Recapping on the month of March prompts feelings of divinity, worth and confidence, we’re closing on Women’s History Month. I am excited to see the power of proclamation that women have taken across the world. Not only are we standing up for ourselves and each other; and even though we have so much more to go, it is something else to see stronger and louder acknowledgments from the opposite sex.
In my personal venture I started off in the clothing industry, I had to quickly learn the ins and outs of clothing production and even then only learned a fourth of the whole process. I began working with a fabric shop owner who would go on and produce my first pattern and sample for a simple bodysuit within a 2 week period, or so I thought. I went into this “business deal” very trusting and naive. Never thinking to include a contract and have clear expectations of what needed to be done. In the end I did not receive the proper attention that was required as a new client/customer. I soon realized that because I was a small order and a new “brand” to this shop owner, I was placed at the bottom of the totem pole. Not only was I given poor services but when inquiring about when my order would be finished, the shop owner was very condescending, rude, and unprofessional to me. He got hostile with me over the phone and let me know that he does not work under pressure. Those were his exact words, interesting because the clothing industry is all about deadlines. Mind you, the man had already known that I was a rookie in the industry, which does not explain tone he took with me. Aside from that he had me pay upfront for the order, which is something I learned is a big red flag. As you can already see, since the man got his money, he was able to have me wait a whole month, yes a whole month until I received my pattern and sample. Now if I would have been a male in the industry the conversation would have been a lot different, the tone would have been lighter and smooth as opposed to talking down to me. Just knowing that I had to communicate with him made me anxious, I knew I had to walk on egg shells and speak to him in a different manner because this man had a short temper and everything I said seemed to rub him the wrong way. He told me that I was just like all the other designers he had dealt with, which only shows his unprofessionalism. I was far from what he was stereotyping me as since I was just asking on the status of what I had paid full price for. This guy was clearly a jerk, had I been more attentive at picking up on the red flags from the beginning I would not have been in that situation, waiting on my services that I had paid for. When I met the man I ignored his initial condescending remarks, I quickly learned that even if you need someone else’s services, your respect comes first, always. It sets the tone for the business relationship. Just because you are new to something it does not mean it is ok for someone with experience to belittle you. Since the details were not discussed I soon found out all the extra costs he was throwing in, like only having one fitting minimum to perfect the sample anything after that would be an alteration cost, paying for the thread used on my garment, buying more fabric that was never used, and setting a due date. Due to these unforeseen circumstances I no longer wanted to be invovled in this deal so I just accepted what was given to me. I received a horrendous final sample that I am not satisfied with but because there was no contract I decided to close the deal. I urge you if you are going into something you know little about but don’t want to continue looking for someone else, please WAIT, don’t just go with someone you’re not comfortable with. Make sure you are being heard and most importantly respected. And lastly please make a contract with everyone you are doing business with, even if you feel like you trust the person, at the end of the day its business and unfortunately you can’t trust anybody. Contracts maximize success rates and keep expectations clear and concise. I hope this helps and please if you are in the L.A area and are looking for a production house contact me so I can steer you clear from the fabric store. xoxo