as the days turn into nights and my big deadline draws scarily close, i’m getting so stressed and have the worst panic attacks at times. after dropping off a pair of my sequined harem pants at the patricia field boutique on friday (i sell my sequined harems there), i went with one of my good friends and a buyer at the pat field boutique to coffee and a light dinner as we talked about our dreams.
the lack of time, the things we want to do, the lack of resources, our plans and our future…… at the end, it all boiled down to money.
can money please fall from the sky?
i’d like to think that we can do anything if we just had dreams. but really? i mean, really?
in fact, today i spent a few hours doing my expenses sheet, noting down things i still need to do, and figuring out how much that is gonna cost. holy cow. there’s no way this is going to happen. it’s so difficult and i feel like an elephant is sitting on me and causing all this stress. i caught a glimpse of myself holding my head while looking at my spreadsheet… and took a picture of myself that i think i will put up on my wall.
just to remind myself that in many ways, money does make the world go round, and that if i want to really achieve my dreams, i need to save one cent at a time and put any profit i make to good use.
never mind that i’m like 2 months behind schedule after my winter bout of pneumonia, with my show next month, my dog back in singapore is currently in poor health (she’s 17), and my lease is up in may. which means that within the next month, i need to finish my collection, finish all my photoshoots and lookbooks, pack up my entire apartment, ship it, go back to singapore, have a show, try to get orders, try not to go bankrupt, and keep my sanity at the same time.
i think the problem is that i’m trying to do as much as i can myself, because i simply cannot afford to employ anyone. i am getting some help with my samples, but it’s really minimal and that’s pretty much all i’m getting help with. everything else i’m basically doing myself. because who the heck can afford to hire help? not me.
i know people who are from wealthy families who have all the resources to just sign their names off on that dotted line and get things done, easy like that. and as fortunate as i’ve been, there are still a lot of limitations to what i can do. and i’m not gonna lie – while i don’t get insanely mad about it, there are times i sigh and get a bit jealous.
is a trunk show what i need?
so my “grand” plan is to have a trunk show and try to have some pre-sales. have you heard about trunk shows? there are a lot of ways to do this… i don’t know how i should do it or how it needs to be done, but i believe it’s what i need to do.
most times, labels get buyers, produce ahead, then get paid after they deliver the goods to the stores. if they’re lucky they get paid within a month. if they’re unlucky, they don’t get their check till 3 months later. how can one sustain? i honestly don’t have the funds to spend like, $50,000 to produce a collection and deliver it to stores, then wait another few months for that money to come back in.
a trunk show, however, is a different story. it’s that special little event where a designer gets to meet his or her actual customers, have some face-to-face time with the people who will ultimately be buying their designs, and introduce their garments to anyone who will listen. at some trunk shows, designers have some inventory on hand to sell on the spot. and at times they do pre-sales, taking a deposit, which adds up to a sum that any one would be grateful for. this means that the designer has some capital to pay for production, in order to get those garments made, so that they can be sent to the client who then pays in full for it.
isn’t that just the most wonderful thing that could happen to a poor designer?
trunk shows also provide amazing information for a designer. they see how their target audience reacts to the line, hear first-hand what they like and dislike, etc. and if a particular item bombs at a trunk show, the designer can consider taking it out of the collection before they spend thousands getting it produced in big numbers.
it can only get better. right?
at least, that’s what i’m hoping for. i remember this time last year when i was so stressed about my thesis collection, i thought i might die from the pressure. and then in a moment, it was over and i felt like i could breathe again. i think because this is the first time i’m attempting something like this on such a large scale, i’m worried and scared that it might fail. i guess i’m getting a bit ahead of myself and thinking of too many “what if”s.
how in the world do designers do it?