I’m in denial about my clothing store being closed. Somehow I will announce it this week and call it an indefinite hiatus.
My goal is to eventually open up again and rebrand once my other business needs less attention and can coast a bit. That means I will need to hire more people. But for now, I want to make sure I understand all the processes in this organism.
It was like a breakup. I used different words to claim the spun story of what happened, but it really was a bunch of loaded reasons it needed to end.
1. It’s costing you more than it’s making you.
Simple enough. Every time I wanted to make a move, it costed me something. If I wanted to create content to promote my work, I’d have to hire at least a bit under $1,000 worth of a team’s time to get something that would last me a couple weeks.
I found a way around it by going on a Los Angeles Facebook group of models and photographers trying to get their work out there. But coordinating people was a challenge as LA is known for flakes. Or sometimes I would simply shoot models honing my skills, but wouldn’t like who I was working with.
It was to the point that I had 20 photoshoots in less than 2 weeks. My finger had a burn blister from adjusting the nob on the camera so many days in a row, whole body ached from being arched into odd positions and from sitting for hours editing snapshots.
Aside from it being expensive in monetary terms, it took a fuckload of time. My husband and I would fight because of it. He said sewing was easy. I hate sewing and he did in the military for two minutes so he was an expert. I actually studied sewing and did it at home with the women in my family. If I couldn’t hack it, he definitely couldn’t. He tried and failed hahaha. (The schadenfreude is real now that I can laugh about it.)
It took me hours and hours to remove over 300 wholesale labels and resew newly expensive woven labels by hand. People would eventually rip them off because they were itchy. They had no idea it cost me hundreds of dollars total in hours, ordering, designing, and putting my soul into them. It also cost me in marketing if they take off the label. Ungrateful shits.
2. My heart wasn’t in it.
Every time someone asked me if I designed my clothes, I said no, I wholesale.
The clever people who knew what it was were impressed and said it was a great idea because the pieces were irresistible.
Idiots who didn’t know shit about the clothing business simply would glaze their eyes and be disappointed in me as if I murdered their parents. When I would sense the person was a moron, I would simply answer, “Yes, I did design the clothes. Can’t you see my fucking name on the label? It’s better than anything you’ve ever accomplished because you’ve done fuckall with your life, you leeching motherfucker asking for free clothes and living off you parents at 27. Get a fucking life.”
If you do not understand that I’m kidding, you probably don’t have a dark sense of humor/ haven’t experienced third world country struggle to laugh about later when you’re successful.
But everytime I would go shopping for one or two items wholesale, you had to typically buy everything in bulk. That means if you want to buy an item–not a sample size–but a full stock of garments for your store, you’d clean out whatever you had in your wallet.
It soured me out of shopping all together. I ended up selling my whole original closet of personal clothes on Poshmark along with my wholesale items. My personal clothes sold out like hotcakes. The new items didn’t, even though they were great style, because Poshmark is full of cheap people haha. Seriously cheap people.
I’ve never experienced people who offered $10 on an item for sale for over $100+. But then would sell their EXTREMELY worn designer items for only $10 off the original price and refuse to negotiate. Stingy tight fucks. Haha.
Thank goodness for my capsule wardrobe of less than 10 outfits. I really planned this well and reached that goal of having a slowly shopped closet. That’s another thing–I didn’t believe in fast fashion and was selling it.
3. It got tons of love but hardly any sales on the actual store.
People bought from Poshmark and some even shelled out for the items full-price. A thousand thanks to those wonderful people with fantastic taste. I wrapped everything beautifully in branded tissue, stickers with my name on it, fliers with my store on it, and a hand written card with my monogram.
Though Poshmark did well, people were very afraid to use my store. The reason my store was special was people could make an offer on the item. They didn’t understand it hahaha. Even though I had a very clear, simple infographic and plentiful videos explaining everything on the landing page.
People are afraid of new things.
But the thing was the idea wasn’t new. Sort of. It was new womens clothes that have never been worn, but ebay had this make an offer for used items. So did Poshmark, Vestiaire Collective, along with a handful of others.
Every now and again I would receive a notification of someone who made an offer. I accepted but they would never check out. If they did buy something it was in the inflated full price.
That’s all that story will ever be to me for now. In the future, maybe it will work as I will try my best to revive it. When I opened it, nobody was surprised because a lot of people complimented my statement style.
But I recall, it takes 5 years to truly establish a brand with trust. And Jennifer Lopez has $300 million +, opened her own clothing business THREE TIMES at different stages in her career. Yet they never took off. With this I knew it wasn’t a matter of capital. It was simply just not it for me.