Mentee’s Launch: Akilah Active Wear

Mentee’s Launch: Akilah Active Wear

Posted by on Aug 11, 2018 in Emerging Designers | 0 comments

 ‘Akilah’ Active Wear by our mentee, Georgit Maarrawi At Sample Room, we love seeing our mentees journey throughout the Launch Pad program. A lot of hard work goes into every stage of design, construction and production and it is wonderful to see their collections in their final form. Past mentee, Georgit Maarrawi discusses the concept and processes behind her new activewear range, Akilah.Akilah is a luxury activewear label for curvy women. My aim is to promote body positivity and diversity in the industry and to help women feel confident, strong and beautiful just the way they are. It is currently for curvy women from sizes 14-22Before embarking on this journey, I was just working in retail. I did study fashion and always knew I wanted to start my own label someday and so I just kept working and saving my pennies until I was ready both financially and mentally for this journey.The biggest thing I have learnt is to not stress so much! Everything always works out and you are going to get a few bumps along the way but that’s what makes it part of the journey. And most of the time I stressed for nothing! Just stay calm and breathe! If there is anything I would do differently it would be to not be scared to ask more questions to suppliers. A lot of suppliers are really happy to help out new designers.Currently, our range is only available here at our online store.The best advice I could give is don’t be scared to follow your dream! You will get people who will be negative and put you down but if it is something you are passionate about and want to do just go for it! That’s what I did and honestly, it was the best decision I have ever made. Business is hard but when I look at how far I’ve come I wouldn’t take anything back. Surround yourself with positive people who will be there for you when your feeling stressed and you will be ok!  Also, just save as much money as you can! You need to think about promoting your range once it is developed and getting it out there. You don’t want to miss out on opportunities because of lack of funds.Before coming to Sample Room,  I was lost as to where to even begin and to be honest, I was very overwhelmed. I definitely do recommend getting some guidance and support especially when you don’t know the industry and getting in touch with the right...

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Planning Your Day

Posted by on Jan 4, 2018 in Sample Room Solutions | 1 comment

Happy New Year to everyone! Did you do some planning over the break? I sure you did with a G n T in hand. No doubt you have big plans for this year and all you would like to achieve. How is that going so far???Procrastination. No one is immune.How do you ensure that your days are the most productive they can be? How do you stop yourself from stumbling frequently into social media, or hopping up to make coffee after coffee? How do you make yourself do those tasks that are less than enjoyable? The drudgery of some aspects of business means that there are often small, or sometimes (gasp) big jobs that we push to one side, deliberately ignoring them, simply because we’re too busy, or we don’t want to do it.Planning is imperative in business, and whether it’s small or large. It is important to set goals for your business, and yourself. This helps immensely in, not only your work structure but also achieving greater productivity, which essentially leads to greater profit.Just recently, we have been trying a few new methods to somehow control the madness that goes on in Sample Room. I am discovering a better way to plan out my days every day. I’d like to share a few with you now that you might find useful in your business.We have just introduced Asana to help me with planning and the giant list of tasks that need to be completed for each style we work on. If you haven’t heard of it, or if you are guilty of being easily distracted in your workday life, I encourage you to look at this program.Asana offers something for everyone. There is a free version, for very small businesses, those with up to fifteen staff. It offers a basic search function and a basic dashboard for you to navigate, as well as unlimited tasks, conversations and project options. Asana also has Premium and Enterprise versions, for which you pay a monthly amount, and thereby have access to wider options within the program.Key to planning? Learn how to schedule your priorities.Click To TweetOnce you’re signed up, you can organise your projects and break them down into manageable tasks. You can arrange due dates for each of these tasks, and have bells and whistles to bring in the reminder for those tasks. You are able to send messages to your team members. You can even assign yourself tasks such as shopping for labels, or a phone call to a fabric wholesaler. I find that when I break the tasks down into a timeframe such as ten or fifteen minutes, then I can tick more off my to-do list each day. If a task is too big, or its predicted time too big, then all too often we choose to avoid it.Asana also integrates with other platforms, such as Google...

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Get Involved!

Posted by on Nov 30, 2017 in Fashion Design | 1 comment

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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The Initial Design Meeting

Posted by on Oct 27, 2017 in Emerging Designers, Fashion, Fashion Design, Industry Know How, Manufacturer, Mentee, Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

When you first start your label it is a really exciting time. You have every right to feel proud and eager. But, you may also feel apprehension too. This is normal. You will have a lot of questions; this is normal too.One of the most common questions we hear from start-ups is ‘What do I bring to my design meeting?’ and ‘How do I explain what I want?’ Well, at Sample Room, we can help answer these questions no matter who you work with, as well as alleviate any concerns you may have.The initial design meeting is the most important stage in development. It is not something to be rushed and there is a certain process that is needed to get all your ideas out of your head and mouth in a way that explains it to a pattern maker to create your vision. It is your chance to unload everything to us.Your worries, your ideas, everything. This meeting is about anything you choose; it’s all about you, your designs and dreams, your budget, and your questions. It’s a good idea in the weeks and days leading up to the meeting to jot down some of the issues you’d like to go over. Write down all your questions, note the choices of fabrics that you’re thinking of using for your garments, bring in garments to show fit, make or fabric, bring in swatches, and tear out pics from magazines. You can use this meeting to simply have a chat with us; to bring forth the ideas that are presently buried within. We understand that ideas have to germinate in your brain; equally, we understand that an idea will stay as just that until you talk it over with someone.The best advice we can give you, however, in preparing for the design meeting, is to make sure you know your customer. This is so important, we can’t stress it enough. You need to have researched every aspect about your customer, you need to have invested time and energy into them. If you’re about to launch a label, you have to know that person is out there to buy it. It’s no use creating cycle wear for women who wear Size 16 and over if you’ve not done the research to show that such a product will sell. Likewise, if you are designing quality work-wear for the professional woman, make sure you understand everything about her. What is her age bracket? What is her salary range? Is she a working mum, or is she child-free? What movies does she like to watch? What are her hobbies?Does she do yoga, or is she a marathon runner? Know the other brands that your customer purchases. Have a clear picture in mind, so that you are well-placed to succeed in launching. Reach out to your customer, get their feedback, and make conversations and connections.Why...

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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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