What “I’ll try” really means in business and personal relationships

By , June 28, 2014 10:16 am

Short answer: the other person isn’t really committed.

Communications 101: Communication is the foundation of all relationships  — business and personal.  When communications function well in a relationship, the relationship succeeds. When they don’t, the relationship struggles.  It’s that simple. And “I’ll try” is a bright red flag.  Whether it’s a business or personal relationship, “I’ll try”  is a signal that should not be ignored…it signifies something is amiss in the communications, and thus the relationship. When you receive the “I’ll try” message, you need to proceed carefully.

Gene Guberman (gguberman@verizon.net) specializes in dealing with communications within relationships. Here is his take on the situation: The way someone communicates reveals something the person is unaware of. In poker it’s known as a person’s “tell” that unveils they are “bluffing”. Interpersonal communication is loaded with varieties of information untrained people don’t perceive and speakers don’t know they are unwittingly sharing about themselves. Conflict is omnipresent between individuals. Managing conflict between people and building successful relationships requires understanding the hidden aspects of communications – our own and those of significant others.

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

My blog for this week….a little different

By , June 21, 2014 9:26 am

My guest blogger this week is William Clark who will discuss some of his choices for this fall’s fashion lineup accompanied by a historical reference of fashion falls gone by.  And this being a small business blog, the last designer is just that.

William is the founder of JETTSTYLE, his consulting business where he has worked with Reese Witherspoon, Pauletta Washington, Benny Medina, and Renee Zellwegger. He brings to JETTSTYLE a wealth of experience in every facet of fashion.  No less impressive is the fact that he was selected to assist in the styling of a major shoot for a recent edition of Italian Vogue.  His background includes working with Carrie Donovan at Vogue, Bill Cunningham at the New York Times, Jean Paul Gautier, Thierry Mugler, Comme des Garcons, Giorgio Armani while, at the same time, overseeing direction of the Emporio Line visually for the US, and Bottega Veneta.  His red carpet clients in addition to those mentioned above, include Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, Hilary Swank, Gwen Stefani, Mary J Blige and Salma Hayek.

It’s official: we’re diving into summer —  let’s talk about my favorite  ready to wear collections of the season.

We are first taken on a African safari with Sarah Burton of the house of Alexander McQueen who was obviously influenced by Monsieur Yves Saint Laurent’s African Queen collection from the 70′s . She used vibrant graphic prints and intricate  textures in abundance.  Her use of textiles was so beautifully executed by making feathers and beads to appear to be checkered tweed. The crocodile and gold harnesses worn over graphic printed kilts then gave it a medieval twist.

omi

Alexander McQueen, NOW

VS

ysl 2002

YSL, THEN

Miuccia Prada over at the house of Miu Miu looked to the 60′s & 70′s through a naughty school girl’s rose’ colored glasses for inspiration. Her use of muted pastels such as pistachio, powder blue and neapolitan in beautiful childlike prints of parrots, foxes and angel fish could have easily been seen on supermodel Veruschka in the 70′s or today on the houses Oscar winning muse Lupita Nyong’o. Muiccia’s artisan approach to usage of textures like crochet, tortoiseshell, suede and python was perfection.

Miu Miu

Miu Miu Spring/Summer 2014, NOW

VS

Veruschka, THEN

Veruschka, THEN

While back home stateside Prabal Gurung presented a hyper colored and floral splashed collection out of the 50′s with a ultra modern twist. These vibrant colors lined dramatic evening coats in metallics giving them edge. Between binding the waists of dresses and pants with clear pvc belts and the ultra sexy shoes there was a slightly erotic vibe to his collection and I liked it ;)

Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung

Next on to design duo Badgley Mischka. We’ve been invited to a party thrown by the Great Gatsby  on one of his opulent yachts. The color palette is muted pastels and the theme of coarse is nautical. There are chic touches of the 20′s & 30′s in pleated chiffon palazzo pants, fringed bugle beaded dresses, bucket hats and the girls wore marcel waves in they’re hair.

Our last destination (a small business fashion house) is Ancient Egypt where  there is new Queen on the throne and she is The Serpent Queen from the House of Rubin Singer. For s/s 2014 this rising star couturier is giving elements of the ancient  and regal culture with a ultra  modern approach. He uses embellishments in his embroidery such as bugle beads, chains and swarovski crystals. He sculpts and drapes the female form in combinations like silk brocade, chiffon, python, and metallic leather embossed with hieroglyphics from the tomb of Queen Nefertiti. His Serpent Queen is a dangerous temptress that knows she can seduce with her dark beauty.

01

Rubin Singer’s Serpent Queen, NOW

VS

Elizabeth Taylor

Liz Taylor, Another Queen THEN

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

Design Entrepreneurs NYC Mini-MBA program — year 3 and gaining momentum!

By , June 14, 2014 9:57 am
DrJoyceBrown DENYC14

Dr. Joyce Brown, President of FIT, welcoming the new designers! Jeannette Nostra, on the Board of GIII & Morris Goldfarb, President, Chairman & CEO of GIII in the background.

The DENYC just had its kick off weekends with intense all-day sessions (you can set your beach calendar to this — it’s always the first two best weekends of perfect weather of the summer — and these dedicated 32 designers are indoors without windows the whole time) — and guess what?
They love it!

ChrisHelm DENYC14

Christine Helm, Coordinator, Enterprise Center, FIT

Each year the faculty adjust the program to customize it to the class and each year the incoming class is further along in their business at the start than the year before. I co-teach growth strategies (with some marketing thrown in).

This year’s group is great. Every designer has a clearly defined niche and their styles are so appealing! I’ll be mentoring bexnyc.com and lalaandsasi.com.

I’m particularly excited about the first fashion tech designer to participate in DENYC!  A handbag that charges your cell phone!  Wait til you see the rest!   On second thought, don’t wait http://www.designentrepreneursnyc.com/participants.html

Look for pop-up shops featuring the alumni especially as the holidays approach.

Check out the program, it’s current students and alumni, http://blog.fitnyc.edu/denyc/

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

Namaste NYC

By , June 13, 2014 8:24 am

I would like to congratulate Ritu Jadwani, one of our ESL/Fashion Business certificate students from 2008, on starting her own business! I’ve seen these in person and my personal favorites are the bracelets, they are beautiful. Congrats Ritu! 

 

Namaste NYC is a fair trade brand that creates beautifully hand-crafted products in India for a global audience. We incorporate crafts like hand embroideries, block prints, hand tie-dye, metal work and punch work to design interesting textures. With an aim to revive the dying craft industry of India, we support khadi and mashru hand woven fabrics that are going into extinction due to lack of skilled weavers and industrialization. We collaborate with globally renowned non-profit organizations in India, which focus towards women empowerment and sustainable rural development through crafts and embroideries. All our products are made in sweat free women operated ethical workshops. Fairly traded, crafted with love.

(Founder and designer Ritu Jadwani) I am inspired by Indian craftsmanship and age-old embroidery techniques with a modern touch.

 I grew up in India and came to FIT to learn about the international fashion scene. With an undergrad fashion degree and Master of global innovation business degree I combine my skills and love towards hand crafted products.

Coming to FIT for the ESL Fashion Business Certificate Program was the best decisions I made in July 2008. It gave me immense exposure by attending a world-renowned institute and living in a fashion capital city, New York. The knowledgeable faculty mentors, resourceful library, world-class museum and its tours, extra seminars, graduation fashion shows, fashion and museum tours in the city, and my diverse fashionista classmates have been of great influence in starting my business. Fortunately, I got a chance to return to FIT in Summer 2013 for more courses and I hope I return again and again!

After finishing my studies at FIT and gaining some industry experience, I returned back to my country, India. Inspired by the local artisan’s hand crafting skills, I decided to launch my accessory and apparel brand to promote fair trade items and support the dying cottage industries of my town. We launched as a wholesale company at the NY NOW fair in New York, in February 2014. Soon we started supplying to stores that appreciated hand crafted colorful items. We hope to reach out to museums, hotels and more hand made stores by the end of this year. Recently we launched our online retail store on Etsy with worldwide shipping at nominal/free costs. Check out our new collection at NY NOW in the Global Handmade section in New York City from Aug 16th – 21st 2014.

We hope you enjoy our colorful products as much as we enjoy hand crafting them for you.
Namaste
www.namaste-nyc.com
https://www.etsy.com/shop/NamasteNycIndia
Thank you FIT!

You’re a lifestyle company. Who are your champions?

By , June 7, 2014 11:16 am

Silver Lining is one champion. I met Carissa Reiniger, CEO and President, about three years ago. She has dedicated Silver Lining to helping lifestyle businesses grow.  Simple.  It’s a one year, mostly on line, program designed to grow your business. It’s not a business plan but rather an action plan that relies on some of the same things in a business plan.  There’s nothing wrong with business plans…they are great for determining what direction you want to take your company in.  Business plans are primarily used to raise capital however.  The philosophy at Silver Lining is that action plans are a better way for lifestyle businesses to grow. Their action plan is called SLAP: Silver Lining Action Plan.  It’s a simple (because once you fill in the blanks, the plan program does all the calculations for you).  Even if you’re self motivated, sometimes taking care of your own business gets pushed to the side by you – like the shoemaker with barefoot kids.   If  you can relate to this, then maybe you should check Silver Lining out.  www.Silverlininglimited.com

CARISSA REINIGER

Carissa in action at WIX Lounge recently.

GALE BREWER

Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President who stopped by cheer SLAP in the City on. http://www.galebrewer.com/

———-

Also, check out this event with NY Fashion Tech Lab Workshop

Human Resources “A Smoother Road to Growth”
How to Avoid the Top Ten Most Common Employment Mistakes Made by Startups
w/ Mintz Levin
Monday, June 9, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT)
New York, NY

———-

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

ARE YOU CURIOUS ABOUT FASHION DESIGN IN THE SUSTAINABLE ERA?

By , May 25, 2014 8:42 am

My ethical fashion summer course will get you started, and we will have amazing guest speakers!!

Introduction to ETHICAL FASHION
Fashion Institute of Technology, New York
May 28, June 4, 11, 18 from 6pm-9pm

My guest speakers this semester include:

- Geraldine Mae Cueva, fashion e-commerce expert at Bonobos.com.

- Anh-Thu Nguyen, a human rights lawyer by training and head of the We See Beauty Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to incubate and accelerate women-led, worker-owned cooperatives to drive large scale change.

- Gabriel Gripo, Slow Fashion designer and owner GGrippo art+design store in Brooklyn. A hub for emerging sustainable brands.

- Annie Millican, founder of Awamaki Lab, an ethical fashion brand which aims to address social and economic community empowerment through culturally sensitive and entrepreneurial programs in Peru.

This course gives designers, product developers, buyers, and others the tools to creatively develop products that are beautiful, commercial, and sustainable. The focus is on bringing sustainability and ethics into the design process and making responsible decisions about sourcing and manufacturing. The course also provides an introduction to fair trade, the support of endangered crafts, the impact of textiles on the environment, and a summary of the ethical and sustainable practices of some current fashion designers and developers.

Instructor: Carmen Artigas, designer and sustainable fashion consultant

Register Now:
https://epay.fitnyc.edu/C20737_ustores/web/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCTID=4093&SINGLESTORE=true

Oleg Oprisco fashion

Photo Oleg Oprisco

 

Carmen Artigas teaches in the Sustainable Design Entrepreneurs certificate program.
You can follow her on facebook.com/ethicalfashionNY and twitter.com/artigascarmen.

Lifestyle companies…are we the 99%?

By , May 24, 2014 9:39 am
Lifestyle companies are, as partially defined by Wikipedia, businesses that are established and run by their founders with the primary aim of sustaining the founder and, secondarily, those who work for the founder.  Wikipedia says that the lifestyle owner wants to sustain a specific level of income that will give the owner a basis on which to live a particular lifestyle.  I think the definition is broader than that though.  A New York Times article offers other definitions: http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/24/is-the-term-lifestyle-business-an-insult/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0.  And here’s another question: at what point is a lifestyle company called a privately held company (one that does not have shareholders, or does an IPO)?   Mary Sullivan, a blogger, offers still another point of view on the subject:  http://www.allbusiness.com/business-planning-structures/starting-a-business/3878259-1.html
I also believe that lifestyle companies make up a large percentage of the tax base…after all, lifestyle companies don’t have lobbyists or have the kind of money it takes to wield enough power to get tax breaks for themselves.
As I’ve written about Natori, lifestyle, or privately held, companies have the advantage of being able to dictate exactly what the owners want to do with it.  This includes sustaining a high level of quality, ethics, etc. For fashion designers and others, this is important – it’s directly related to the owner’s vision.  I’ve seen lifestyle owners customize their products for clients – still another advantage.  Lifestyle companies also offer the owner the potential for a lot of individual freedom and flexibility in their lives.  Most companies who I come in contact with at the entrepreneur and other courses  I’m involved with (Fast Trac at Levin Institute, Licensing and Design Entrepreneurs NYC Mini-MBA program at FIT) and mentoring (Lang School of Entrepreneurship at Columbia University and Philadelphia Fashion Incubator), are lifestyle companies.
So while lifestyle companies are portrayed as “unglamourous” in the press and in certain communities, like Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley and the Route 128 corridor, they can often be a wise business decision and a road to success for the entrepreneur.  Here are some other opinions along the same lines.
What’s your opinion?
#lifestylecompany #startups #entrepreneurs #lifestylebusiness

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

Learn WordPress — Starts May 28, 2014

By , May 20, 2014 3:30 pm

Altered WordPress Logo

Have you heard about WordPress?

If you haven’t you are

  1. Not living on Planet Earth
  2. Not reading this page which was made using WordPress

WordPress is one of the most versatile and user-friendly web publishing applications. It has been enjoying rapid and widespread use over the past few years. Find out how easy it is to make web sites, change or create themes, add plugins and expand your offerings to clients – or maybe you just want to create a new web site for yourself.

Do all of this without having to know a lick of code!! How crazy is that?!?!?

Learning WP is a skill that you can hardly live without in today’s world whether you are just making a web site or are going to work for others.

And besides. Its too much fun.

Here is where you can get started learning something that is fun and useful.

Next Class Starts Wednesday, May 28, 2014!!

Details And Registration

Not too late to enroll and start learning WP!!

Contact Instructor Bud Kraus bud@joyofcode.com if you have questions.

 

Bud Kraus teaches CTD 600 Web Design: HTML , CTD 605 Web Design: Cascading Style Sheets, and CTD 613: WordPress.

Natori: A Continuation of an Appealing Apparel Story

By , May 17, 2014 9:58 am

Continuing from the last entry on Ken Natori’s visit to my licensing class (CEO 035), here are more traits that distinguish Natori.

One is customer service.  I emphasize this in all my entrepreneur classes and to my clients. Customer service is the most cost-effective, and probably least expensive way to differentiate your company from your competition.  It is so important, and like marketing, often an afterthought to everything else a busy entrepreneur or business is focused on.  But here’s the big secret: Customers remember customer-service!  Often customer service tips the scales in favor of the company providing it. Whether it’s a sole proprietor or a Fortune 500 company.

Natori has multiple licensees but when a customer calls customer service, they do not know which product has been licensed – nor should they.  This is due to keeping a unified brand within the fashion house. Customer service at Natori is trained to answer all questions about all products, irrelevant of the source (licensed or in-house).  This makes for a seamless experience for the customer – how it should be.

Another distinguishing characteristic at Natori, is that Josie, the founder, came out of a Wall Street background, as does Ken.  The result is that they understand first and foremost that fashion is a business.  And they treat the company as a business.  Ken emphasized this point when he spoke to my licensing class, in order to separate Natori from  typical fashion houses which are often known for high drama.  The culture at Natori, while still high fashion, is much more sedate and drama-free. Sounds like a nice place to work.

Which leads me to my closing point:  Natori is currently looking for a junior person to work in their licensing department.  Know anyone?  Are you that person?  If so, Ken wants to hear from you:  ken.natori@natori.com

Ken Natori


Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.

She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

In Praise of Creative Entrepreneurs

By , May 14, 2014 2:39 pm

Written by:
David L. Colby, Esq., Managing Director of Colby Law Office, PC

When creative people start a business, interesting things happen. Cool things, Inspired things, game changing things. But sadly, also tragic, bad things. The users of this world prey on creative people far too often.

As an attorney who helps creative entrepreneurs, I will be the first one to say that creative people and business frequently are at odds. It is sometimes complicated for creative entrepreneurs to maintain control of their own companies. Indeed there are special challenges and disconnects that are almost directly proportionate to the level of originality and creativity in the entrepreneur.

I remind my clients of what Andy Warhol said: “being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art.” With that clever mindset, a creative entrepreneur can maintain their creative integrity and still have a head for business. Moreover, you can learn to harness creativity to structure deals, work out complex business relationships, and offer up creative solutions during negotiations.

No doubt creativity really what its all about. After all, what is a business without creativity? Its not difficult to find examples: uninspired copy-cats, knock-off agents, struggling plagiarists, copy-cats, soulless hacks pushing their way into the market with profit as its primary motive; design a secondary concern at best. A noteworthy hallmark of these types is that in the long run, they are limited in their potential. They lack authenticity… an original core… a deep well to keep going back to for inspiration.

The opposite of this is a business founded and controlled by the original creative person or team. The designer, the artist, being at the center is actually the engine, the heart of the beast, to what truly matters in the long run.

But as important as creativity and originality is, we cannot escape the fact that business is business. To level the playing field, it is imperative to have a plan and a relationship with the right kind of lawyer. If you are looking to start or grow a fashion-based business—whether as a designer or in some other related way– it is of the highest importance to organize your business and protect your interests to succeed.

In short, creative entrepreneurs require special care. And they deserve to get it. It isn’t just looking out for their interests, a lot of time it is just actually listening to them, encouraging them, and reminding them that their creativity is the secret ingredient and the most valuable asset they have.

David Colby
David L. Colby, Esq. is the Managing Director of Colby Law Office, PC, a law firm in NYC that represents many up and coming designers and their businesses worldwide. Colby Law Office works particularly with business formation and governance, intellectual property and contracts.

Colby Law Office is doing the second of their free legal clinics at FIT on May 19th from 5:30-7:30pm. Only RSVP’s may attend https://legalsalon-may.eventbrite.com. If no more space is available, David can be reached at dcolby@colbylaw.com to set up a free consultation.

Panorama Theme by Themocracy