Mom couldn't read FashionMista and updates with katie james at home, so she printed out and brought with her to the hair salon. This is what she came back with:
"Hi Katie...I took your [business plan as kryptonite] post to the hair store when I was getting rid of my summer white look. This weekend I set up the Open Gate (Mom's home-based business where she reps the lines Doncaster and Elana)---hardly ready after all the travel. Since your blog is such public domain I read it out loud (Mom loves reading out loud) when the two girls working on me asked me about the fashionmista logo which they thought was so cute. Here's what was said that I thought I should pass on:
jamie was concerned that on a blog someone would steal your ideas if they were not patented. I told her the items were. But the more i thought about it maybe the cute mouse eyes logo needs patent. ($$?)
jamie says her dad invented a bracelet like the lance armstrong bracelet but packaged with a little prayer. Jamie bought 500 from him and sold almost all of them. He had them made in China. Not sure why he did that and how much he made. But he had a slightly different twist on those popular bracelets.
other girl tearing foil said that she has a friend that made purses. She took them to Nordstrom's like you took yours to Henri Bendel to see if they were interested. I explained that you needed to retail these unique functional pouches for about $80. And she thought they are game for small designers launching. They might like your sample and order 2000. Then you would have a reason to fill the order with overseas labor. They would mark it at $85 and feel that their customer would see that it was unique and therefore understand why the extra workmanship commanded this price. Nordstrom would sell them all over the world.
other girl had another friend who made a pajama and same thing happened with Nordstrom ordering her first big order. They must have put down a deposit which allowed her to purchase specified fabric. She felt Henry Bendel was too non out of the box to do that for a designer. But Saks too might jump at the product. If you needed $85 then so be it. But on the website there should be a pic of an open pouch that is a diagram. Like when you see the human body in a text book and there are lines drawn to identify each part. You would have lines drawn describing each functio.,i.e. tight elastic pocket to hold earrings secure and together or snapped tabe to hold rings...etc.
other girl also suggested you get a booth at the next GiFt Show in NYC. maybe with another one of a few of your designing friends and split the cost of the booth. Since you have a vendor's license you should be able to be sent an application to attend the next show or see the upcoming ones and their dates. Aunt Janie (my godmother) knows about [this and can comment] after she is over the idea that she is becoming a grandmother at the moment.
Another piece of poodah (mom said "poodah", hehe) I have run across is that one of my Doncaster comrades has a daughter in NYC. She graduated from OSU and then got her masters from FIT in ????? (I'll ask again). First she worked for all the cosmetic companies in town. Then She got her real estate license and started off in rentals where she would earn first month's rent each time she found a rental for someone. Then was allowed residential and commercial property. Pat says her daughter who is 42 and dates a guy who is 35 is making so much money doing this.
That's all I know for tonite...Nitey nite. Love, Mom"
Well. Lots to digest I'd say. First off, as for patenting, I've been advised not to patent, as it's easy to rip off a design, so all that money and time I'd invest in protecting the pattern would be in vain. There are entire companies that base themselves off of copying. As for trademarking FashionMista, the logo and the name as title of a blog and as a cat toy, yes, that is on my list! But production for more katie james is priority, so hopefully no one will steal in the meantime. But when I'm ready, I'll be calling Heraty Law to guide me through.
As for producing in China, well, we know how I feel about that. Really don't want to. There are enough stitchers somewhere in America. The key, though, is finding good ones at a price that people will actually pay for a well-made product...that is the question.
As for selling real estate...yes! Great idea! I know of many creative people, writers mainly, who do this then drop out when they feel like it. The schedule is semi-flexible, but there is a lot of walking out of doors in the blowing snow...
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