Tag Archives: manufacturing

em(BARK) on a new path…

Meet our Instructor,  Robin Droescher!

Robin Droescher teaches SXF 225: How to Style, Plan and Merchandise a Pet Products Line.

So, tell us a little about yourself…

I worked in the women’s fashion apparel industry for many years in design, product dev. and manufacturing. I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work at Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein and my last position was at Liz Claiborne. Six years ago I combined 2 of my loves – dogs and design. I launched Robin Meyer NYC. We produce a line of clothing and accessories for dogs with a fashion meets function point of view. A portion of my business has evolved into consulting for a couple of other dog manufacturers as well as doing private label for Barneys New York Dog and Orvis.

Bark Place Store

We’ve heard that you’ve emBARKed on a new job path…
I recently opened a retail boutique and grooming salon called Bark Place. I carry my line of products as well as other manufacturers. We have a full product assortment of coats, sweaters, beds, toys and treats. It is a great way to test new products and if they are successful to go into a production run the following season. The grooming business as been doing extremely well from the day we opened. I wanted to create something modern and state of the art – a place where people feel comfortable leaving their 4 legged children and are pleased with how they looked when they are picked up. I believe we have succeeded!

Bark Place store

What is exciting in the pet market right now?
I think one the exciting things in the pet market now is that apparel and accessories for dogs really follows the trends of what is happening in the human apparel market. I am starting to work on Fall 2016. I have spent the past few days shopping stores, looking through fashion magazines and browsing trend services on line. I know what sells in my line but it is a matter of taking the basis of what works and making it look fresh and new for the coming season.

Bark Place store Bark Place store

Can you give us a sneak peek of your class?
I have taught my class several times now. The first class I ask my students what they really would like to learn and take away. Each class I modify slightly to accommodate their requests. We spend time merchandising an assortment so it is focused, cohesive with a clear point of view. I then teach costing exercises using different classifications of product: coats, sweaters etc. We start with the cost of all the raw materials, add labor, shipping charges etc. to come up with a first cost. We then work on the mathematical formulas to bring the 1st cost to wholesale with margin implications and then to the MSRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price). I also talk a little about how to import from overseas factories.

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us!

Robin Droescher teaches SXF 225: How to Style, Plan and Merchandise a Pet Products Line.


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:

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.

Natori: A Continuation of an Appealing Apparel Story

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.