About a year a ago, I almost quit Fashions by RoPuddles completely. Why you may ask? The answer is very simple. I wanted to build a business that offered custom African inspired clothing. However, I didn't have a product line that would result in a profitable business.
The first mistake was that my prices for custom skirts were too low. I set my prices based on what others were doing. Big mistake. After I factored in the cost of materials and labor, I realized that I was only clearing a few dollars on each garment. The sobering part is that I only offered custom skirts since I still worked full time. Guess what I did? I stopped sewing....
Quit? Yes, I quit. I used to own a once profitable ice cream franchise. I knew I needed two things in order to run a successful business. 1) the right profit margin and 2) the right volume of customers. I had neither. When Grant and I were dating, I had expressed to him that I want to focus on RoPuddles full time at some point. Eventually, I told Grant that I wasn't going to do RoPuddles anymore. Later, Grant told me that he hated it when I told him I was quitting.
One day Grant mentioned to me that I needed to consider offering a collection of African inspired ready to wear clothing. His reasoning was that I needed to be able to provide access to a quality line of clothing at a lower price point that did not involve my labor. This would enable me to offer a custom collection at a higher price point that reflects the quality of the garments.
Initially, I was opposed to the idea. African inspired ready to wear clothing? Clothing not made by me? That would go against the authenticity of my "brand". Grant didn't give up on the idea. On one Sunday afternoon, I went kicking and screaming to various wholesalers. To my surprise, the quality of the clothing was pretty good. On that day, the RoPuddles Ready to Wear collection was born.
Since launching the Ready to Wear Collection, I have learned to be more open to new ideas and not to automatically disregard an idea because it conflicts with how I think things should go. I'm still in work in progress. I can be a little stubborn sometimes. LOL!
In the spirit of being open to new ideas, these pictures were taken as train was passing by in Downtown Norcross, GA. Grant saw the train and said, "Let's get some pictures". Y'all know I didn't want to do it. But I'm glad I did. We got some nice pictures. Who knows when I'll get this opportunity again?
Skirt: RTW Bustled Maxi Skirt