season attests, does not mean they will do what you said when you said).In my opinion, you are better to make a small run locally so you can learn all there is to learn while you have little money. You might not make as much money but you won’t lose it all either. Even when our clients have managed to get their money back they still have lost a whole season.Alternatively, you could work with someone who has an office in Australia so at least you are dealing with someone whose door you can knock on. Then all you need to worry about is the minimums they require for the time they need to put in.Believe me, there is a way you can work locally, as long as you are not trying to compete on price.Call us to discuss the best solution for your business (03)9940...

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