A P Shows - Do People Sell Clothes at Them?

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11 years 10 months ago #23948 by Toast
I have been advised that I should advertise my clothing in Horse & Pony and The ESNZ Bulletin and that I should sell it at A & P Shows.

It is not horsey clothing; it's very dressy. It is merino and currently trimmed with feathers or paua. It's not selling and the plan is to do some items without trim.

Also, what clothing items would you like made from merino and how much would you be prepared to pay?

Feedback would be gratefully received.

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11 years 10 months ago #339676 by beedee
Toast, I am the last person to talk about fashion and buying clothes... but if I wanted the ideal dress,[havent worn a dress for 25yrs] it certainly wouldnt be with feathers, even tho on the models it does look good.. cos I would feel that I could only wear it once.. otherwise folk would say,' Oh you have that feather dress on AGAIN'
Now I know thats silly, as I have worn the same pair of jeans for the past 5yrs, they know their way out to the washing line.. so I guess its reverse snobbery, something really good needs to be changeable, or not identified... maybe if feathers can be removable ..
Clothes are staying in the shops from what I gather, so yes its a bad time to try and get a business pathway going... I wish you all the best

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11 years 10 months ago #339680 by ronnie
Be very careful about advertising in magazines. We go thru spates of being contacted from this or that magazine wanting us to advertise. Most of the magazines are relevent, but that is besides the point. We have a very limited advertising budget and have to look very, very carefully as to where we spend it.

The magazines seem to be finding it increasingly difficult to attract new customers, which could be why they are targeting you - just do your research carefully.

Now, with my other hat on - craft markets.

We (that I am personally involved in) run 2 large markets down here each year. We have just finished our July one and are planning our November one. Over the past few years, we have had clothing people patronise our markets. I actually had a look at some of the garments on display at this past market. Most of them were made of merino and were jerseys, skirts, scarves etc etc and most of them were top end fashion garments, not the handmade, homemade variety.

They had prices on them ranging up to $195 per piece and seems they were all happy with our market and their sales. There would certainly be a place for your garments at markets, but again, I would pick and choose carefully.

From our own experience, the larger the market the better for us. We do very poorly at the "school fete" type of market, yet do very well at our own one.

You would be best to try a few and see how you get on. We really enjoy our markets and socialise a lot whilst there :cool: Put some effort into your stall and you may be surprised at the result. Go with the thought of getting your brand out there and seen and treat any sales as a bonus.

Although we dont do them, A & P shows can be a good start. There are usually heaps of people in attendance, and you never know who is passing your stall.

Anything else you would like to know on this subject - fire away. Either here or PM me - either is fine with me.

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11 years 10 months ago #339681 by Toast
The magazines are not targeting me. This was a business advisor.

The horse mags have a small readership and the adverts are for horse stuff. The adverts are really just like a directory at the back. People only read them if they're looking for the supplier of a particular product.

I was wondering about the A & P shows - I had only seen cheap and nasty stuff but then again I didn't get time to get around the side-shows when I was competing with horses.

Thanks for that info though.

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11 years 10 months ago #339765 by PeterNZ
A&P shows. Well to be honest, we stopped going to A&P shows where there was too much non-A&P stuff on show. Kumeu is a prime example. There are meanwhile more stalls selling cheap Chinese crap than A&P related things.

But in saying that this is just my opinion as a visitor. I know that shows, even the Mystery Creek show accept almost everybody. I find it sad because it will eventually become a flea market instead of a farming show.

From a business owners point of view: We went to the Whangarei A&P show with our cheese making equipment and spent two days selling almost nothing. Whangarei is a typical Townie A&P Show. Lots of city people who are more interested in buying handbags and stuff, teenagers buying inflatable hammers and clubs etc. They say they have about 15,000 visitors (and I believe that). As a comparison, we went to the Maungaturoto Field Days where there were probably 500 visitors and we made triple the money we made in Whangarei.

Cheers

Peter


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11 years 10 months ago #339778 by Sue
Yes toast, there are clothes for sale at some A&P shows and I'm thinking particularly Hawkes Bay and Christchurch. They tend to be some of the more expensive shirts, merino/possum jumpers etc that I can recall. Not really a going thing in the smaller shows, like Horowhenua but it might be a start, they do have an exhibition hall for those kind of things, let me know if you want a contact, the show is third week Jan, and exhibition space cost reasonable, or used to be!

CD Fieldays at Manfield is another local possibility but I imagine the site costs both there and Mystery Creek may be prohibitive. I don't think the Manawatu and Feilding A&P shows have much in the way of stalls apart from food and plastic "junk"!

I wonder too how many folks go to Shows expecting to buy clothes that are rather more expensive than the cheap imported stuff which is usually available at such places. You would probably need to have Eftpos there for starters!

I would like to see merino type clothing which was slightly smarter-eg gathered a bit here and there, not just plain round or V necks, cross over fronts etc, maybe the option to add or detach the trim?
The merino stuff I have seen, and I have one, is a bit body hugging for flabby mid riffs and a bit more camouflage with gathers etc wouldn't go amiss!

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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11 years 10 months ago #339799 by Toast
Thanks, everybody.

Firstly, I am not the sort of person who can do this mobile shop thing. It is just not in my make-up. However, I was given this advice which I didn't think was suitable but thought I had better do my homework & ask a few questions.

I had identified Hawkes Bay & Christchurch A & Ps as possibiities, only ever having gone to those shows once, many, many years ago, so I'm glad that you came up with those too.

Yes, it is sad that the A & P shows and the bigger Field Days are turning into flea markets as far as the clothes etc go. I don't want to join that brigade. It degrades the product putting it next to cheap stuff. Makes it hard to market it to exclusive outlets such as Kirkcaldies, H & J Smith and Smith & Caughey as well. Can you imagine Kirks wanting to buy if they heard I was selling through flea market type outlets? I sell to a shop in George Street, Palmerston North, and she talks about keeping the prices at a similar level within the street. She says you only need one store with cheap stuff and it undermines the rest of the street. At one fundraiser (which I will never do again) I was next to a stall with "$68 Party Dresses"!

The larager Field Days such as Mystery Creek and Central Districts are out of my league. Need to be in a much bigger way for that. It is very risky because of the commitment/expense required.

I hear people saying that certain places (shows, field days, fundraisers etc) would be good outlets for my business but I never come across anybody who has bought at these places!

I've also heard that the Martinborough Fair is not nearly as good as it used to be.

The other thing is that people go out predominantly to be entertained and/or fill in the day.

The horse people who go to A & P & other shows don't shop for clothes at the shows. They don't have time. Some of them take an extra vehicle & often the woman of the house goes downtown to stock up on groceries & sneaks off to the clothes shops. They do buy at Horse of the Year though.

Sue, thanks for your comments on merino garments. I think everybody is trying to make very simple garments to keep the cost down. The cost of manufacture in NZ is very high. Anything tricky is out of the question. I have just made up a range of make-up purses, sponge bags etc & go quotes for the cutting & sewing. The quotes have come out slightly cheaper than the similar items in local pharmacies. There was one make-up purse there, beautifully made (in China) and there was so much work in it - lots of seams, pockets & other time consuming extras. It was $12.99 and it would cost me $7.90 to have a very plain make-up purse (similar to a pencil case) made. That is before materials, labels, annual costs and profit.

Cheese making - I have just joined the Manawatu Bee Club and a couple of the members have been making their own cheeses, self-taught. They're quite good, particularly for beginners. PeterNZ - I shall pass on your web address at next meeting.

Thanks again, everybody.

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11 years 10 months ago #339816 by PeterNZ

Toast;327898 wrote: Cheese making - I have just joined the Manawatu Bee Club and a couple of the members have been making their own cheeses, self-taught. They're quite good, particularly for beginners. PeterNZ - I shall pass on your web address at next meeting.

This is very kind of you!

Btw, my wife is a trained dress maker and textile technician. She tried to start her own label but failed. People (and this is consumers and retailers) want the cheapest stuff possible and then be able to charge 300% on it. My wife's products were high quality, good fabrics and excellent workmanship. Still, everybody always compared her prices with the warehouse and shops didn't want to pay more than $25 or so for a shirt which retailed for over $80!!! The material alone was more that that!

She gave up frustrated! I wish you all the best!

Cheers

Peter


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www.CottageCrafts.co.nz
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11 years 10 months ago #339870 by Toast
Yes, PeterNZ, it is very hard to manufacture in NZ. My comments about keeping the price up and not selling near the lower priced garments. I think it won't be long before there won't be any NZ made garments in the shops, they'll only be available where the manufacturer is also the retailer, eg shows, fundraisers etc.

A couple of good jobs have come up so I'm applying for them as I have to get $$ coming in & need some social interaction. Business will only be part time.

Those cheesemakers are doing a pretty good job without any gear. You never know, they may want to do a bit more. I'll pass on web address at next meeting 26 August.

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