The main lesson I've learnt in this chapter is to go balls to the walls with my heart. I have been trying to balance my head and my heart in my business. Obviously it is a business and I need my head, but I'm making decisions out of fear that are stopping me from fully focusing on creativity. This is a lesson that is carrying into my personal life as well.
Instead of catering to what I think people want from MEW to be more successful I’ve decided to focus purely on the art. As a business, I am not having much success. I’m definitely not able to live off MEW yet, and so I have had to move back to my parents. This is okay because it takes a lot of pressure off and gives me the freedom to try new things. I’ve realised I’m not going to blow up overnight and so I want to use this time to really show people what MEW is all about and what I can do.
I lowered my prices to 50% off in an attempt to get rid of the clothes. At this price I am basically breaking even, but instead of paying back my debts I put this money into making samples and products to show people what my ideas are. For example, my two puffer jackets and the fur coat.
I also started upcycling more. I showed people the things I make for myself, as well as my personal style, to show my skill and vision in an attempt to add credibility. A lot of my followers have come to me because I do upcycling, so I have got into this more.
I only seem to make sales when I have an actual sale on. Otherwise it is a sale here or there. I have been told repeatedly the fashion business is the hardest to break into due to sheer oversaturation. But I know I have something special with MEW. Despite these low numbers, Shopify tells me I’m in the top 18% of businesses that launched the same week as me. Apparently most fashion brands give up after 6-8 months, and I’m not about to throw in the towel.
If I could go back, I wouldn’t have made kids clothes. I probably would have started smaller. I have so much stock and it's moving slow. I also only have one option for people. If I could, I would have spread some of that money out and made a few more jumpers of different styles in smaller quantities. I wouldn’t have made children's clothing at all because that’s a whole other market that I don’t understand. I don’t have kids.
I don’t think I have enough exposure as well, so I am working on growing my followers on Instagram.I tried sending some things to influencers to get followers and sales, but in truth, it barely worked. I send probably 5 kids tracksuits to 5 pages which are all about children's fashion in Australia. I don’t believe any of these posts translated to a sale, and I was lucky to get more than 5 followers from these posts, even though the influencers all had 5k-15k followers.
I did do a giveaway, and the winner was Jess from @ . She and her boyfriend who are in marketing did a reel in the tracksuit out of the goodness of their hearts, and this post DID convert to sales. I had maybe 6-7 sales from her one post, despite her only have 3.5K followers. Instagram is a trip to me. I don’t understand how all this works, but I do know that Jess’s followers must really trust her. It has also been humbling to see the support I have received from complete strangers.