It started with the cancellation of ALL formal orders and loss of income as a result of COVID-19 and subsequent shutdown. Obviously the luxury garment industry was devastated. As a small business owner, it crushed the company. We slipped thru the cracks and didn’t qualify for ANY help of ANY kind…silly me never took a proper salary so no unemployment. 1099 employees as life was seasonal, so no PPE help, and nope, not going into debt to save a company.
Solution? Restructure the company, incorporate as an S corporation and refocus efforts towards more renewable and sustainable fashion choices. Develop relationships with those farmers who grow hemp and other sustainable raw materials and manufacturers who turn it into fabrics for wholesale purchase. Explore the changing needs and wants of people as a result of being locked down for months at a time. LOTS of research, LOTS of soul searching, LOTS of decisions.
Start by reaching out to friends in the industry and joining a variety of Entrepreneur groups on Facebook and see how others are weathering this storm. Talk to those in the industry across the world and get a better perspective of where the luxury market is going and put a more reasonable and refined casual approach to design.
Next, Rebrand, New Website, New Samples, downsize operation.Using the success of previous company and some solid relationships, we were able to accomplish a lot in a very short period of time.This meant all time devoted to making this work. The core belief that quality is everything and American made critical. Then came Toby.Yes indeed. At 3 AM on March 3rd I saw his face, those brown eyes melted my heart and off I went to go adopt my chief security officer without even an interview!
Now back to the business of rebuilding, well synthetic fabrics were no longer acceptable, so they were sold or donated.MANY hours spent learning the ins and outs of fabric manufacturing to aid in supporting hemp as a fiber suitable for clothing and so much more. The fashion industry is one of the most wasteful and workers are often not paid a fair living wage in other countries. [Making fast fashion available and clothes that only last a season or two] The cost of fashion is higher than most realize because so many are living in poverty as a result.