Friday, 28 August 2009

busy weekend

Well its all go this weekend with getting stuff together. But i have decided to get parachute styles made up by a womens initiative workshop in London as the cost per hour is reasonable and I think I will have to work with them to cut the parachutes into parts - and it would be so expensive to ship this to Kenya and explain how to cut it when I am not there. Plus as well as wanting my label to be made in Africa I also want it to be about being a woman and to give back to women and to help women directed charity. So the rest of the range will be made in Kenya with any printed fabrics done in Ghana.

SO i feel better about that now.

Oh did i say i am reading E-myth by Michael Gerber...fantastic book...looks boring on the outside but i am thoroughly enjoying it...started it couple days ago but will probably complete it by middle of next week...that good!

Anyway bank holiday here i come!!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Now the push...

My meeting with David went well last night but we wont meet again until my final final final samples are made up otherwise it will be us 'meeting for meeting sake' as put by David...which makes sense.

SO now its down to me ordering the rest of my fabrics and getting my act together as I want this baby out by mid sept / end sept latest.

Also because Im due to start my Masters end of sept though it does mean REALLY tightening my belt as im taking a paycut to do i crazy...mmmmhhh....well i trust God to work it all out and will push with the bridal business too in order to bring in more revenue

This really is about pushing hard...the contractions have increased by the minute and the time for delivery has approached fast.

But im still excited and keeping motivated.

Im planning to go to a few free business events...Clinton Swaine, Great Expectations, T Harv Eker and I am finally reading 'E-myth' a well over due book i was told to read by a random entrepreneur business guy i met on the train...The book is very very good. I thin kthough i bought it before i never read it as the cover makes it look quite boring and intense business book but as i read i have found it quite personable so i reckon i will finish it quite quickly and hopefully it will keep me on the road to business success and positive rewards.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

samples back...but not all

Ok so this is the realism of fashion business and deadlines.
Poor Emily was overbooked and only managed to make up 6 of the 9 styles i gave her but they look alright..just need to be fitted now and so there are still 5 more to complete and fit and then finally i can get them made up in real fabric.

I now have to go over to David my mentor tonight and just take what i have

wish me luck!!

Monday, 24 August 2009

flying power!

My first parachute has arrived and i am sooooo excited!!!! i feel it is all coming together now. I need to order my organic cottons, soy, bamboo and hemp fabrics for the other styles

i will see Emily, patterncutter, tomorrow with the 9 styles i have given here and i have two more to add to her bulk work :)

aside from this i am contacting printers for the tees...apparently its 25quid per screen for the placement prints...and i also plan to do some in batik too so that is around £15/20 a yard...this is really amounting up and i understand truly why people give up because they run out of cash

so lots to do but looking forward to gettin g the toiles from Emily and sourcing a sampling house to make them up in London now that I know Kenya factory are capable of making them up I am nearly good to go!

Friday, 21 August 2009

overload overload

Okay well the seminar experience looking into Africa turned out to be a very interesting network and a great debate on Africa. But by the end of it with people coming up to my table to discuss the fashion show I am helping to put on, with promoting my bridal business and networking to aid this competition concept i am to put on as a project for my first year on my Masters...i am realising that i am very much overdoing it...

Last night i was 'gently' told by my boyfriend that he is not happy with me doing so much as i am not eating as i should be and not sleeping as i should be. I am putting my health at risk by stressing myself too much and he wants me to calm down, pray more and basically get myself together. So in a sentence to sum up my feeling on that...well i was well told!

I have overdone it and need to get back to my plan of action and not take on any small little sewing bridal jobs unless i really need to. My aim is to get product ready for a bridal show for end of september and in relation to Akabi my aim is to order fabrics and get them sampled up by end of September too. Problem is i still dont know who i will use to sample them up in real fabric. I have now bought 2 war era parachutes and will recycle them into my outerwear and poly based styles and have narrowed my fabric needs to organic cotton/soy/bamboo for tees and jersey dresses, organic denim/hemp for denim styles, fleece hemp/cotton/bamboo for sweat tops and recycled parachutes for nylon outerwear styles.

SO planning is this weekends to be in place too

until next posting

Monday, 17 August 2009

preparation is key some ways i wish i had all my stuff ready but in another way i am glad to move only when its right.

I am presenting the african fashion show i am helping out on, tomorrow at a seminar on africa and fashion and manufacturing there. I have been offered a table to promote the show and also to showcase my work. i am happy to have the table etc but i know i only have two samples made and even those two are not in the correct i have decided to put up promotional packs for the bridal wear business i have even though its not mentioned on the seminar notes.

So i firstly was beating myself up for not having stuff done in time but i believe if you wait until things are in place then that is better than rushing to get things done early. i want to launch with my and not half watch this space!

African fashion show

Okay so right now I am working full time, already have a small business making bridalwear and occasionwear - to which i am now adding homeware mind you, i have started Akabi - AND am helping to put on an African Fashion Show this October 2009. On top of this I am working to set up and organise a fashion competition with Africa...all to be revealed...hoping to get some big names, companies and organisations involved....BUT surely am i overdoing things...mmmmhh...i think i need to simplify my life..but its just too exciting right now!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009


Tonight i called a lady in Ghana to discuss her batik work I would like to use for a few of my styles. Things sound positive I just need to speak to my contact in Accra to meet with her to photograph examples of her work. Its so difficult when you are not there and makes me wish I was there for about 3 mnths a year to get things in place. But these days with todays technologies I am quite blessed to be doing business as things are more accessible and communication is easier.

So next week saturday I should have the photos and can get things moving on that side.

Right now pattern cutter Emily is working on 9 new styles for Akabi and we agree to complete those for end of the month. Then i have 3 more complicated styles for her to do then will send them all out to Kenya to test sample.

I am now to order my final sample fabrics as I must get these done by end Sept latest as there are a possible two African themed fashion show events that I would like to launch at - October and December and maybe one in Southe Africa next year 2010 in line with the SA World Cup.

Exciting times!

Online Webstore

Networking is the best thing ever...i have learnt since i started working firstly that talking to people is a fantastic way to increase knowledge and understanding. Now i am learning even more to utilise this 'networking' tool of mine to my business advantage.

On a recent one day course i did in internet marketing i spoke with a classmate who introduced me briefly to her webstore To be honest i made a note and could have bypassed it but because i enjoy networking and see it as imperative to business i emailed everyone i met on the course whose details i have collated and checked one of their websites. This was using the webstore she told me about. I looked up the webstore companies other customer sites and feel though i may not use it for Akabi I will definitely use it for the bridal and homeware business i have been running for awhile. It would be perfect!

So like BT tagline says 'its good to talk'!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Samples from Kenya!!

I am so happy this evening! My samples from Kenya turned up .... finally! They came via germany but it took nearly 3 weeks to arrive from Germany to the UK! How absurd is that but thank God they arrived and look fantastic. I know the factory found them complicating but they did a very good job..99.9 percent perfect (one slight very slight mistake but aside from that it looks great and highlighted to me that a similar style dress i had cadded up I may now scrap as it does the same job...and it will also save me 100quid so even better. But thank you Sabine in Kenya for the hard work from your factory workers....and they say Africans dont have skills as good as Asia...puhlease!
Africa, as I keep saying it...IS the future.

Designs in process

Okay so i have had to reduce my design styles from 25 down to 15 which is possibly best as it is already looking to be costing near to 1000pounds including fabrics, patterncutting, toiles and finally the ACTUAL samples! This is why this fashion business game puts alot of people is key and cash is king.

SO i have seen the lovely emily and she is starting on my patterns and toiles which once done i will send out to the workshop i have been introduced to in Ghana. My issue now is i need some batik work done but wont be back in Ghana until december so how to create batik without much batik experience just so my samples can be ready in time and not having to wait until december to do that...all these challenges and time lines are things not considered in the beginning and why planning also is KEY.

But I did attend an interesting business event and am speaking with the organiser Sam to act as a business manager who will have a slightly different outlook to my fashion mentor David. My mentorship with David ends next easter so I want to build new relationships to help take me through the 3 year period that 90% of businesses tend to fail by.

A great things said by Robert Kiyosaki on his CD set I have is that if 9/10 businesses fail than rather than back 10 businesses least 1/10 will succeed!

update to follow.....

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

fashion industry not playing fair

I saw this advert on the website and felt horrified. Yes I know I dont have all the details but it is true that alot of these things DO go on in the fashion industry and even more reason why I have made this decision to go down the ethical route with my clothing label.

Read on....

Gap & Levi's caught in pollution scandal

Sunday, 02 August 2009
A factory that makes jeans for Gap and Levi Strauss is illegally dumping chemical waste in a river and two unsecured tips where it poses a hazard to children.The scandal was uncovered by a Sunday Times investigation into pollution caused by a plant in Lesotho, southern Africa, which supplies denim to the two companies.

Dark blue effluent from the factory of Nien Hsing, a Taiwanese firm, was pouring into a river from which people draw water for cooking and bathing.The firm was also dumping needles, razors and harmful chemicals such as caustic soda at municipal dumps that have attracted child rag-pickers as young as five in search of cloth fragments to sell for fuel. Many of the children, who work for up to 10 hours a day, complain of breathing difficulties, weeping eyes and rashes.

taken from