I have pretty much covered all the basics for building the foundation in my little adventure in designing leggings for tall women. I happen to be at a stage where I am evaluating all the minor details that can make this great(!) scheme even greater. A minor stumbling block I seem to be hitting at this time (there is always something isn’t there?) is my ability to keep a steady focus in terms of business content across all my different media sources. And how does one truly separate the business from the personal in these highly public and often uncensored realms?
Especially when I happen to BE the brand…
Everything that I think and do is a direct reflection of what I hope to solve and achieve in this venture. I am the very definition of my ideal consumer – tall, long-legged and confident in her ability to use fashion as a means of communication. Add this to the fact that every awkward experience I have ever lived as a tall woman provides me with an example that I can draw upon when attempting to meet the needs of others just like me. This is my value proposition. Because I know that I am not alone in my long-legged clothing struggles. But how do I NOT let all my oddities and personal quirks slip out when my phone is literally attached to my hand and I have become conditioned to record every waking moment of my life for everyone to see in an attempt to gain more credibility (read – followers)?
Yet I like to think that these random insights into my own personal life offer a sense of authenticity to the brand that can be difficult to achieve otherwise. These experiences provide a human element to the mix that cannot be replicated or planned. But I can see how from any traditional business marketing perspective that this type of unplanned and random personal exposure could be seen as ultimately harming the brand; making it appear somehow not professional or too “homemade” or just plain silly and vapid.
So my question to you is – are these traditional marketing ideologies even relevant anymore?
My attention is always being pulled in the oddest of directions. And with a fashion show, one would expect that my attention would be squarely focused to the MASSIVE stage in the middle of the MASSIVE room but true to form, the obvious does not hold my interest for very long. I was particularly interested and drawn to the photographers situated at the end of the runway. For there they rest, silently waiting in the shadows for their prey; once the scripted pose is achieved, their furious snapping begins. And just as fast as it all starts – it ends – and they simultaneously drop their weapons as she floats away.
It was the same scenario for each person that graced the end of that stage. And oddly enough – I was completely mesmerized by the pattern. But don’t tell that to the designer presenting on stage. It will be our little secret…
I guess the stage show didn’t draw my attention like it should have because it all seemed to be rather contrived. Way too controlled despite the lively music. Not to mention the fact that EVERYTHING is beautiful at a distance. And I happen to be someone who genuinely appreciates fine details – which are next to impossible to observe in low lighting on a moving subject. But it was my observations of the photographers as they scrolled through their shots, clearly deleting the ones that were not worthy of the space, that offered me the sense of authenticity that I was seeking from the event. Their presence also provided me with an interesting and creative point of view with which to observe, because each photographer was vying to get a slightly different shot than the other, even though they were all presented with the exact same material to work with. I watched as some moved about the room, capturing different angles, all in the hopes of communicating the emotion that the designer was hoping to achieve; even if the model was unable to convey it clearly.
A fascinating evening indeed for very different reasons than one would ever imagine.
As many of my loyal followers know, I am not a computery-type of person. I am creative. Tactile. Perceptive. I can correctly identify dozens of different shades of green in an instant. I’m mildly absurd in my ideas yet oddly clear in their execution – all while being rolled up into one deliciously tall, leggy package.
And there was a VERY good reason why computer science was NOT my major in university…
But I am learning. Slowly. Rather painfully actually. And in my never ending education towards legging dominance, I continue to research and test all these SEO tactics in the same manner as I have operated all along with this venture – by blindly falling into traps and having to wiggle myself out of curious jams. But these SEO errors are causing a serious issue for me and my venture as I am quickly learning how critical they are to achieving any sort of search position on Google. And it is WAY harder than I thought it would be to crack the top 10! And if Google can’t find me, nobody will…
Realizing this MAJOR flaw in running an e-commerce business, I have enlisted all the help that I can get – most important being an SEO evaluator. You know, to evaluate all the errors that I was completely unaware I was making in the first place… Quite a handy little gadget I must say. And I am pleased to report that I am currently correcting my last major error – but seem to have hit yet another snag.
Apparently my business name is simply too short for their liking.
Well, this is new. Because I have never been too short for anything in my life. Ever.
I took the day yesterday to attend an informal discussion on how to take a conceptual idea and move it to reality. It caught my eye in terms of subject matter seeing as I have ACTUALLY accomplished this feat but have been questioning if whether or not I have forgotten something major. Simply put – I needed a little validation for the accuracy of my self-directed (and often lucky) methods. And it seemed like the ideal way to spend a couple of hours-surrounded by like-minded peers, all in a similar quest to simply “create” something.
Plus the location JUST happened to be next door to Holt Renfrew. Win/Win scenario.
Moving into the classroom setting, I noticed the usual crowd that I have come to expect at these gatherings – the classic overachiever; the serious businessman looking to make his millions; the quirky oddball with seemingly random yet oddly precise ideas who talks CONSTANTLY; and finally, the presenter – who always seems to assume that no one will even show up. I’m starting to sense a pattern to these things.
While the examples were focused primarily on technology and gadgets (which leaves me questioning once again about the validity of me entering the fashion industry in the first place – do people really care about leggings?), the theme that remained consistent regardless of the product was the simple need to continually evaluate, test, and validate at each stage of the development process in order to form better decisions.
So, in honor of what I learned, I am off to Ottawa Fashion Week tonight to watch some shows and to surround myself once again with like-minded peers. But most importantly, I need to gauge various reactions and comments on my (beautiful!) leggings over a glass of wine and idle chit-chat to see if I am actually creating the reactions that I had originally intended to create. Fashion shows = models. And models = long legs. Win/Win scenario.
I’d like to say it was the presenter who inspired me his week but I truly think it occurred afterwards at my pseudo-mecca where I had this little revelation all by myself 🙂
For the first time in my life, I cannot wait for summer to come to an end. In my ideal fantasy life, I see myself frolicking in a bikini on a hot sandy beach, living in some lovely tropical place, covered in nothing but sun, sand, with my perfume of choice being a mix of salt water and Hawaiian Tropic bronzing oil. I see lots of flowy, loose fabrics with the wind blowing through my hair…
Snap back to my real life, boxed in by four seasons with plenty of weather ups and downs, dreams of my leggings provide me with a similar sense of escape and excitement but in a much more marketable environment. Because really, who wants to wear skin tight leggings in the middle of an Ottawa heat wave? And as much as I love them, I look rather foolish in 30+ degree weather wearing them around the city in an attempt to gather market research and promote them to potential customers. This would inevitably attract the WRONG type of curious glance as I strut (read sweat) down the street. “Is she nuts?!” “Does she not realize how hot it is outside?!” Definitely not the reaction that I am going for in this marketing campaign…
So, while I rarely ever look forward to summer coming to an end, in this particular case, it cannot come too soon. And this morning was the first time where I could feel the crisp fall weather creeping around the corner. The air is starting to smell different. The days are starting to get shorter once again. Thoughts of cozy sweaters and stiletto ankle booties are swirling about my styling mind as we speak. And I now have the appropriate context with which to promote my leggings to others without looking a little crazy in the process.
Patience is clearly a virtue. But I think I have been patient enough.