The power of social media is truly astonishing for business. I say this because, during the launch of Hopson Park (Oct 2013), a delighted customer had bought a vintage coin purse and posted it on her facebook not knowing what wonderful advertising she did for me. A few days later I received a private message from the owner of a very large Cosmetic/Pharmacy in Trinidad. He said that he saw the picture of the purse on his friends facebook and started googling this “Hopson Park”, as this is the type of look he wants for his store. He told me he after all his research he couldn’t believe it was handcrafted and made locally. He wanted to order immediately by the hundreds and have them ready for Christmas sales!
I was flattered. Floored and flattered! I could only sew about 10 in 2 weeks as finding material/supplies was difficult in Trinidad. Plus my fingers were killing me as I had been sewing everyday for four months preparing for the launch. Correction, I was picking out threads from what I was attempting to sew more than actually sewing. I am a self taught seamstress so things take longer than normal. I so wanted to make this happen for him so between orders for dresses for christmas I tried to complete as many as possible. What was I thinking!
Flattery got me into a terrible business position. I was all over the place. Trying to complete dress orders from my launch that customers wanted for Christmas. Running around trying to find supplies to complete this huge order. I had absolute no rest because even when i took a nap in the wee hours of the morning I couldn’t sleep from the anxiety of disappointing my first large order request.
I think I made about 50 bags: “Say What?!?” a large travel cosmetic bag, “Sunny Days & Lemonade” cosmetic bag and travel size, “Liberty in Denim” cosmetic bag, and “Rustic” a wristlet coin purse.
My learned lesson; as a hand crafter wholesale is not an option. I ended up getting way less than minimum wage when selling at a wholesale price. For other hand crafters, my first suggestion would be make sure you have all supplies and materials before you say yes to large orders or else you will spend days on days driving around looking for the materials to complete your work.
A good learning lesson and it was still a great feeling being sought after.