Posts Tagged ‘shrinkage’

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.
Summary:
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…

Shrinkage???

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…