Welcome Note!


Welcome to T.Williams! Yes this is a fashion blog, no excuses for that, BUT we will be talking about fashion from a different perspective... as a tool for business success!

Everyone loves to look good and yes, majority of us love fashion! But we all know that fashion goes wayyyyy beyond stitching and there is a lot more to "it" than mere sewing!


SO

"Fashion Beyond Stitches" will discuss how to turn your love for fashion into money-spinners, sharing knowledge, ideas and skills necessary to run successful fashion businesses.

Oh of course this blog will not be complete without our very own T.Williams ranting and raving about her personal challenges as a fashion entrepreneur in the Nigerian Fashion Industry. But don't worry, there are also happy days and all her personal stuff will be filed under the label "T.Williams".

SO enjoy, follow & subscribe to our blog, post your comments, ask questions, offer advice, and spread the link! Cheers!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"How to Make Sure Your Ideas Make Sense" - by Scott Anthony

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"Irrationality presents challenges too. It can blind innovators to real problems and to important signals telling them to do something different. Yes, perseverance may be an underappreciated skill, but when paired with passion, it often leads to fanaticism.

- Scott Anthony 

(http://blogs.hbr.org/anthony/2012/05/in_praise_of_irrational_innova.htm

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I got the following BB broadcast this morning and thought it would be great to share.  The extracts were taken from an article written by Scott Anthony:

HOW TO MAKE SURE YOUR IDEAS MAKE SENSE

Many a great decision has resulted from people taking risks that didn’t make logical sense at the time.  Here are three ways to seek the right amount of reason:

1. Find a devil’s advocate:

 Look for someone who can poke holes in your thinking and point out when you’re being dangerously irrational.

2. Test your hypotheses:  

Turn your proclamations into experiments. Use them to check your logic.

3. Make resources scarce:

An abundance of time, money, or people should accelerate innovation, but it often does the opposite. Set early deadlines, consciously constrain funding, and keep teams lean to pressure - test your idea before you get too far down the road."

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My take on the extract?!  SPOT ON!  

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When I read the article, I wished I had written it myself.  These were things I realized later on and decided to apply before, thankfully, things stated making sense... and not a moment too soon either...

Every creative person needs an "advocate" rather than someone who will massage their egos and keep telling them what they want to hear or how fabulous their designs or business ideas are.  Someone who will highlight errors and give honest constructive criticism.  NOTE the word "constructive"... not just people who slam your work without giving ideas on the way forward.  Those in my opinion are just a waste of time. 

It really takes a strong mature heart for a creative person to receive criticism in good faith.  Why?!  We simply are too passionate about our work.  And there is nothing wrong with that.  But we must always remember that we are designing for a market not ourselves.  I know I would rather surround myself with people who will look critically at my work and give an honest critique now than the all-too-annoying words or "I told you so look" after I have bungled.  

On "testing your hypotheses", I'm sure we all know this already. We spoke about this at FEC 4.  Conduct your research and test the market before delving straight into the deep blue sea.

And I LOVE the third one, "make resources scarce".  Cha-ching!!!  In my case, this wasn't a planned or conscious effort.  It happened when I had exhausted my funds on things that didn't matter.  I only started moving forward when I had little funds and staff to work with.  One of the major mistakes I made was operating a business under the misguided impression that the measure of a good company was determined by the size of its workforce!  So I went ahead and just kept employing people  HA!  I only saw the light when the hard times hit.  And you know what?  It was a blessing in disguise.  I got a lot more done when I had little funds and only 2 staff than when I had 12.  Needless to say all my funds went towards salaries for zilch work done.  Lesson learnt!

SO...

If you're facing a rough patch in your fashion business, look at it as a blessing in disguise and restructure, incorporating these 3 points somehow into your business model.  You can start by having a board of advisors or a focus group and take it from there.  Also ask people questions like "what don't you like about this garment or design?" rather than "do you like this item?".  You will be amazed at the answers you'll get.  And don't forget to ask them for suggestions on how to improve your work.  

Great!  That's my take on the extracts.  Amazing what you learn from "sensible" BB broadcasts right?  The power of social media!  Don't worry I'll post more sensible ones when I receive them.  

Enjoy your week!

Cheers!

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