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5 Ways to Customize Your Product. Wow Your Clients!

21 Aug

5 ways to customize your product

Presentation means everything, no matter what business you’re in! Below I’ve outlined some of my key ingredients in a successful presentation of a custom gown to a private client.

1. Find out what your customer really wants.

No matter the product, you may run into clients that know (or think they know) exactly what they want. Intentional or otherwise, it may feel like they just want to use your skill, and not your creative expertise. In the end however, you are the one that will be held accountable for how the product turns out. Keeping this in mind, the best way to start is by having a sit down consultation with the client. Have a list of questions ready. Come up with the questions beforehand that hone in on the direction of their vision. Gain insight on how they want to feel about this product and/or how they want it to make them feel. Be honest about what you can and cannot do. Be honest about pricing. If the requests increase, let them know right away the costs that will be incurred.

Having clients that basically give you free reign over a design idea is always a pleasure! Ronisha came to me in need of a reception dress that would flatter her figure, while also showing her sophistication as a newlywed.

2. Give them your input as an expert and come up with a vision that meets the clients requirements and has your personal touch.

I came up with the sketch below. Ivory stretch satin with Swarovski crystals adorning her from the neckline, all the way down the front of the dress in flattering V shapes. The satin hugging her curves, while ivory chiffon peaks out at her shoulders and neckline. Ivory chiffon drapes down the back in a double layer, while a single fan pleated layer subtly shows off her legs in the front.

Lucky for me, Ronisha loved this sketch and gave me the ok to go ahead and get started. Sometimes, it may take some revising, or even coming up with a new concept entirely. Just make sure they are happy before going past this step.

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How to Start a Business Online. 4 Fundamental Steps

8 Jun

As I’m nearing the end of my master’s degree (only 3 more months, I can’t believe it!) I have been taking time these past couple of weeks to really focus on my business model and its online presence. Keeping up with the times is an absolute necessity for any online business with hopes of success.

So I’ll delve into some notes on my recent experiences and discoveries when it comes to running a business online.

1-    What is your brand image?

This is something that I have personally struggled with over time. Being that I am very versatile and love so many different clothing styles, it was hard for me to really narrow down and choose what specific niche my clothing design is.

But trust me, as hard as it may be, targeting your brand image is a must. The main piece of advice I can stand on is this: stay true to yourself. Doing something because a person of authority tells you, or you think you may make more money, or it’s a quicker path to success will only dig a deeper hole. I ended up changing things around multiple times, finally landing back where I started in the first place.

Some things to consider about brand image:

  • Who is your client? This means you need to know more than just their age and ethnicity. What do they do on the weekends? What are their hobbies? What music do they like, etc.
  • What do you want your brand to feel like? This takes some thinking. What does the Starbucks brand feel like? And why does it seem to match the feeling of the Apple brand? Consider your senses the next time you go into your favorite store, coffee house or restaurant. Notice the things around you that carry the vibe that you recognize so easily when you think of that place.
  • Consider your competition. Who are they and what are they doing to get the attention of your potential clients? What strong and weak points do you notice? How can you differentiate yourself?
  • What’s your story? Consider your goals as a business. What is the hook that makes you different or intriguing? Consider the emotional triggers you will ignite when telling people about your brand’s story.

2-    Your own website vs. third party platforms.

Making a website for your business is always the best option. It gives the feeling of professionalism and creates trust in the eyes of the client. However, this may not be an option right away as most startups are funded solely by the owner. Putting together a makeshift website from a template is an option, but I guarantee it will make most people shy away. It makes the company look less reputable. Having a solid, professional looking website is truly the best option.

Then there is the choice of using third party as a platform to sell your merchandise. As an example, ww.reverbnation.com is a great site for music artists to network and sell their music.

Weigh your platform options:

  • Having your own website gives you more control.  It also gains better search engine optimization than third party platforms.
  • Consider your customer. What will they feel most comfortable with?
  • How are you going to get paid? Paypal is by far the most trusted way to send and receive money online. Get an account. It’s free and you can transfer money straight to your bank account with minimal fees.

3-    Create a marketing plan. Without question, you absolutely must have all the standard social networks in tact if your business is online. The first thing people want to do when they find your business is check out your Facebook, twitter, etc. It builds credibility and status instantly. The key is finding where exactly your customer is online and formulating your marketing plan around that.

  • Do more than just be present- Interact!
  • Find people who have similar businesses. For example, if you have a make up line, friend and follow others in the beauty industry as well as related industries like fashion and photography. Forums are a great place to do this. People share insights, tips and carry great discussions in forums.
  • Don’t forget about the offline world. Be present at related events in your area. Learn who’s who. Have your professional business cards ready to direct people to where you are online.
  • Create a campaign. Something that you will focus on and push for a set amount of time. This could be a sale, a special product launch, a grand opening, etc. This will help your new audience understand what your all about. Consistent brand image is vital in this stage.

4-    Blog. The main thing about blogging is establishing yourself as an expert in your craft. People will come to your blog to learn from you. So you want to blog about a topic you’re confident in.

  • Post consistently. At least once a week is ideal.
  • Find sites that you can submit your articles to.
  • The more links your blog is tied to, the higher Google ranks you in searches.
  • Make sure you’re using the right keywords and tags. This is how people find you!
  • Check out other blogs to see what is working for others.

Final thoughts on this topic; be honest. Keeping up communication with clients and colleagues is the best way to build and maintain your online relationships. Never forget that on the other side of that screen is an actual person with thoughts and feelings, just like you.

Thoughts? Suggestions? As always, I’m open to improvement. 🙂

~A. Roze

Aris Blossom on Artist Management

20 Mar
Aris Blossom. President and Artist Manager at RPEG

Aris Blossom. President and Artist Manager at RPEG

When it comes to music artists, there are many aspects that MUST be done efficiently behind the scenes in order to keep the artist with a clear and focused mind to create. This is where an artist manager comes in. We caught up with Aris Blossom, President and Artist Manager at Rising Phoenix Entertainment Group (RPEG) with some questions about how she does what she does so well.

Me: Tell me a bit about yourself as a manager.

Aris: My name is Aris Blossom, I am the President and original founder of Rising Phoenix Entertainment Group (RPEG). Before I founded RPEG, I worked with various artists who were managed by other people, and assisted the artist in areas needed. However, Rising Phoenix Entertainment Group was founded on Sept 9th, 2010, so professionally, I have been managing artists for almost 3 years.

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Negotiations Tactics & Tips from GTN’s Madd Illz

13 Feb


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If you know anything about the hip-hop scene in Orlando, FL, Madd Illz is one of the first names that come to mind. Joshua Carrasco, aka Madd Illz, is a legendary battle rapper and owner of Grind Time Now, a hip-hop battle league. With nearly 90,000 subscribers and 93,000,000 video views on the Grind Time Now Youtube channel, GTN is well on the way to taking over the rap battle scene, not only in Orlando, but also worldwide.

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How to Balance Finances as an Entrepreneur. Bboy Spot’s Mex breaks it down.

5 Feb

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For a recent project in my Finance class in my Master’s program at Full Sail University, I interviewed David “Mexone” Alvarado, henceforth referred to as Mex. He is the founder of The Bboy Spot, B&B Printing and Biggest & Baddest clothing in Orlando, FL. His three businesses are run seamlessly as a unit, piggy backing off of each other creating a culture and community of hip hop.

I chose to interview Mex after visiting The Bboy Spot January 19th for a live broadcast of the local radio show, OUR Show 91.5 (www.itsourshow.net). I was extremely impressed with the venue, the culture and sense of unity that I found there. I was also taken by the fact that someone else was doing something very close to what my husband and I have wanted to do with our businesses, as far as the collaboration of fashion and music. It was very refreshing to find a place that has kept the values and traditions of hip hop, even with the major mainstream turn the industry has taken within the last five years or so. Continue reading for a fresh perspective on entrepreneurial finance.

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Weekly Recap: Small Business Saturday, Photo Shoot

1 Dec

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend! I also hope that you took advantage of Small Business Saturday, not just the ever-popular Black Friday. I held a sale on my website over the weekend, offering 50% off of everything in the shop (www.etsy.com/shop/arelisinclair). I was so happy to sell some of my more recent items to some dear clients of mine. It really motivates me to keep creating and staying on my toes when it comes to designing. 

FB sale Banner

I mentioned last week that I had just done a shoot with Alex G. Perez, an Orlando photographer. I have received a few photos back, so take a peak! The clothes on her are from the Areli Sinclair line (www.etsy.com/shop/arelisinclair), and the clothes on him are his, styled by me.  Models: Beatriz Silva and Tony Foradini Campos.

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So after a busy weekend of promoting and selling, I had a lot of shipping to do this week, which felt really nice. Sending my babies out to meet their new homes is always a bittersweet feeling. But it makes me feel like I’m fulfilling a purpose- not only in my life, but in my clients as well.

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This week has been so long, yet so short. The days feel like they are running together. But it’s a good thing. Up at 7am for class, up ‘til 2am posting, promoting and trying to get a handle on my business and finish homework. Even with all that I still feel like there are not enough hours in the day. One thing that the class I’m in right now has been great about is helping me narrow my focus. Getting the brand together feels so great 🙂 

shipping 1

A few other cool things going on:: my husband and I are working on a new track called Echoes… will post it when its done. Also, I got a surprise today when I found out my grade from my last class is an A+!!!! And I also got to finally meet photographer Melissa Drewry (https://www.facebook.com/Melissa.L.Drewry) today! She is going to Paris tomorrow and asked if she could borrow a few garments to shoot while she is there. How cool is that! Just wish I could be there to be a part of it! So excited to see the outcome! : )

Busy weekend ahead of me! I have a big project about my business model due on Monday. I will also be working on a custom New Year’s Eve dress for a special order. Speaking of- have you thought about what you’re wearing for NYE?! To be honest, I haven’t, but should lol. Can you believe its almost 2013!

Here are a few outfits from the week:

Have a great weekend loves!

~A. Roze

The Showroom Has Arrived! ::The New Website::

28 May

Showroom Home Page


Finally, finally finally, I have managed to rework my website. I had my site on Godaddy for a long time uggh, what a nightmare… using their website builder and templates, doing it myself from there. Well I wasn’t getting the look or feel of the company right at all from the Godaddy tools. I dreaded the thought of completely redoing the site, but knew I couldn’t take the site not representing the company properly anymore. Being a fashion designer that is available to sell to stores and boutiques, plus a personal designer that sells pieces to clients, I wasn’t getting that image across. So, with the help of my brand developer/husband, we came up with having a showroom that appeals clients buying for their boutiques, and a catalog section for those buying for themselves individually.

About Us Page


My husband and I had done his site in Adobe Dreamweaver, and both of us had no experience in that at the time, and found that it wasn’t as hard as we had initially thought. Don’t get me wrong, it was a struggle at first, but with lots of great people on youtube who post tutorials, we tackled it head on.

Main Home Page


My site, however, was a little different. The template I wanted was in Adobe Flash. Well that was a whole new ballgame to learn. I actually handled that one on my own, no tutorials or anything. In my opinion its easier than Dreamweaver and was pretty self explanatory after some playing around with it.

Gallery


But now I have to go back to Dreamweaver (and Flash) to do the other half of the site which is The Catalog. This is where customers can shop and purchase our apparel. My guess is that it shouldn’t take me more than a week, considering that I actually understand my hosting server now and the proper way to publish things to the web.

Home Page


I hope that this inspires some of you to create the website you’ve always wanted or to revamp the one you already have. Don’t let obstacles stop or scare you. If worse comes to worse, you can always hire someone! A great website should only cost a couple hundred altogether for someone to do it for you, five hundred at the most. Stay fresh & good luck!!
To see the entire Showroom site, visit http://www.arozierdesignstudio.com
~A. Rozier

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