You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can not please all of the people all of the time.
I have learned this year while trying to design my dream, my fashions and my likes and desires that no matter how much I think it is great and super fab, not everyone is going to agree with me.
There are things I needed to learn and scripts for my perfect customer that I need to write. Stephanie St. Claire talks a lot about future scripting and in her Entrepreneurship sessions I have had with her she has said this to me and groups many many time.
Write out who your perfect customer would be?
- Is it a male or female or both?
- How old is he/she?
- Where do they live?
- How much money do they earn?
- How do they make a living?
- What is their profession or career?
- Where do they shop?
- What types of stores do they like to shop at at? Small stores? Online? Big Stores? None, All, Some of the above?
- What do they wear now?
- What are they not finding when shopping?
- What are their Goals and Dreams?
- What is their Personality?
- What type of music do they like?
For me, I need to push those questions even further
- Do they like Retro, Vintage?
- Do they buy for others or only themselves?
- Do they like wearing Aprons?
- What is their mindset about an Apron?
- Do I desire to change that viewpoint?
- To what extent do I desire to change that point?
- Do they have a favorite Era they like?
- Do they have a specific Vintage style they prefer?
- How often to they dress Retro/Vintage?
- Are they into Pin Up?
- What is their perception of Pin Up?
and so on…
If your client, public or customer is not easy to define, then define all the opposite of these questions. You will get to know who your target audience is and who it is not. The benefit I learned from this is that, as I said before, not everyone is going to be my perfect customer.
I then have to decide some of those other questions I mentioned like whether or not I want to try to change their mind. If I care about their perception. or I want to try to change it for themselves or who they are buying for. Sometimes, I have learned that is honestly not worth it. I am not trying to be mean here, but some people do not get the PinUp Style. They think it is naughty and wrong. They associate it with Burlesque, which is a whole other element and style. They don’t see it like I do.
Some people do not understand why I would want to make Aprons. Many and I do mean many people assume apron equals Kitchen. That is not the case. This , however, is my passion to try to change the minds of the general population about what an apron is for, why you would wear one and what varying styles of aprons there are. I want to show others how different and unique my aprons are. I want to show them that a Trisha Trixie apron is so fabulous that is could go from Home to Happy Hour. In addition to that, I desire to help others see their potential and uses in all aspects of their life. Lastly, I want others to see that Aprons are and can be very sexy, which is why I came out with my Lingerie Apron line.
Asking yourself these questions, answering them honestly and wholeheartedly can and will improve your business, your brand and yourself as a designer. Once you have clear cut answers to these it will also help you stand strong against the naysayers and those who actually think they are helping by telling you all teh other things you should, could and “if you were smart” would design.
This is where you smile sweetly and say “Thank you for that input and insight. I will take that into consideration” Do you as you say and think about it. If it does not however meet with the brand, then don’t do it.
As I designer I have noticed that once people see that you can draw, sew and create something, they assume you would want to do all these other things. You have to develop one Mantra I have if nothing else…
STAY TRUE TO THE BRAND
If you have answered these and have it clear in your mind what the brand is, you will be able to do that.
You will know your customer and who the perfect one is.
You will know how to deal with those who are not your customer because you have already laid the foundation in your mind of who it is and who it is not.
I like to make aprons that look like suits for Men and Dresses for women. How many times a day do you think I hear and see people say and send me pictures of the way THEY think I should do something? Far too much to mention, let us just leave it at that.
I hear I should make dresses. I hear I should design children’s wear. I hear I should make my aprons this way or that way. People post pictures on my wall, in my email and other social media of aprons they like and tell me how I should make one like my competitors. I hear I should go on reality TV shows. I hear a vast amount of ideas from others. This always has a two fold effect on me. I am thankful that my friends are offering such things as these to me in an effort to show they care about me. However, they do not understand MY business and MY brand so it can be frustrating. I do not allow this to bother me, instead take it as a compliment that my friends are so open with me a find it as a blessing.
I do take into consideration a lot of what my pals say as well. There are some things even they do not know however, that I do know. I DO plan to make dresses one day. I plan to hopefully one day make Red Carpet Couture Gowns.
I HAVE though about making children’s clothes, but don’t know that I care enough to make it for everyone, yet thinking about making it as gifts for my pals that have young children that I know and love.
I have NO desire to make menswear. Me and pants do not get along.
I have no desire to do Project Runway. too many crazy things I would have to make and I want to make what I want.
I DO desire to go on Shark Tank. I am currently prepping and coming up with a plan of attack to hopefully be able to do this.
I DO desire to go n talk shows and other TV shows and work the entertainment circuit to help bring aprons back and to show the world how fabulous they can be!!
So you see, your friends, your customers and others who you may come across may or may not know you or your brand. That is ok. As time goes on, you will feel more solid in your brand and as you feel solid others will start to know your brand as well.
If you do not have answers to these questions about your brand, take the time to start answering them for yourself. In the long run, you will learn just as I have, what a vast difference in your brand it will make!