Had a chat with a buddy the other day, and he was telling me of a lady designer, new in the fashion business, who wanted him to set up a shoot for her with some models. Cool idea right? As is with most new businesses, she didn’t have money to pay the models, but said they were welcome to some of the clothes, and for the others there would be a discount, her way of saying thank you. Still cool right?
So the models come, and in this semi-freezing weather they try on outfit after outfit, and pose for pictures. When they’re done, they get an outfit each; one of the models has her eyes on another outfit and wants to know how much it costs. “£200”, says the designer. For one dress? From someone whose clothes don’t have a label? Laughable. That’s over 50, 000 naira, for one dress. One dress that won’t wake me up in the morning, give me a shower, and then wrap me in its ‘goodness and mercy’. One dress that isn’t by Nine West, or Ralph Lauren, or …(insert any name you please). Insert the name, because this designer (for now) is nameless.
How much will designer sell for when she makes a name for herself then? Lol, that’s one less designer for me to patronize already.
You can’t afford to pay these people who have worked for you (didn’t even refund transport costs) and yet you want them to further enrich you by charging an arm, a leg, and maybe even their Nan for ‘unknown’ dresses? Pretty? Yes. Worth 200 quid? Definitely not. Did they buy them? No. Especially since the said designer refused to sell two for £150. I’d just give the design to a dressmaker to recreate for me. Simples! (insert meerkat voice)
Whatever happened to starting small, and then working your way up?
Almost borders on greed if you ask me, but hey, what do I know? Just going to walk away.
Second scenario came from a story my dad told me. You have a store or a shop in a market and about 10am, you’ve sold goods worth, let’s say £150. Then you remember you haven’t had a coke, so you buy one. Then you decide you might as well mix it with sprite, and so you buy one as well, and mix them all up in a big cup.
Then you remember that soda goes best with a snack, so you order some, just one or two. And then you see something online, maybe earrings or a dress, and hey, you’ve made some money today anyways, so you might as well order one.
Before the day is over your friend drops by and there’s a friend’s sister’s daughter’s wedding in a few weeks you should attend, and you must take asoebi* for it. How much is the fabric? Just £120 pounds. At the moment you have less than £70 so you put down £50 as deposit and promise to pay the rest in a few weeks.
When you’re locking up at the end of the day you realize that not only are you back at the zero you started with at the beginning of the day, you’re in debt.
And so you show up in church on Sunday asking the pastor to pray (and urgently too) because your enemies from the village are working day and night to see that your business doesn’t succeed.
Derive the lessons as you please, and have a super productive week!
*Asoebi- common in Africa, this refers to a group of friends coming together to pick one fabric they’ll wear in support of their friend who is celebrating (or mourning).