Alison Taylor did a fantastic article for the Telegraph on dressing for work, you can read the article here:
Toni Bonoj is totally about beautiful and fierce work wear for the modern woman. So you can understand my excitement at this topic. Question then is, do you dress to impress? Or you dress for comfort? In my opinion, they are not mutually exclusive qualities for your work wardrobe: you should be able to combine both.
When you look at yourself in the mirror, what do you want to see? In my head, a beautiful me, a serious woman yet approachable and of course stylish!
However if you don’t dress to impress or at least make a statement, what do you dress for?
I’m curious to hear your opinions on this guys, so don’t be shy to leave your thoughts on this. Tell us what do you do for work? What is your formal style like? Where you shop and what do you (or want to) see when u stare into those bathroom mirrors at work(ladies be honest!)
Catch you soon
Hello beautiful people!
It’s been a little while but I’m back!
So much has happened since my last post; finally got sample 1 of my collection completed! Huge Yeah!!!
It’s a dress – that’s all I’m saying at the moment :). I love it and I’ve had really good feedback from those who’ve seen it – so encouraging. Now we need to complete the collection and start some serious marketing and hopefully sales.
So you know this blog is about my journey from the idea to your wardrobe right? I’ll let you in on a couple of my learnings in the recent weeks.
Reality over dreams
Creating the sample creation can be quite a tedious process and that’s just sourcing the fabric and trimmings. I learnt the hard way with sample 1, found a fabric I loved for the design but then realised there wasnt enough of it for the sample; a blessing in disguise as the fabric couldn’t be sourced quickly enough for spontaneous orders. So whilst I’d oomed and arrhed at this particular fabric, there was no point going ahead with it knowing “Department Store S” on Bond street could require 100 pieces with a 6 week turn round and half of that time spent would be just waiting for fabric to arrive; that was a no-no! So it was off to source a similar fabric, asked for 300 mtrs within a week – if the fabric store is confident enough to get you that quantity, then you’re on the right path to finding a fabric you can be confident to use. And that my dear friends is what I did to find the fabric that made the cut for our sample 1. It is possible that I probably would have known this as part of a 3 year fashion design course but as we’re learning on the go, I take this as part of my lot :). Lesson learnt, so we move on!
Keep your Business Plan dynamic
In all my learnings whether in Marketing or as part of my degree, one thing I always heard was that the business plan is a moving document. I had not realised how true that statement was; I can definitely attest to it now.
I have a friend who’s launching her own business also and we serve as accountability partners to each other – the business we’re running now have developed compared to the ideas we started with. With more research comes more understanding of the product and the environment our businesses will operate in and it therefore makes absolute sense to be fluid enough to ensure that the business plan adjusts accordingly otherwise, our projects might never see the light of day or even last no longer than a season – no one wants that.
So any fashion entrepreneurs out there with similar experiences to mine or something I havent even mentioned that we could benefit from? Please share.
I’m off now and will come back before the end of the week with some fashion related (as opposed to business focused) post.
Be good and have a fruitful week ahead!
Hello lovely people!
I hope you had a lovely weekend and now enjoying the week?
I sincerely apologise I wasnt able to update the blog end of last week as I previously said – things turned a little mad last week; totally unexpected!
I had hoped to have a couple of samples ready by last Friday but all of that went into thin air last Monday when it appeared I couldn’t work with one of my contractors any longer. It threw my plans into disarray and for a couple of days, stressed me out a lot.
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I work with timelines and I do not like it when those timelines change for ‘unforeseen’ reasons! I guess I’ve always been in ‘controlled environments’ where I was pretty much aware of most of the issues that could arise and therefore mentally prepared for them. Last week, I wasnt prepared for what happened, nonetheless I have learnt from it including the following:
- When one door closes, remember another will always open
- Everything happens for a reason, even the so called dissapointments. Just dont lose focus on your goal, you’ll look back and be thankful for most setbacks
- In life, do good and you will attract goodness even if it doesn’t always seem like it – Good will always win
- One person with a belief is equal to force of ninety-nine who have only interests (thanks to @Zedeye’s dad)
- In my humble opinion, when God has blessed you with a gift and an idea and you put in the work, He’ll open doors to gold paved roads for you
- If you havent tried something, dont close your mind to it and finally for today
- Always have options B, C , D (unless in marriage of course!)
So it’s a new week, I’m back to my old very happy self and guess what I have a new team in place and keeping everything crossed with a lot of prayers that all goes well this week.
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Gotta get me some lunch now so I’ll catch you later!
Please leave a comment as I enjoy reading from you.
I trust you’re having a lovely week so far? My Monday was rather slow. You know those days you have to wait on people to get back to you before you move on to the next stage? Yes? Well one of those.
We are now very close to creating initial samples by my preferred manufacturer! Yeah!
They also have very good links with other suppliers e.g. Pattern Cutter, grader etc who are as professional yet competitively priced too. I’m a very happy girl today.
Before I get cracking with developing samples, one key thing I’ve had to pull together is a ‘confidential agreement’ which I know can make working relationships go from relaxed to very formal. They (my suppliers) probably have to get their legal team to check it too before signing it. I’ll be surprised if that’s not something they have to do regularly though-it just makes absolute business sense! My sketches are my intellectual property at the end of the day, so I must protect them.
So there we go, so close yet a little too far until we can clear the legal stages. Until then, I have to wait (impatiently if I may add) for my samples to be made!
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I’ll be here again in the next couple of days/end of the week with a progress update on the samples. Keeping everything crossed till then.
Have a beautiful day ahead!
It feels like ages since I last updated the blog. I trust you’re well and week going good so far?
So what have I been up to? Last week felt like I was running against bricks and it wasnt very nice. I guess that’s business for you, infact, that’s life really. Nonetheless, I remained and continue to remain positive.
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Time seems to be running away!
Not sure if I’ve mentioned previously but we are looking to launch the label in Spring/Summer 2011 and that my friends is not far away at all. According to my industry veterans, I should have agreed orders by now and be working on deliveries to Stockists in time for Jan…If that’s the case, I was late even before the label was created :S.
It’s a little (very little) worrying but when did ‘customary’ ever put me off anything? Never! Every Drapers (trade magazine) edition I have read since my Subscription started in Summer has mentioned the increasing flexibility of buyers to purchase outside of the normal buying periods. However, I am fully aware that as we (Toni Bonoj) get bigger, volume of production will require that we work close with industry time tables to ensure we can meet order requests and ensure customer satisfaction which I am thoroughly passionate about.
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So that said, where am I in the production cycle? Point zero; creating samples. Fun (NOT) of a new starter is searching for a production team to work with. It makes absolute sense that the team that creates the samples get the work for production also as you will have established a working relationship and ironed out any possible issues with production. Number one problem arises as not all clothing manufacturers work on samples because it’s often more work than they can charge for; many see it as loss leading activity. So even if a manufacturer’s price sounds good, without them creating samples initially, one has to take the risk and go ahead with production and keep fingers crossed. The other thing I have found is manufacturers are often unable to give an exact quote on production cost. I understand why this might be, but how does that help with my planning? So, as its difficult to pen costs down to an exact amount, best thing to do is to allow yourself a range to work with.
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Business Accounts – Snooze button
Today, I went about trying to set up a business account. No kidding, some women could have had babies in the time it took me to b e interviewed by a certain High Street bank and no, I still dont have a business account yet. It was a painful experience but as I try to learn from everything, here are my tips for anyone trying to set a business account up:
- Your time is important, set a time limit for the meeting and let the Business account manager know this
- Know what you want from the bank account
- Dont be persuaded by any additional fancy products, you will find that many of these are available on the internet for free or at a lower price
- Dont make any decision under duress, take away literature so you can read and make a decision later
- I know it wasn’t their intention, but I felt they wore me out so I could just say yes to everything 🙂
- Finally, do compare offers from different banks. You’ll be surprised at how many different offerings and propositions there are out there!
On that note, I’m signing out.
Have a fantastic week ahead!
I hope you had a brilliant weekend? Mine was pretty relaxed, got a lot of home chores out the way so they don’t get in way of work.
Also testing out wordpress for bb-interesting to see how I can blog on the go.
As I write this post, I’m on my way to London to a couple of important appts and I need to get myself in the right frame of mind: Today, I am the boss. Its my money and my business these guys require so in essence, they’re being interviewed.
This is quite key for me to remember as anyone who knows me knows how laid back I am but today I can’t be that. I must think of my customers and what they’ll require of me in the quality of my apparel and label. I must also get d right bargain for my investors too.
Thinking of mindsets, I am reminded now of a lady on my garment construction course who said to me: “what if you don’t like sewing or the business doesn’t work?”. I was startled and a little irritated at that question however it was a valid one. The difference between me and her was ‘our mindset’- I have set my mind on creating a label, starting my own business, studying all that I could possibly muster and make it successful! It had not crossed my mind there was a choice to not make it. The only option in my head was to make it a successful label and thank God for everything so far, its all ticking along.
Some may say I am not being realistic, I disagree. The fact that I am putting in place all that will make this work shows I have considered what could go wrong and therefore working to ensure it all goes well. However, I will not sit and worry or spend a minute to be negative. Instead, I will use that energy and brain cell to figure out great plan and ideas.
So as we go into this new week, I encourage you to be positive, have the right mindset and work towards great success!
Catch you later!
Hello beautiful people!
You may have picked up from my first post that I do have something for formal wear. With a full-time job, most people spend more time at work than at home so if I am going to splash a little on clothes, work wear comes on top for me.
I am a firm believer in dressing for the role you’re aiming for not for where you are – so I can’t see any reason why any woman’s formal wardrobe should be dowdy.
We all know clothes speaks volumes about us and in some circumstances it could affect our demeanour. If you’re wearing an outfit that accentuates the right parts of your figure, you feel confident and your walk speaks the same language. And if you feel good about yourself, then you’ll attract that from other people.
So am I alone in feeling this way? Would you put much effort into your work wear? Are there particular pieces that work for you more than other?
For me, I love my soft tops and fitted shirts with smart tailored trousers or skirts. I might have been in a cut throat environment but I am still a woman and want to be sexy 🙂
I would love to hear from you, so tell me about your favourite pieces of clothing for work.