Posts Tagged ‘mens boxer briefs’

MAGIC Las Vegas Day three

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

MAGIC, Las Vegas, day three (Thursday Feb 19)
The last day was a wash for us. I wanted to attend a seminar today, but I attended it yesterday completely by chance. The show itself was winding down all day. So we walked and talked. We met some pretty cool companies… The folks at 180S kicked down a free pair of gloves to the wife and me. Nice gloves for skiing and boarding and will definitely come in handy. Easy to talk to folks and I want to give a shout out to them. So when you are looking at ski gloves, 180S has some really cool features…one of which includes a special finger for operation of iPods without having to remove your gloves. So if you ski or board while listening to tunes, there is no other option than 180S. The gloves are quality, not gimmicky.
Also talked with some folks from Kuhl (pronounced cool). Not really fashion in the strictest sense, but some nice outdoor wear and base layer stuff. Very high quality and I can already attest to the functionality of their gear. It is cold and rainy here in NorCal right now and I am wearing a wool 3/4 zip pullover with a unique lining that is similar to fleece, but different. Retails for around $100, which is pricey for a guy who looks for sales when buying functional clothing, but clearly quality stuff. I will be washing it this evening to see how it holds up –always important.
One other goal of my trip to MAGIC was to try and find sales representation…I feel that a rep can do a lot with a good product. In one of the seminars, I was called upon to explain why I had raised my hand to a “survey” type question, and in explaining, I mentioned that I was a startup with product warehoused in our garage at home. So a rep from the Las Vegas area approached me and we exchanged business cards…I called to follow up but no response as of yet. Perhaps men’s underwear was not what she was looking to add to her line card? As for other leads regarding reps, I have nothing to report, though I was told to look into LinkedIn…I am already on LinkedIn, so was apprehensive about doing something not related to my primary job since I have many contacts from within my present company. So I have opened another account with XOvergear as my company.
By the end of the week, I was exhausted. We were so tired at the end of each day from all of the standing and walking, we failed to partake in any late night activities. The most we did was eat out and one night we went and got foot massages. 75 minutes well spent. My legs still felt exhausted afterwards, but the process of getting the work done was so relaxing. I wanted to get a full body massage, especially being in Las Vegas…but I am still nursing some cracked ribs and simply could not imagine trying to lay on my stomach. I can’t even lay face down in bed yet and it has been 3 weeks since using my upper body to try and break up the ice while snowboarding. I will also admit that walking the show opened up a lot of ideas for us, with decisions as to how we might move forward. Business decisions that we will need more time to consider.

MAGIC Las Vegas Day two

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

MAGIC, Las Vegas, day two (Wednesday Feb 18)
Today I spent some time attending seminars and quickly learning that the seminars appeared to be primarily geared towards larger established companies or companies that are quickly growing/expanding. In fact, I am starting to feel that the entire show is that way. I was amazed at how many smaller retailers and companies were on display…and the reason for my amazement was that according to discussions with others, a single (smallest) booth (8×8) runs in the neighborhood of $5000 for the show!
Anyway, back to the seminars. I attended a couple of seminars regarding global sourcing (strategies and options) as well as how to lower cost of landed goods. Again, I got the distinct impression that startups really have to work hard to pull relevant information from these seminars as they tend to focus on how to manage and rate multiple factories in multiple countries etc.
Closing out the seminars on Wednesday was “e-retailing and marketing 101”…finally a seminar that applies to someone in my position! So the seminar begins, and I find that it is actually a seminar called “Fashion business Inc. presents “starting and branding a new clothing and accessory line””. I am thinking to myself that I must have confused my days, since the guide that I have shows this seminar to be on Thursday at 4:00. It turns out that it was in fact moved up a day, and was the ONLY other relevant seminar for a new business/start-up and was on my short list to attend. Oh, and the discussion that I had planned on attending? –it was moved to another room FOR THE SAME TIMESLOT! Ok, the message is pretty clear by now. If you are a small business or start-up, you are not all that important. I mean, I spent the better part of a day listening to the issues facing companies like Ann Taylor and JC Penney, companies I might add, that have very little in common with me and those like me, only to find that the two seminars most relevant for new businesses are arranged so that they are in the same timeslot but in two separate rooms. I fully understand moving the discussion from Thursday at 4:00 –after all, the show ends on Thursday. But in moving, clearly no thought was given to the timeslot selected. Not to mention that the guide which I picked up on Tuesday afternoon was incorrect. I did not occur to me to investigate the accuracy of the shows and their respective timeslots.
It is not my intention to be a whiner. I learned a ton by walking the show as well as attending seminars. In fact, I met some folks in the same boat as me w/r/t starting their own businesses and feeling that the discussions were ignoring them. I hope to continue communicating with some of these folks…


Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

I just got feedback from a fellow traveler that I gave a free sample to, (who turned around and ordered a dozen more). He sent me an email letting me know that his shorts seem to be shrinking! His comments were to the effect that they shrunk even after the first wash. Now, I have attempted to replicate just about every scenario that might exist in the design of my underwear, and I have noticed that the underwear will shrink a small amount after the first washing, but I have not seen any noticeable changes after that. In fact, I wrote the shrinkage off to a fabric that was no longer relaxed and flat (as it comes out of the package).
Further communications with this fellow traveler to see if I might learn exactly how they are being laundered failed to turn anything up that would be considered out of the ordinary. I include laundering instructions on my packaging indicating to steer clear of hot cycles and more importantly, very hot dryers, but that was more for fear that the heat, especially during drying, would attack the rubber in the Spandex. A fear that has not yet been confirmed in all the wash cycles that I have subjected my product to…

But this does raise a concern –and some comments as well. I did all of my own design work, meaning the shipping of samples back and forth between the factory and me, using leftover material that was of similar composition to my material, but NOT the same weight. Similar in this case meaning the cotton/spandex ratio of the material. The weight that I am using on my first shipment is a heavier weight cotton/spandex than one can purchase directly from a supplier (off the shelf). I have noticed that my sizes of the finished product are not exactly what I was expecting (and had designed). While I still wear a size M, the production sized M is much snugger fitting than the samples that we sent back and forth during the course of a year of development. A reality check confirmed this to be the case as I still have all my samples (which are all size M) in my underwear drawer and they fit loosely in comparison.
If money was not an object, I would be placing another order with revised specifications for size, and would discount the existing units to try and move quickly. This size issue seems to affect the all cotton shorts more so than the mesh with cotton. Of course, discounting them now just might help with sales, since traffic to my site has been dismal. See other update…(SEO)

Once I get to reorder time I will be updating my sizing, as well as getting some new colors out there. I am also working on a few other ideas, which I will discuss in another entry…

July 29 Update

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

7-29-2008 Blog entry

This past weekend was very busy. I had 3 Saturday appointments scattered all over the bay area…from Napa to the UC-Davis area to Oakland. In total, the wife and I covered about 290 miles that day. I will discuss stops one and three.

However, before all this could happen we had to prepare enough 5X7 cards in order to have some sort of product display that was more than just an 8.5 by 11 bag with underwear inside. I have several thousand 5×7 zip-lock style plastic bags, and wanted to have my shorts packaged in them, and had to design and print 5×7 cards to insert into the bags. A quick stop by Fry’s for heavyweight paper stock, I ended up buying 5X7 photo paper in Matte finish as well as some 65# 8.5×11 heavyweight paper, not to mention printer ink for our printer. For DTM, I dropped off 24 pairs of shorts and for rideSFO I had some 20 pieces. We ended up heading to sleep at 4:00AM. We had started working shortly after 9:00PM that evening, and this is after starting my Friday with my typical 4:00AM wakeup as my Fridays often start in Oregon (I do have a day job that takes a minimum of 10 hours a day –frequently much more than 10).

DTM Motorsports
Stop one was with DTM motorsports in Napa California. Steven Giovanonni (sp?) is a friend of mine that has a small business and agreed to take some XOver gear product to display in his shop. I easily spent an hour there just waiting to talk with him as he was working with customers and his place was pretty busy. That is what’s great about DTM…the customer service and interaction. I like his business model to differentiate himself from other shops through superior customer support. Any time that you visit him, he can suggest great places to ride, or where the races might be that weekend…nevermind that he really knows his products. Anyway I digress. I finally get to talk with him about the product, and we still have a small audience of folks hanging around his shop just killing time. Next thing you know Steven is talking up my boxer briefs to a couple of guys…”I wear these when playing Indoor Soccer…and they are fantastic”. “Jogging and bicycle riding are so much more comfortable with these shorts…” etc. Steven has had pre-production samples, but never really provided much in the way of feedback in the past. After all, we do ride MX as well as pitbikes together, and we talk about just about everything. So this is the first time that I have heard him say anything about my product, let alone sing it’s praises. Needless to say, I was pleased. I expect to learn a lot from working with Steve.
On a positive note, Steve has reported a sale the first day that product was displayed…in fact, he was in the process of setting up a small display after getting his price tags installed.

ride SFO
Quan (my wife) is friends with Phil, founder of rideSFO who does freeride and downhill mountain bike protective apparel and lifestyle clothing. Our meeting started a little late and we were up against a hard stop on his end, but what can you do with bay area traffic the way that it is? Regardless, once you get Phil started on a topic, there is no stopping him. He now has roughly 20 pairs of our boxer briefs in store. I hope that he has evaluated some by now…he indicating that he thought that they would work great for a new hobby that he has taken up –Yoga. Phil went on for some length of time about how he was unable to find the perfect underwear for yoga, and that he easily spent a couple of weekends searching for the perfect underwear, but wound up short. I hope that his search is over.
Anyway, we talked about everything under the sun, even discussion how to get involved in conventions, which conventions to try to attend, and even offering some floor space at an upcoming show. (I will provide more details later as they firm up) Regardless, Phil is an idea guy who loves the challenge of starting a business. I hope that I am able to meet up with him on a more regular basis as his enthusiasm is truly infectious. I have yet to hear back from him on the shorts, and am hoping that getting this blog entry will help prompt him into action. I like the fit of XOver gear with rideSFO.