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Photo by Joseph Kellner

18 “do”s & “don’t”s to consider inthe post-COVID-19 world

Stand by Your Collection

Tell your community why they should love it, and say it with confidence. Be proud of your creation. While you see the flaws or the elements you wanted to achieve, the customer sees it as is: finished. Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.

Hats May Be the New Sneaker

Adjust your collections to what people need now while they’re at home. People may still need pieces for a Zoom office or a Peloton workout. Hats touting your artwork, style or message are noticed above the screens on Zoom, where people eat, mingle and create these days. One funny thing is to ask people to show their shoes; most people are wearing flip flops.

Take Clients Behind the Scenes

To serve your tribe, offer behind-the-scene glimpses into your creative process. Go live from your home studio to show pieces from development to finished goods while offering your invaluable industry expertise. Share your lifestyle too, from coffee to favorite foods. Whether it’s wine-down, coffee talk or tips on how to balance Zoom school and work, your community will value the diversity – as you become both iconic and relatable.

Rock Your Upper Bod

You may have a trending piece, but the initial excitement will simmer down. Keep creating newness and sharing it online, such as Zoom tops, upper-body bling or slogans that tout timely messages. The Jungle & Coffee collection consciously features empowering messages like “I love me” and “Queen of everything” in visible, upper-body positioning. Your upper body is prime real estate, so keep it interesting. Test your creations online to see how people react; you may find out how in-demand it really is!

Make People Feel

Send products in the mail so people can touch, feel and experience. Nearly all packages shipped in the mail get opened.

Make a Vendor Manual

As you show your collection, offer a manual so that it’s clear on business expectations. A vendor manual will offer clarity by detailing terms, shipping costs, delivery dates and inventory. Have your vendor manual easily accessible. You can download our template at lookinggoodyaya.com/templates.

Use Inclusive Sizing

Be considerate of body positivity. People are all shapes of fabulous.

Be Open to Exclusives

This collaborative process makes for uniqueness and limited supply. Switch a color. Add a little twist. It creates something that stands out and is marketable.

Illuminate

Whether you choose the sun-drenched Pantone Yellow color of the year or other colors, know that color stimulates the brain. Color makes people feel good. We tend to shy away from bright colors in the U.S., but color is super popular in other places, like Japan. Add a color pop to awaken people’s senses.

Don’t Forget to Give Value

Quality can be passed on; lower prices will not create loyalty. When people ask about price point, talk about the high-quality craftsmanship and concept behind each creation, offering statements like, “Feel the suede.” Create intrigue.

Don’t Forget to Schedule

Create a plan, and stick to it, being calculated with your time. Successful entrepreneurs credit success to discipline. Book time to create product and content. Talk to vendors. Take photos. Control where your brand is going.

Don’t Compromise Your Look

Don’t listen to others when it comes to your aesthetic and craft. Make it your own way. Block out opinions of others, and use your sense of what’s right or wrong to make the line a reflection of you so that you can target your niche.

Retail is Detail

Don’t ignore the numbers. They must add up! Pay attention to what your stores and customers like, and act on their behalf.

Don’t Appear Small

Tend toward statements like, “This is how to get started” or “Here’s how to begin.” Do not share your minimums.

Don’t Keep Buyers in the Dark

Don’t lock buyers in if your product hasn’t been produced or shipped. Keep buyers aware of cancel dates, and stay in contact as things develop.

Don’t Do It if You Don’t Love It

Does it make you dance? Don’t do something that you don’t love. Don’t spend time trying to love something you don’t. Walk away. Greatness is about to reveal itself.

Don’t Be Too Emotional

This is your brand, your art, your heart. But when someone wants something done their way, it’s okay. This is business.

Don’t Get Too Attached

Let go of your old merch; it’s clutter, and it’s time to move on. Offer everyone you know incentives to help you sell it. Be funny about it, too, with signs like, “Best-sellers: we made too much.” You need to move onto the next fashion collection.

Keep Creating, and let us know what you create! Tag us @lookinggoodyaya with a piece that inspires you.

Daniella Platt is the creator of Looking Good Yaya, apparel masterclasses and swag development. Looking Good TV launches Spring 2021. She is also the co-creator of the Jungle & Coffee collection (jungleandcoffee.com).

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