Know Thy Customer As Thy Know Thy Brand

Know Thy Customer As Thy Know Thy Brand

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!

You Don’t Need a Fashion Degree to be a Fashion Designer

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For years, and I do means years I keep myself from living a dream I wanted for years. Why, would someone like me who had their own business, who went for every other goal in life, keep her from a dream she has always wanted?

Miscommunicated ideas, thoughts and perception based on the views and ideas of others. Mostly that I needed to have a Fashion Degree to do what I love. Instead I let thoughts like these get in my way.

  • I didn’t really know a lot of sewing skills, tips and tricks
  • I never went to Fashion School, I went to Design School. (Design school is all encompassing, like a Liberal Arts Degree)
  • I am an artist at heart, but because I did not go to Fashion School thee are just things I do not know like fabric, design and other artistic elements I might need to incorporate in my designs
  • I only modeled when I was younger so I wasn’t sure if I would be able to go back into both worlds and the knowledge to merge them together
  • I could not be a fashion designer because I lacked these and many other things

What did I learn out of listening to other people?

Do not let other people determine your future!!

Late last year I decided to get back into the modeling business (I used to model years and moons ago) but this time I wanted to do it in my own style=Vintage. So if I was going to go back into vintage, retro etc with my modeling why not go back to vintage with the rest of the fashion world I wanted to delve into?

I started modeling at the end of 2012 getting new prints done and getting a new portfolio put together for a more retro look. I met with photographers and started getting to know hair designers and makeup artists in my area. I died my hair back to a White Platinum Blonde and went for broke.

In January of 2013 I dove back into my Fashion Website I had since 2009 and started moving forward.  I had an intern helping me write a blog on a regular basis and I was making creations from RePurposed items. I thought at that time keeping with older items that I remade into something else was the direction I needed to go.

Hidden underneath all that however was the desire I had to create an apron line that looked unique, fabulous, retro, but not like your normal apron. Though because I did not know how to sew very well and was more of a designer I kept holding myself back because of all those excuses I mentioned earlier as well as more negative thoughts and doubts that would enter my mind.

Then I found two amazing someones. One was a gal I already knew , Stephanie St. Claire from Blissbombed.com , that I had done sessions and business with before but for someone reason I had felt with her current courses that I didn’t need them, that I was exempt from them all. Her current course was called 7 Miracles a Month and though I heard about it 2 months before I joined, I had thought in my mind that I didn’t need it because I had done her courses before and I was fine on my own. HA! Then I saw she was having a sale and in that moment I was struggling with my business and felt moved to join the course and group. Boy am I glad I did. Reaching out and not only seeing those miracles but learning that I did not have to wait for them to come to me but I could manifest them and create them myself meant more than anything to me that four years of schooling could have taught me.

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The other woman I happened upon was Susan Baroncini-Moe   who wrote Business in Blue Jeans and has a group for those who have read her book or coached with her.  She was giving away a thirty minute free session to have a bit of coaching with her and I was so happy to be able to have that with her. I felt like in that 30 minutes of time I gained an amazing amount of knowledge and ideas and business coaching about the direction my business should be, again, as I said before, than any amount of college learning I could have done!! I did take a few other coaching sessions with her and we have had a follow up phone calls as well. The guidance and instruction and ideas and thoughts she gave me was phenomenal and made such a vast difference in my company and made a HUGE impact on my life AND my business! I not only highly recommend her book, but if you get a chance to take her Group Coaching to do so because I guarantee that if you listen, it will change your life!!

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My business has grown, improved, changed and my orders are constant and ongoing. I have a business presence in my town and am started to get known more and more, I am happy doing what I love and I am active, busy and doing trade shows, events and anything I can to keep leaping and going after that dream.

Moral of the story here and my lesson I learned is not to let anything stop you. School or no school, money or no money. If you have a dream. Go for it!

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