HIGH END CUSTOM, THE WOES of the BUSTIER BUSINESS & THE GIFT of THE ASSEMBLY LINE (TO BRING DOWN PRICES) A MERCHANDISING STUDY- This morning, I felt it was time to CREATE an article on a cottage industry for fashion savvy gals, that peddles HOT FASHIONS. The concept being to get into the marketplace, make something that ALL GIRLIES desire and need --at a price for which we can allow ourselves to buy it. I went to the web page of a designer net pal who does high end custom work and was shocked that her brocade corset or BUSTIER was 400$ I wrote her saying "WHAT PRICES! We are all one phonecall away from the end of our job/salary and home. nobody will spend 400$ for a corset! Even if the girl wants to be admired, loved and considers a corset her only road to matrimony, it is not at a price that is logical! For that same amount I can get a year at a city college or trade school studying nursing and really make my life terrific. I wrote her: Why don't yo do as big manufacturers do, consider THE ASSEMBLY LINE to bring down prices. Henry Ford invented mass production. He bought so much steel that he got a great price, cost to him was low. Find something we all need that u can mass produce which is handicrafted in small ways that we must have to go out to work or play..that would be a second thing.
"Maybe make the corset in poly brocade or rayon brocade rather than silk, Adorn it with cheaper lace trims. See what price you can bring it down to the price that's online at every bustier, corset shop... 55 to 60$ . It is ludicrous that you ask half a month's rent for a sexy garment we will wear once a month! If that. If every Saturday night dance you're in your corset, you come off NUTS!
So Give it your shoulder gal, an assembly line where your workers just
churn the thing out, then go to a mass marketplace like craigs list,
free. not ebay where you gota pay. have digital photo. Give your clients
the break. Hey I want a blue one but I can only afford 50$
In 1969 when I came back to Hollywood after 7 yrs in Mexico, I set up
shop as a Stargazer, charged 15$ the hr. Today, 40 years later, to the
day, now I'm 25$ the hr. I get to attract people. That's what I pull in.
PEOPLE. HUGE AMOUNTS of them.
The HAUTE COUTURE gal ANSWERED with a severely ANTAGONISTIC VIEW: I do see what
you are saying Anita, but think of it this way...*I do not have an assembly line of workers. I am a single 'artisan'
who creates one of a kind garments to specially fit a woman..
*I am using poly's for this project, which is why I can lower the price.
*The supplies for a proper corset cost me $90 for all those pieces because I am not
a big company that can buy them in bulk.(whale bones for stays?)
*The labor & fittings for a corset equals approximately 25 hours
because a lot of the finish work is done by hand in couture style.
*And, I am asking for half down to start the work and the remainder at
delivery...which makes this incredibly affordable.
*I recently made a custom corset for client for which I was paid $900.
This is not irregular, depending on the clientele I am attracting.
Based on my labor and costs and the couture nature of the work, do you
feel now that my pricing is not logical?
Well, in less than 24 hours I have already filled 7 of the 10 orders
that I offered. I expect that all 10 will be filled by the end of the
weekend. Which tells me that $350 is a good price that my customers
are happy to pay. Good thing I don't have a Beverly Hills storefront
to pay for! More profit for me...even at this very low price.It's all
a matter of perspective Anita.
Look and the answers will come!
Blessings, signed, Miss Haute Couture"
Anita's NOTE: This woman is in a small town in a small village in a state on the east side of the Rocky Mountains. How can rural people pay that? Or is she just catering to an online crowd? And second thought, if bustiers and CORSETS are that popular, let's investigate this for a business. They cost 40 to 60$ online. But I think these are the kind you wear UNDER CLOTHING. http://www.funkyboutique.com/lingerie.html
They are very sexy. Most of us need help to get a waistline. I know that I DO!
http://www.yandy.com/Brocade-Bustier.php has lovely bustiers.
So I put that out on the internet at my website as the HOT PRODUCT -- THE BUSTIER PAGE and got this answer from a smart gal. MARLA --THE FASHION SAVVYGAL who wrote me back minutes later, saying: Anita It's almost impossible to make a living in the clothing mfr industry in the US. Very, very little clothing is made here in the US anymore due to most clothing being made in the 3rd world and WE can't compete with price. The only way a person can really make a living in fashion design here in the US (if they don't have a degree in international trade and speak Mandarin to get their designs made overseas), is to make high end custom pieces such as corsets, couture suits, costuming and wedding dresses. There are plenty of pre-made corsets out there now, just check the goth websites for suppliers. I know several people who make them, and to get the perfect fit, it does take custom work. Plus, the cheap boning bends, and if you don't sew it right it comes out and stabs you. But, you can already find them online in plenty of places at a low price.
More power to you if you want to try it but I have known many people who make these and depending on the style they can be incredibly tricky to make right, and if the materials are cheap they just fall apart because of the pressure/stress involved in holding "everything" in place ; )
I thought about fashion design as a degree, but they are closing programs in the colleges left and right because of the issue I mentioned - so much is being made overseas. You can pay for school, and then never find a job. There is a little, but not a lot, of fashion jobs left in the US . . . All the textile mills of NC have pretty much closed, even high end mfrs such as Land's End are struggling to keep paying Americans to make clothing this side of the border. I have never made a corset myself (have the pattern for a Civil War corset I have never made yet) but my goth and Renaissance faire type friends who make lots of corsets, I have learned about the process from.
Same idea as in the song "Cherokee People" - "and all the things we made by hand / are nowadays made in Japan." The only way an artisan can make money these days is to do high end custom work. We can't compete with the import prices, even if we use an assembly line method here in the US, because the currency exchange difference is just too big between us and the 2nd and 3rd world countries where clothing and textiles are being made. With the increase of oil prices, eventually it will become cost prohibitive to ship worldwide and the currencies will start to equalize, which may bring some mfring back to the US (maybe).
Read "The World Is Flat" and "Deep Economy."
CLICK ON LIVE LINKS
So that's what she told me. Isn't she smart. I did not know any of that. So we who love fashion must remember " HIGH END CUSTOM OR ELSE!"
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