Which Social Media Platforms Should Your Business Use?

Which Social Media Platforms Should Your Business Use?

Posted by on Jul 26, 2017 in Emerging Designers, Fashion, Fashion Design, Industry Know How, Industry Trends, Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

 Social media is prolific. It almost seems there are new sites, new platforms springing up nearly every week. There’s so much choice out there. How do you, as a fledgeling business, know which ones to use? Which ones generate the most traffic? Which sites should you set yourself up with?Here at Sample Room, we think, along with most things, that it comes down to your business, your brand and importantly, your customer. If you’ve done your research about your target market, then you know who your customer is. You know who you’re selling to. And that means, you know which social media sites are going to get you the most exposure that will benefit your brand. Ultimately, that will translate into more business dollars.But, let’s be honest, there are some sites that generate exposure more so than others. There are social media sites that are good for businesses and there are ones for, well…um…social linkages, to phrase it in the nicest possible way.So, firstly, let’s talk about Instagram. If you’ve got your brand ready to launch, if you’re looking to widen your exposure to your target market, then get yourself a business account on Instagram.There are many ways for you to increase your followers on Instagram.Be strategic about who you follow: make a list of the brands that identify with yours the most, including the reasons why, and follow them.Make interesting comments on those sites; comments of ‘geez, cool’ aren’t going to generate interest in your brand. Be thoughtful, interesting and funny in your comments. That is what will lead others to your site and they become your new followers.Look into ways to streamline your posts so that it’s more time effective. Let’s face it, nobody, except for teenagers avoiding homework, has time to endlessly skulk through Instagram to create posts and make thoughtful, engaging comments. Look into the various apps that can schedule posts. Canva helps you do all your posts and allows you to set up schedules for posts – and it’s free too! If you haven’t already heard of it or started using it, get onto it! Similarly, Schedugram is another useful tool for scheduling, posting, hashtags and all things related to Instagram. It’s not free – keep that mind.Hashtags! Not so long ago, most of the world assumed that hashtags were useless. Not so. Using the right hashtags can help you expose your brand. Have a clear strategy in place for your use of them. Do your research and discover which hashtags your followers are using most, and which ones are most active. Use them. You can also use those active hashtags to search for other posts that use those same hashtags.Once you’ve found some that you identify with and aligns nicely with your brand, then start commenting.Pinterest is another high traffic social media site that we suggest you think of for your brand exposure....

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Start-up Fashion Designers – Why Isn’t Your Label Going Ahead?

Start-up Fashion Designers – Why Isn’t Your Label Going Ahead?

Posted by on Jul 5, 2017 in Emerging Designers, Fashion, Fashion Design, Follow the Label, Industry Know How, Industry Trends, Lifestyle, Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

Why do so many new and emerging designers who have exceedingly good sketches and ideas for the latest shakeup within the industry fail?We think we might be onto the answer.At Sample Room, we have contact with many new start-ups and emerging designers. It’s part of our business to provide the education and assistance that newbies need to succeed in the industry. We’ve been involved and engrossed with all things fashion for decades so we’ve got some knowledge behind us.Sometimes the very keenness, the excitement and the utter doggedness of a new start-up can be what is standing in your way of success. For example, did you know that there is a certain language that is solely used within the industry, and if you’ve not been properly educated we can tell straight away, like click-of- the-fingers quick? You cannot fool your way into the industry. Sorry, we realise that seems a bit harsh, but it’s true. At Sample Room, we’ve blogged about this before; that the business owners and manufacturers will make up an excuse to avoid being stuck with a start-up, one who doesn’t know the language and terms that we use.A perfect example of this is a recent conversation I had with an enthusiastic start-up who did not have any experience. He believed that all he needed to do was to bring in sketches and we would provide a run of 100 garments, per size, without another question asked. As we chatted, he mentioned that he had spoken to another development house who had rebuffed him by saying it was not possible to do what he had asked. This, of course, prompted me to respond by enquiring what exactly he had asked her; he proceeded to say, ‘I want to take old ripped jeans and put a fabric colour behind it.’ This then opened a list of questions from me to clarify what he meant.Do you mean a contrast fabric?Or is it denim that you will then garment-dye?Will you need a stone wash or enzyme wash?Or will you leave the garment unwashed?Or is it the topstitch colour that is differentWill you require it to be the same softness as the rest of the garment?What is the reason for doing this? Durability?His reply? ‘I don’t know what any of those words mean.’This is the irony of a conversation about education. There are thousands of questions and literally thousands of options. It is impossible to work with a start-up unless they have some education or you will have two very frustrated and unhappy people.Businesses within the fashion industry work to very tight schedules and we simply can’t afford the time to spend going over explanations and education, explaining terms and concepts that every designer, who’s been properly educated within and of the industry should know. If you’re here at Sample Room and, as a start-up, ask a question about grading...

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Start-ups In The Fashion Industry: Why It Sometimes All Goes Awry?

Posted by on Jun 28, 2017 in Emerging Designers, Fashion, Industry Know How, Industry Trends, Lifestyle, Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

Photo Credits: Laura CallaghanHere at Sample Room, we’re extremely fortunate to be a well-known supplier, educator and consulting business within the fashion industry. Our website and online presence is highly visible. Our phones ring constantly. And this is what we want. We’re a business, so we want customers. We are more than happy to work with new and emerging designers, because we’ve developed a proven method that assists newcomers with the education they need in order to be a success and not waste precious time and money. We see a lot of start-ups contact us to make enquiries about launching their brand. They are excited, and rightly so; they’ve produced fabulous designs, and they are chomping at the bit to get out there. They know what they’ve created is going to take off, it’s going to be the NEXT BIG THING. So, sometimes, sadly, we see their excitement prevents them from listening to expertise, the company with the industry knowledge, the know-how and the advice to help them.Within the industry, what a lot of start-ups don’t realise is that there is a language, specific to the fashion industry. We can tell straight away if someone is attempting to bluff us with a few key words, to try to make themselves sound ‘legit’ to get through the gatekeeper. We are able to tell pretty much if they know what they are doing, and equally, if they don’t.What we also know, is that sometimes, manufacturers and suppliers will invent reasons not to work with start-ups. We saw this very recently here at Sample Room, when a business owner told a newcomer that they didn’t have any availability to help them until 2018. We know that is most likely a furphy: the business owner picked up straight away that this new designer had no experience and put them off, knowing all the time and resources it would take to work with someone who’s green.This may seem a little harsh, so I would like to explain why we have made this decision. It is hard to explain to someone who has not studied fashion or worked in the industry just how much information they need to know to successfully develop a range of clothes. Every person you speak to along the development and manufacturing process will ask you technical questions that only you can answer. So often we are asked for just a pattern and sample. It is not until you are in the thick of development, that you realise it is your responsibility to supply fabric and trims suitable to the style, explanations of price point and how you wish the garment to be finished. It is your responsibility to provide clear instructions on grading, markers and ratios, as well as many other questions in order to successfully reach your launch day. On the flip side the fashion industry is not a...

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Building Relationships in the Fashion Industry

Building Relationships in the Fashion Industry

Posted by on Jun 7, 2017 in Emerging Designers, Industry Know How, Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

Like any workplace, the fashion industry thrives on relationships.The way you work with those around you, will greatly affect and influence your ability to forge ahead. Build your relationships early. Make yourself known.At Sample Room, our extensive experience in the fashion industry tells us that it is a fickle business. Manufacturers are fickle, suppliers too. Customers are fickle. Fabrics and tastes often have a quick turnaround.  Everything you thought was solid and reliable one week can alter by the next. And that makes the entire industry cautious. Nobody wants to make a mistake. Production runs cost money and if there’s an error in the design, fabric, trim, then most people don’t want to own up to it.‘It was your fault!’ ‘You never told me that!’ ‘This wasn’t meant to be there!’ We’ve pretty much heard them all.Here at Sample Room, we have seen some extraordinary successes from new start-ups, and we’ve seen some abysmal failures too. And we think it comes down to relationships and the way you deal with those around you. It’s how you handle yourself and your relationships with suppliers and colleagues and manufacturers when it all goes awry that matter, and define how you go on.So how do we suggest you build your relationships, so that you can be successful, wherever you are within the industry?Don’t play the game of blame. When things go wrong, it’s never a good idea to point the finger of blame. It only puts those around you offside, and therefore reluctant to work with you again. It also can create enemies. Admit that a mistake has been made. If it’s your mistake, certainly own up to it as this will hold you in good stead. We admire those around us who can say, ‘Yep, that was my fault. Sorry. Let’s move on.’Keep your word.If you make a commitment or a promise to get something done, make sure you do it. If you tell a manufacturer that you’ll get your designs to them by a particular date, then do it. Please, never let a deadline amble past. If you can’t manage the deadline by the agreed time, speak up and perhaps agree to a new date. This shows honesty and respect.Congratulate others and share the successes.When your production run goes without a hitch, make sure you thank and congratulate all those involved in the process. This will help build allies for you within the industry, and we know you’re going to need them.In short, treat others with respect and kindness. Always. And that includes yourself, too. Believe in yourself and your ability to create and...

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Unusual Designs: RnD

Posted by on Oct 23, 2013 in Sample Room Solutions, Uncategorized | 0 comments

I’m not sure if you guys know this but I am a very keen snowboarder. For anyone who knows anything about the snow we get here in Australia compared to the overseas snowfields, we don’t get a very good deal.So what’s a girl to do? In winter, to get a bit of a snow fix, I volunteer for an organisation called DWA – Disabled Winter Sports – and we go up to the mountain to assist people with disabilities to ski and snowboard.Why am I telling you this? Well, partly so you understand why I can’t meet on Saturdays during winter and also because I want to tell you a quick story about developing an unusual product.One of the pieces of equipment we use is a sit ski; this is for people with spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy or extreme physical and mental disability. It allows someone with limited to no control of their body to enjoy the incredible rush of skiing down a mountain.When I fist started at DWA we used to bundle the students up in clothes, put their feet in boot bags, gaffer tape them in and take three changes of clothes along to keep them warm.There are two issues to think about with this set up: You get cold sitting so close to the snow, especially when not using your body to ski and; snow in Australia is usually wet and slushy, not the nice dry powder like overseas.I didn’t think this was good enough so I decided to use my talents for good instead of evil and developed what’s now called the ‘Snow Worm’.The snow worm is a waterproof, wind proof zip up sleeping bag that allows the wearer to sit without folds of fabric around their hips that may cause pressure sores.They can sit in the sit ski, zip the snow worm up, Velcro it around their wast, pull their jacket down, poke their shoes out if they can wear them or wrap it around a pair of ugg boots and be warm, comfortable and dry.The snow worm is also quite good for some lunchtime play when you can be dragged around the snow!Why have I told you this story? We love using our pattern making brains to develop an idea into a product made of fabric.So how do you put together your ideas if it is something that has never been developed before?-If you have seen a similar item that you think you can improve on, then bring this along.-Or a collection of items that you would like to use different elements of, this will help us see where you are coming from.-Some fabric and a stapler or pins can help to get your idea across.-Cut out some shapes and put them together as best you can. It will give us a starting point to work from.-If you are good at drawing...

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