Blog | Petit Couture - Part 3

Petit Couture Blog


Re-Entry

August 18, 2010

It’s been two weeks since our debut, or soft-launch, at ENK Children’s Club in New York. We had a great showing and so much tremendous feedback and reception of our line and the collection showcased at the show. There was much interest in our Simone Pleat Dress, Kennedy Pleat Skirt and our line of Peruvian Sweaterknits in particular. And, lots of love for our Signature Collection pieces – especially our Glitter Owl Ts (Playshirts) and our infant one-pieces. It’s great to see the collection through other people’s eyes – it’s empowering and refreshing. And, I’ve taken-away a lot.

Now that the show is over I’m following up like mad to book additional orders :) . I will state for the record now that from my vantage point the most glamorous facet about “fashion” is the way it looks when you close your eyes. Don’t get me wrong, I am loving what I’m doing with Petit Couture and have been able to accomplish thus far. But, MAN I should have NEVER scoffed at Accounting and shirked those Finance classes in college. Those are the true test of success in the apparel business (aside from ridiculously fab taste) that matter – kids or otherwise. As Petit Couture grows I’ll be able to negotiate sourcing costs better – even domestically. For now, it’s a Chicken/Egg challenge. To have lower costs, you need to produce more. To produce more, you need distribution and sales. To get that you need financing. To get financing you need sales.

Petit Couture is a business at the end of the day and I’m just happy that the buyers who viewed the collection saw merit in it and good bones for the future. One very influential national buyer mentioned to me “You are on to something with this collection. Congratulations”. Those simple words are food for the soul.

Wish us luck on our journey and check out our Peruvian Travel Sweater Knit Collection pre-order opportunity on our website starting this Friday!!

xo
Rebecca


Comments: 2 Comments

Category: Uncategorized

Red Eye

July 30, 2010

We’re leaving tonight for New York.

This will be our first major tradeshow where we’ll debut the full Petit Couture Ready to Wear collection. The image above is of one of our best friend’s little girls, Solara, modelling the ‘Solara Bamboo Tunic Dress’. She’s a pro and we’re thrilled with this dress (which has matching Damask-print leggings that use ORGANIC ink). Hence my inability to call it merely a ‘tunic’ or a ‘dress’ :) But, I digress….

We have been able to reach out to major retail buying teams as well as some amazing boutiques across the US and will no doubt have a great show. We’ll update along the way and try to post pics at ENK – just to show you some behind the scenes.

Till then…wish us luck.

xo
Rebecca


Comments: 1 Comment

Category: Uncategorized

A $30 one-piece…huh?

July 18, 2010

I get that a lot. And, since posting about brand building several weeks back I’ve intended to follow-up on the process and details associated with launching a garment and why costs are what they are…especially if you are committed to sustainable business practices.

I am writing about this because so often people ask why Petit Couture has ‘premium’ pricing for our Signature Collection pieces. Honestly, anyone (and moms know) you can purchase three onesies in a package for about $8 at Target. So, why would anyone pay more? And, why is it so expense? Here’s why…..and why I think $30 is a better investment.

1.) Labor costs $ in the US and other countries that support working wage laborers. For any garment created in the US people working in those manufacturing facilities have access to benefits, safe work environments, protected hours and access to a working wage rate. For most garments purchased in countries (sadly) like China and India and others unfortunately this is the largest area of cost savings for manufacturers because there are no labor laws protecting workers. Labor costs are cheap. This is starting to be an area of issue in China (for which I’m personally happy about)

2.) Every “thing” on a garment has a separate production process and usually a separate production facility doing the work. The illustration I’ve posted elevates the items on the Signature Collection one-piece. There are 5 different sourcing vendors that I deal with to construct this seemingly simple garment.

3.) Operational costs need to be factored into the price of a garment to make sure that your business makes money. So, companies add on some variable of pricing to ensure that things like printer paper, shipping supplies, stamps, payroll (ya right :) , etc. can be paid from the company.

As I enter into my first major show season with Petit Couture I think its important to remind people why their purchases matter. Who they shop, where items are made and why a $10 shirt really isn’t a great bargain. Someone is paying for it. I’m committed to creating a superior product that is made ethically and the brand that is Petit Couture is synonymous with my own – at least that’s how I think about it.

I’d love your thoughts and to hear what you value when you make a purchase. For yourself or otherwise?

xo
Rebecca


Comments: 1 Comment

Category: Uncategorized

Our First Cover and more….

July 9, 2010

Take a look! Our first cover on this month’s Hudson’s Childrenswear Review. Gorgeous model and the cover features our new Simone Pleat Dress which is part of our new Ready-to-Wear collection out for Transition and Spring ’11.

Hudson's Childrenswear Review

We will begin wholesale sales in August and take pre-orders for individual purchases. Delivery in Fall/Winter ’10. Needless to say, I’m thrilled they chose to feature this gorgeous little model in our dress. The full dress can be seen in inside pages of the magazine.

We are also featured in this month’s gorgeous Earnshaw’s magazine. Our Solara Bamboo Tunic, coordinating Solara Bamboo Legging is paired with our Travel Sweaterknit Ruffle Cardigan (that’s a mouthful) is featured by my own Sofie. See inside pages of the magazine for our feature and write up.

Earnshaws

We are thrilled with such wonderful coverage and cannot wait to showcase our new collection pieces at ENK this August 1-3 in New York City. On a side note, August 1 is my 40th birthday. While I’d rather be on a sandy beach somewhere with a Mai Tai, I cannot say how excited I am for the prospects of the show and in considering how far Petit Couture has come in just a year and a half. I’m proud of where the business is and the trajectory for the business. Wish us luck!

Also, see our collection video. We created this, with assistance from Jennifer Tai Photo Artistry for this month’s digital Earnshaws. It is also live on You Tube!! Love your thoughts!!

xo
Rebecca


Comments: 3 Comments

Category: marketing,Print

Moving Day

June 29, 2010

It’s officially moving day here at Petit Couture. Boxes are packed, labeled, the moving truck is blocking traffic. Just a normal day for us. Here’s a pic of our last BBQ hurrah this past weekend. It’s essentially me in the Kid BBQ area tapping furiously on my iPhone.

As I type this post, movers are wrapping office furniture in plastic and carting out items that I swear I just moved in this time last year. Oh wait, I did! What has changed is that in under a year the amount of progress Petit Couture has seen – and boxes of samples, trim, fabric and office supplies that have been amassed. It’s crazy. When I moved Petit Couture last year, there was in essence only about four boxes that defined the business. This time around, it’s at least a small truck full. I was joking that I finally had visual proof of where my shoe budget was now going!

I’ll miss PDX – especially my Barre3 (note: there are TWO different barre options in Marin. Yay!!!) classes, Zupans (best super market on the planet) and no tax shopping (bought myself a night little treat in the form of ‘Speedy25′ from Louis Vuitton last night) . It’s been a small city that has allowed me to mature Petit Couture, enjoy small city living, spend more time with family and find an appreciation for bacon (this city is crazy for it). I’ve also made some tremendous personal and professional friendships and that is worth more than words. Thanks PDX and all of the friends made here!

I’m being unplugged now. I’ll update in sunny California!

xo
Rebecca


Comments: 0 Comments

Category: Uncategorized

Petit Couture’s Spring ’11 Collection – Video Highlights

June 17, 2010

In preparation for our market dates starting this month in LA as well as our showing at ENK in August (1-3), we created a fun video which showcases some of the looks from our Transition and Spring ’11 Collection. Please let us know what you think! For ordering information, contact us at sales@petitcouture.com.

For those of you interested in purchasing items and are not a store buyer, we will special order items for you based on product reservation for delivery later this year. Please contact us for details – sales@petitcouture.com. All items will be available for consumer purchase later in the year from petitcouture.com.

xo
Rebecca

Special thank you to Jennifer Tai at Jennifer Tai Photo Artistry for her photography prowess and mad video skillz.

Music by Broken Bells. Love them.


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Category: Uncategorized

Cha Cha Cha Changes….

June 16, 2010

For the past several weeks, as I’ve been finalizing details for the Transition and Early Spring ’11 fashion collection (see: http://www.petitcouture.com/lookbook) and I’ve also been planning a substantial change – again – for our family and the Petit Couture business.

As of July 1, Petit Couture will be operated out of the San Francisco area. San Anselmo will be our home base and our cut and sew operations will be out of San Francisco. I’m honestly thrilled with this change and the opportunity it affords my family on a personal level, but for Petit Couture as well. San Francisco is a perfect location to grow the Petit Couture brand and is only a hop, skip and jump away from our LA-based showroom partner, Metropolitan Kids. That is just tons of apparel goodness right there.

Over the past year, I’ve been fortunate to have met some tremendous contacts in the Portland, Oregon area – many of which have become friends and will continue to be colleagues. I have talked in the past about “kismet” and how the entire life span of Petit Couture to date has been given life through kismet meetings, relationships and opportunities. Though Petit Couture, and myself personally, have only been in Portland, Oregon for one year (as of next month) the opportunities afforded to the business have been monumental. In the past year alone, Petit Couture has launched our wholesale and direct business via www.petitcouture.com, landed some wonderful Oregon accounts like Frock, Duck Duck Goose and Papillon Rouge which are some of the most coveted shops in the state, participated in our first regional tradeshow – NW Market Association and we also finalized our FIRST fashion collection (see http://www.petitcouture.com/lookbook) which will be ready for FALL Delivery and to the trade this summer (now). In addition we were also able to ensure our business had a business and had the opportunity to create all of our financial modeling, sales channel forecasting and embarked on our trademark journey to protect the Petit Couture brand. On the business side, I was personally able to spend a lot of great time with the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network and participate in Angel Oregon events as well as a truly fab incubator group known as Starve Ups.

And, personally I was able to make some tremendous personal and professional contacts for which I’m truly grateful for their time and support. I’m very grateful for the time spent in Portland, Oregon and believe our time here to be, albeit a short stay, a fateful one. Thanks PDX! Portland’s motto is “Keep Portland Weird” and though I’m not sure I agree, I will say that I’ve LOVED a few Portland-only pleasures like bacon on donuts, Zupans Markets and Barre3 class.

Thanks PDX! And, here’s to the future held in San Francisco! Get Ready!

xo
Rebecca

P.S…..See our NEW collection now during LA Kids Market and in August and ENK! I’ll be in New York showcasing the collection and look forward to comments and thoughts!


Comments: 0 Comments

Category: Uncategorized

Ready-To-Wear Collection Lookbook Now Online!

June 9, 2010

Hello!

Petit Couture Lookbook Spring '11

I’m so proud to release our official Transition and Early Spring ’11 Lookbook for you all to take a peek at. The pieces included in this special book, available to view at: Petit Couture Lookbook, are the culmination of MANY months of work. I’m extremely happy with the end result of the garments, their construction and manufacturing processes.

This is the first end to end collection I’ve ever designed. From sourcing to illustration I worked on all facets of bringing these pieces to life. The collection is comprised of wovens, sweaterknits and cotton interlock basics. I hope you’ll share your thoughts with me. Pricing will range from $50 to $105 retail and be sold via boutiques as well as Petit Couture directly. Pre-Sale ordering will be in effect starting next week from www.petitcouture.com for Fall delivery.

The collection was inspired by my own children and the way they routinely mix and match texture and pattern to create whimsical and wearable options for play as well as dressy occasions. I’m a firm believer that kids should look and dress like kids and that modern and classic can mix. The color palette I chose reminds me of the eclectic and modern textures seen in Palm Springs with the effortless chic layering that is a West Coast staple. I’d love your thoughts on the collection!

I’d love to hear your thoughts! And, please be on the lookout for information beginning NEXT WEEK as pre-sale ordering capability will be enabled from www.petitcouture.com. Other dates to know…

LA Kids Market – June 14 – 17: Buyers mark your calendars and please visit the Metropolitan Kids showroom in California Market Center!

ENK – August 1-3: New York. Petit Couture will be at ENK and cannot wait to debut this collection to buyers from across the globe.

Please reach out directly should you have questions about the line. And, if you’re a buyer interested in wholesale terms, please contact us at: wholesale@petitcouture.com.

xo
Rebecca


Comments: 3 Comments

Category: design,marketing,retail

what’s in a name? what’s a brand all about?

May 10, 2010

I love Petit Couture and the potential for the business ahead. I’m proud of each and every baby step – no matter how challenging they are on certain days. And, some of you know, I purposely launched the company’s brand first and foremost. I wanted to create a meaningful brand that embodied the characteristics of a company that I believe in. A whimsical and wise owl I think is a great icon for such a company. And, ‘Petit Couture’ represents another way of saying ‘small fashion’. Pretty simple really. But, what else is involved? And, why should you care?

Petit Couture Logo

The above illustration shows the types of things (and by no means all) I think about and have had to consider as I’ve been growing Petit Couture. Everything from copyright protection of the name and owl to press coverage and my marketing and sales collateral. All of the decisions I make in these core areas of the business impacts the brand. And, the brand is the bedrock of the business and the collections to follow.

Branded basics (The Signature Collection) are the company’s first pieces and will continue to be a staple as the line grows. The Signature Collection was created in the manner it was to simply showcase the brand as well as support local businesses in the creation. It also provided me personally with the opportunity to learn “on the job”. To that end, this June, as part of LA Market with the Metropolitan Kids showroom, Petit Couture’s first full fashion collection for girls will debut. I chose to name it ‘Ready-To-Wear’ because to me, that symbolizes the spirit of wearable fashion and quite frankly thought the term was fun especially as it is geared to kids. The Ready-to-Wear collection will debut and be available for pre-order for Winter/Spring ’11. I’m ecstatic about this collection. The entire Petit Couture collection will also be showcased as part of ENK in New York August 1 – 3. The first day is my 40th birthday, so I hope it is a good one!

Welcome your thoughts and comments. How do you build your brand? And, what more should I consider?


Comments: 12 Comments

Category: design,industry,marketing

Social Media For Brands: An Army of Likeable Objects

May 6, 2010

Today Petit Couture was featured in a blog written by Portland based Customer Intelligence company Webtrends. It’s an important piece because it highlights some of the implications Facebook’s social plugins have introduced to brands and marketers. We are in a constant state of change and it’s exciting for Petit Couture to be pushing at the edges of social media, marketing, and technology.

You can read the blog post here and i’ve included a favorite excerpt below.

If you think this is a big change, I’d suggest you’re underestimating the significance. This is a change in discipline as significant to marketing as the emergence of online marketing in the 90s. And, there’s more to it than simply shifting to a decentralized presence. This comes at the same time as one of the most significant changes to marketing in several decades, which is the ability to access and store profile data permanently. I have a blog post in the works to explain more about how accessing profile data works and how it changes online marketing. If you want an early look, check out our recording of a debrief we held for Facebook’s f8 conference.


Comments: 3 Comments

Category: IT,marketing