Sunday, October 09, 2005

Cash Flow

It's a cold, misty Sunday, perfect for reading. I just finished the chapter on cash flow in the Fashion Designer Survival Guide. I cannot tell you (all you entrepreneurial fashion designers) how helpful this book is. I am so glad that I've put a couple of make-shift years into my little lable (katie james) because it's enabled me to have a better understanding about what the book is advising.

For example, I'm only in 4 stores. Two of those stores came within the last two months. One in September and one in October. I have already discovered that it's not as easy as I thought to get their orders to them. I mean, I psych myself up to cold-call a store, and then they say "Yes, we'd love to have your product!" and then my fantasy ends there. My fantasy becomes a cold sweat when my supplier factory guy says "One month" to my order request, when I need it in two weeks. Ack! News to me, but normal in this business. And tricky because my quantities are so small, I could easily throw the rest of my savings into making inventory, only to not sell it. I've gone from working with a bridal seamstress, to make my dresses and tops, to working with a SoHo seamstress when I started making accessories, and now to a little shop guy (not really sure what his shop is called other than a shop because it's not a huge factory).

The other part that was helpful and affirmative to read was how most emerging designers do freelance work to supplement their start-up businesses. Especially with taxes, I wondered how this happened, but apparently it can be counted as cash flow into the company, which I've been doing, purely on survival instinct. And the day job. You just can't quit it until you're breaking even and then some, which I knew already very well. Plus, day jobs can give you loads of experience in other areas like managing a budget, managing a website, like I do, and working with people, that can reflect well when applying for credit with a bank or potential investor. But also about the cash flow, I seem to be encountering a normal problem with not having the money to produce an order because the money is typically paid after or upon delivery, and that's already after I've poured all of my resources into making the sample. So that's an interesting predicament that requires creative thinking and deposits by the store, or something about 'factors' which I didn't really understand because David came and sat next to me so that I could hear all of the songs in his catalogue, captured on a mini tape recorder that has him sounding like a 12 year old because the tape goes too fast. I of course got distracted thinking about a potential Christmas present involving a digitized mini recorder for him, but then was dragged back into reality by my glaring cash flow issue.

Ok, onto the chapter on Product Development, but first, I must drop off an order to the Liberty House and visit Baby Roxy. Oh, and on Football Saturday, I made the prettiest watch band. Yeah! But sad for the Buckeys. :( David says that the season is over...

Check out the Books:
The Fashion Designers Survival Guide:

Patants, Trademarks and Copyright for Dummies:

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