Posts Tagged ‘boxer briefs’

Bittersweet February -the bitter

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Now for the bad news…
If you prefer, you can skip the bitter and get to more interesting matters below (under sweet).
Business is non-existent. To further make matters worse, we received an order on January 4th that we completely ignored (actually we failed to notice it). Talk about incompetence! It was only an order for one pair, so I tossed in a second pair for the trouble. I am not please that this happened, ESPECIALLY when I am only seeing about one order per week right now. What makes it so frustrating is that my primary tenants for starting this business is to offer a superior product with superior service –talk about dropping the ball!

The economy, namely the press (in my opinion, it wreaking havoc on the job market. Confidence is at such a low that I believe many jobs are being lost purely due to speculation. If every news outlet is reporting doom and gloom, then it must be true, right! It was the press that managed to nominate McCain as the Republican presidential nominee, it was the press the elevated Obama to superhuman status, and it is the press that has had a big hand in pushing us into the current economic mess that we are in. Granted, the housing bubble was bound to burst –it was unnatural, the magnitude of growth seen over the past decade and a correction was due. Not to mention how easy it was to get loans where the primary qualification was that you were breathing. Anyway, enough of that.

Finally, the really bad news. We lost our dog –Roxy. She was only 15 months old, and she was a huge part of our family. Outgoing and friendly…and full of life and energy, she passed away in surgery on the table while being fixed. To really make matters worse, the wife was having doubts about getting the procedure done, and I talked her into staying with the plan. We really thought that it would be best for her, but when the call came…suffice to say that it was not a good day, or even week. She is now buried out in the country at my folk’s home, and has her own tree planted in her memory…complete with her collar and nametag. We will miss her dearly. We know that we will want another dog, another Shih Tsu at that. But our hearts aren’t really into it, and we wonder if we ever will.

MAGIC Las Vegas Day one

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

MAGIC, Las Vegas, day one (Tuesday Feb 17)
Today is the day where we finally attend THE clothing tradeshow. It is called MAGIC and it is huge! The wife and I flew together and met her sister just a few hours later. Her sister decided that she wanted to come along at the last minute and I was all for it. She is a seriously gabby girl, and I figured I could use all the help that I could get. She is also a lot of fun to be around, and she was only going to do the first two days before heading back to the family.
The first thing that I learned after getting our badges is that we arrived a day later than we should have. What I mean by this is that being a start-up, my goal was to attend as many seminars as possible, and Monday, day one (the day before the show opens), was the first of their many seminars. “Sourcing ABCs” followed by “Developing a fashion product and getting it manufactured” were on the agenda for Monday, and both really apply to what I’m trying to do at XOver. Of course, one thing that I learned by the end of the week is that the guide I was carrying with me was subject to change. In fact, it did change in one instance which made little to no sense to me –more on that later.
There were no shows of interest to me on Tuesday, so I spent the day in the Sourcing building talking about fabrics and possible manufacturers for future production. I am still very happy with my contact in Shanghai, and I look forward to doing more business with him, but I need to be able to keep him honest with pricing. So I dropped some samples with various manufactures in the hope of getting competitive pricing bids for comparison purposes as well as samples to check their quality. –I fully realize that I may very well have to redo a lot of the work that went into getting a finished product if I were to change suppliers at this time. The first time around, it took the better part of a year to iron out all the details and I would expect nothing less a second time around –unless I was able to travel to China and spend significant time overseeing things.

Technorati submission

Monday, November 10th, 2008

This is my submission to Technorati
Technorati Profile

As an FYI, this is a part of my attempt to increase traffic to my website: XOvergear performance apparel as business has been slow. I will not blame the economy as I do not believe that the economy is doomed. Things will bounce back, and let’s face it, good economy or not, folks need underwear. I cannot help but think that our boxer briefs and trunks are the best deal in designer men’s underwear period. I will admit that they are not for everyone, but if you like them, you love them. I would say that better than 50% end up wanting more. The fit is snug, some call it a “European fit”…I call it an athletic fit. I want achieve success, if for no other reason than to prove my theory that the big manufacturers are only in it for the money. I badly wish to move forward with new colors and designs. I want to release my ideas for women’s sleepwear -which will simply be boy shorts for the bottoms along with form fitting tanks and tees for the tops.
Then there are the men’s dress/workout XOver tee shirts that I want to start designing and offering. All logos will be placed strategically so that they can be worn under white dress shirts. Later, you can wear them at the gym without having to look like you are wearing wife beater or bargain tee shirts…

More to come…

SEO and other updates

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Where to start? Online business has not picked up…in fact, I would venture to say that it is down or even non-existent if the past two weeks are any indication.
We have signed up with a company (Visible.net) that specializes in SEO as well as web marketing. They cautioned me not expect to see much improvement for at least 4-5 months. It is all a matter of trying to move the XOver website up in web rankings with search engines. To that end, I am trying a few things on my own…this blog being one of them. It turns out that Blogging is supposed to be helpful for online businesses. To think, I thought that it might be interesting to just document this whole “starting a business” adventure. So the blog idea came way before my learning that it won’t hurt my website any. As mentioned earlier, it does not seem to be helping either come to think of it.
Starting this business, little did I know or realize how little time I would have to focus on this. That is the price one pays for actually having a day job that extends into the evening more often than not. This is not me whining, just stating fact. I am sure that it comes as no surprise to anyone that has actually started a business in their lifetime. This is not to say that it is not rewarding, it is actually fun. Even if not exactly financially rewarding, the fact that I was able to follow up an idea and actually do something about it…and the thrill of knowing that the result really works as been it’s own reward. I have been wearing my underwear designs for a year now, and I still love wearing them. It is hard NOT to use the blog as an avenue to self promote, as I really believe in what I am doing, and only time will tell if I am right. At least there are others that feel the same way that I do. While I would expect friends and family to support me, my very first online sale to a customer in Indiana resulted in a Yahoo feedback being completed (unprompted I should add) with “excellent” ratings across the board. While it has not yet resulted in more sales to this person just yet, I feel a small victory nonetheless.

I have also managed to receive some testimonials. I asked a few customers if they would be interested in having their comments appear on my website in the form of testimonials, and I had two responses within the day. Doug and Doug. I just posted another testimonial from Allen, and they can be seen at XOver testimonials . In the event that you might have visited my site, I expect that I will be pulling down the hair and skin care page. For starters, we do not warehouse any of these items, and if someone were to order them, we would basically make nothing on them. The wife will not like to see these things gone, but

More positives… I am told that Chris Siebenhaar loves his shorts (Chris races AMA formula extreme, as well as Supersport (both are 600cc) with Matsushima Suzuki). He has presented samples to his teammates, though I am not sure about Garrett, but reportedly Danny Eslick likes them and has even asked for more. With the last race of the season coming up at the end of September in Laguna Seca (2 weekends from now), these guys will need to go back to their hometowns to train and prepare for next season –not to mention the need to go back to work to try to earn some spending money. Danny is reportedly asking about selling XOver gear in Oklahoma and surrounding areas (where he is from). Chris on the other hand is expected to be a rep for Suomy helmets, and had shown interest in talking up XOver when travelling the country to different shops for Suomy (though I certainly do not see any conflict, I will not support any activities that might jeopardize his primary function).
Here is Chris:
Chris -Infineon #42

Starting a business online

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Week 2 update:
I decided to try Google AdWords today. From the reading that I did, it seems entirely possible to go broke with Adwords, and if not for the “set monthly limit” feature, I would not have signed on. Of course, that is assuming that there is that much interest in men’s underwear (boxer briefs) to begin with, and that people start clicking on the campaign advertisement. Yahoo appears to have something similar, but after starting my business with Yahoo small business, I am a little concerned about doing everything through them. I have not had any hits to my site to speak of, and the one thing that I liked were my chances of getting hits through Yahoo searches. Clearly I made an uninformed assumption.

Also of note, I purchased DreamweaverCS3 and Intuit Quickbooks 2008. I don’t know how to use either, but looking at it from a distance, it seems like a good idea to just give it a shot. I am guessing that my opinion will change once I actually start to dive in and realize that I have no idea what I am doing. While I like a challenge, sometimes it sounds like a better idea in theory than in practice. Of note though, is the fact that I did the graphics for my website as it currently stands using Photoshop and Illustrator, two other programs that I had zero experience starting out on (but they are more geared towards instant gratification -meaning you do something right, and you see it instantly). I am looking forward to improving the look and feel of my site, and if confidence increases enough, possibly changing providers. While I have many ideas, the real challenge(s) will be to see if I can bring them to reality.

I do have some updates worth mentioning… I have provided my product to an AMA motorcycle road racer (Chris Siebenhaar of team Matsushima Performance Suzuki), who fell in love with them…so much so that he wanted more to give to some of his racing friends, among them being Jamie Hacking, and Ben Spies. Yes Ben Spies, but as of this week they have not seen my product. This weekend was the Laguna Seca MotoGP weekend and both Hacking and Ben were wildcard MotoGP factory riders for the weekend, so they spent 90% of their time in the MotoGP garages…Chris did not run into either, but he reportedly did give some to his teammates -Danny Eslick and Garret Carter who reportedly liked what they saw. I hope to have something substantive to report in the future on this front. Regardless, from the standpoint of comfort on a motorcycle, they are getting thumbs up from roadracers (I ride a little Supermoto myself, as well as MX) which I suspected might happen having spent the past year developing and wearing them to the track.
That’s about all for now. As mentioned earlier, I hope to have something real to report out in my next update. I was hoping for weekly updates, but if there’s nothing to report, then I will likely not waste space with drivel. If you got this far, thanks for tuning in.