America's Funky Sweetheart
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Posts tagged "Business"

#dowhatyoulove #lovewhatyoudo #family #business

Check out the latest issue of Edge Magazine (w/ Elle Varner on the cover) to read the interview they did on us. Holla! #nakimuli #edgemagazine #fashion #style #business #ellevarner #erykahbadu

Planning our Spring invite-only shopping event with my intern. Happening some time in mid-April. More info coming soon.
I’m gonna be busting my ass for the next month to make this happen!

Planning our Spring invite-only shopping event with my intern. Happening some time in mid-April. More info coming soon.

I’m gonna be busting my ass for the next month to make this happen!

                            

I have been kinda M.I.A…thought that I would be able to do this diary thing every week but I really didn’t anticipate all the wonderful things that would happen for my business. I have been trying to keep up with orders and experienced exhaustion like you wouldn’t belive! Got sick, recouped only to have to hit the sewing machines again. BUT great news: today was the first day I interviewed for help! I’m hiring a seamstress and 1-2 interns to help me out.  I’m so excited to get the ball rolling. There is so much ground I will be able to cover with the new additions to my team, including getting orders out much faster. So this week I will be conducting interviews and I hope to have everyone start next Monday. Super excited!

And speaking of hiring, I was looking at my 2012 business goals, posted in my second diary entry, and I am already ahead of schedule on a lot of things!  Most goals I wanted to reach by September & I have already reached them. Man, sometimes your mind can take you farther than you think if you just take the first step! But here are the goals I listed in January:

  • move into a new studio space (in a much better managed building) DONE—-> living & working in the same place
  • hire in-house seamstress(es) ALMOST DONE—-> interviewing potential candidates now
  • buy an industrial coverstitch machine DONE
  • do more wholesale selling (to reputable businesses) DOING—-> picked up 5+ new wholesale accounts since February
  • attend a trade show (as a consumer & vendor) DID attend one in February as a consumer
  • network more—-> This one is always a bitch for someone like me who is an introvert

I have more goals but I can’t give you everything! 

Spent the first couple months of 2012 working hard. Now I’m excited to start working smart!

Answering emails.

Rocking the Sweet Bubbly Leggings, which are now on SALE. Available in straight & plus sizes. (M is SOLD OUT)

whoisbrass:

#SupportYourLocalNailArtist! s/o to @jvzzi for the logo art

nailgasmdoc:

By donating $1 or more to this project you can help bring this project to life. to learn more you can visit my kickstarter page. Every little bit helps. Thanks for reading this. You gals are awesome.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Funny that I came across this on Facebook. I was just thinking today that I want to start a mentoring program for creative business owners.

Funny that I came across this on Facebook. I was just thinking today that I want to start a mentoring program for creative business owners.

So last night I had the privilege of being a guest on Lipstick Lies, a new streaming show hosted by Nyla Tinkerbelle. Last night was their second show. They highlighted women entrepreneurs. Had to drive all the way out to Long Island but it was worth it. Here are some pics from last night.

*Shout out to all my friends and customers who watched and hit up the chat room, i appreciate the love.

**You can watch the video here: www.ustream.tv/recorded/19728365

I appear after the 44:00 mark. And Uncle Jimmy makes a guest appearance towards the end, around the 1:07 mark.

My driver, Uncle Jimmy

Me (in all my granny-looking glory) and my dear friend Deanna. She was the one who referred me for the interview.

Deanna was also on the show. She is an attorney.

Me with the co-hosts. Cheesing. 

Talking.

Rent is too damn high!

Uncle Jimmy with Deanna and her husband CJ.

Red light special.

LL Cool J

Silly.

Ok, I will be serious…

But not for too long!

myuberlife-nyc:

‘Design Manifesto’ via The CFDA.  A picture is worth a thousand words, remembering this picture with these words will make your creative endeavors worth it.

                             Reposted by Jey Van-Sharp of MyUberLife picture via weheartit.com

(via hannansaleh)

doing “mass” production has been proven to be quite a challenge, especially trying to do “made to order” orders with a factory. because i’m at the bottom of the fashion totem pole, my stuff gets pushed back with no consequences. and it’s wack but unfortunately i understand; they can afford to lose me because i’m not bringing in the big bucks.

*side note: this is the 2nd factory i have been dealing with…same thing happened at the last factory (but 10x worst) and from what i hear it’s not uncommon. smh.

in the last week i had to refund customers their money because my seamstress did not do ANY of the orders that i left for her to do BEFORE she left for vacation. it was soooo disappointing, especially since it’s hard to explain to customers; it just sounds like excuses that they do not understand, nor should they. it’s not their problem, it’s mine. so because of that i have decided to make the big leap i’ve been slowly moving towards to end the whole made-to-order thing. i am beginning to REALLY see how it has been hindering the growth of my business. 

Over the past month, I have been restructuring my business and the following changes will occur:

  • EVERYTHING will be made beforehand; makes it 10x easier & faster to ship. and if problems occur, we will be ahead of schedule, giving us enough time to deal with and/or correct the problem
  • i will accept custom orders but ONLY on a case-by-case basis
  • with a heavy heart, i will have to discontinue doing plus sizes for a while. the start-up costs to do 6-8 sizes rather than 4 is too much for me to handle on a small budget. (not to worry ladies, it will be coming back. just not sure when.)
  • new website with tons of features—-> working on this right now. it will make it easier for you to pick which shipping you would like, make wishlists, open an account to check out your order status, and more. so excited cuz it makes my life easier.
  • sending out newsletters more frequently.
  • updating our inventory more often.
  • accepting different types of payments including PayPal, Google Checkout, etc

there will be more changes, though the most of them will be in house/behind the scenes. after being depressed feeling down for a whole month about this, i feel much better to get this out and begin making moves. now i just have to figure out where to get the money for all of this…

sugar daddy, where art thou?! 

LIVE IN THE NYC AREA? my girl khalia is starting a hair care business and is having  a focus group next week at my studio. please read below and if you are interested, please email me:

tennille@nakimuli.com

also, feel free to repost. thanks!

HAIR FOCUS GROUP/ NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY

Are you an African American or multi-ethnic woman who takes pride in her appearance? If hair care and/or maintenance are a major part of your beauty budget we definitely want to hear from you!

The information shared will be reported anonymously and used to develop recommendations. It is for an aspiring entrepreneur starting a business to promote education, beauty and sisterhood!

Participants will be compensated for their time with gift bags, food and great company! Don’t worry it will be a fun way to spend 2 hours on a Friday! One lucky participant will also receive a gift valued over $100!!

The focus group will take place on Friday, July 22nd in Brooklyn. It will take place in the Dumbo/downtown Brooklyn section from 6:30-8:30pm.

REQUIREMENTS
1. Participants must be available for the complete 2 hours.
2. African American or multi-ethnic females only
3. Between the ages of 21-40
4. Full time employment or self-employed
5. Willing to fill out a survey at the end of the session
6. Okay with Focus group being recorded (audio &/or video)

The number of participants is limited. If you are eligible and interested in attending this focus group, please reply to this post ASAP!

Send your full name email address and/or contact number (cell # is preferred) along with answers to the following questions.

1. Are you married or single?
2. Do you have a daughter 10 years or older?
3. Do you wear wigs?
4. How often do you go to the hair salon?

In additon please confirm you meet the above requirements and include your age.
Upon receipt someone will contact you with the exact address if your support is still needed.

Thanks in advance for supporting one woman’s dream to help many others!
I look forward to hearing from you.

just thinking out loud

orders coming in very fast…but production is happening much slower than i thought…just need a chance to breathe…

thinking i’m gonna have to leave big cartel once again. looking at big commerce and volusion. looking for something that will make it easier to communicate with customers once orders are processed & shipped instead of having to write individual order and shipment confirmation emails. it’s becoming pretty time consuming… just need a more sophisticated yet still simple alternative to big cartel. hate to leave but i need to spend less online and more time in the real world. lol

warning: this post may sound a little stank…lol


it’s only been a little less than half a year and i have learned A LOT about what i will and will not do as a business person. i used to do a lot of things for free/near free or give people discounts because i appreciated them supporting me. but it has become an insult to me when people try to get me to lower my prices, especially for made to order/custom shit. i end up doing more work than i am getting paid, and then it becomes not worth it. 

in the last few months:

  1. i’ve had someone (very close to me) ask me to do 3 pairs of leggings for a HUGE discount, then asked me to give her a discount ON the discount (i said no) and then got mad and asked for a refund when i wouldn’t agree to do a pair of the more expensive leggings;
  2. someone come to me 3 days before their show + ask for 7 costumes (yes, 7, they were very simple, that’s the only reason i agreed to do it), with NO budget; and then get irritated when one of the costumes did not turn out right (and i STILL have not gotten paid); 
  3. another person who got a discount on 3 dresses and then told me she was “feeling undervalued” because I didn’t get to meet her near her house to drop off the clothing (i shipped her the clothing, FREE OF CHARGE, and still had to wait a week to get the other half of the money.) 


and these are all people who KNOW this is how i make my living. sometimes i think people think i just sit here and twiddle my thumbs all day…

but it all comes down to KNOWING YOUR WORTH. And as artists and/or business people it is IMPERATIVE that you know that. people will try to finagle you do all sorts of things just so they can pay you less money. you can’t have champagne taste on a beer budget. sorry, boo boo. i mean, would you go into barney’s and do that? if you did, they would look at you crazy. i have now realized that it is SOOOO not worth it in the end. u end up being resentful and possibly ruining a friendship/relationship with a customer. each garment i make is out of love and passion. the worst thing for me is to make something out of resentment; it’s not a good feeling. so i rather just say no. 

so below is the naKIMuli guideline to doing business (a rough draft). gonna have to post this in my studio as a reminder. 

  • the price is the price; i am not interested in bargaining. if you have a problem with it = you can’t afford it
  • if you ask for a discount, know there is a chance i might say no. NO DISCOUNTS!  If you ask me for a discount, I will ask my landlord if she will discount my rent, if she says no… I will tell you no too
  • if you DO get a discount and you ask for more of a discount, KNOW that I won’t be doing it.
  • wanting a custom dress does not mean that you get a discount on it. it actually means quite the opposite.
  • for any special/custom orders, you MUST put down at least 1/2 deposit, even if we are friends. (business is business, boo.) and you get to pick your garment after it is FULLY PAID FOR, especially if we are friends.
  • no budget = no money = no, i ain’t doing it.
  • if you need something in less than 2 weeks AND you can’t pay full price, the answer is no, i can’t do it.
  • i only do custom orders based on my designs/similar to my designs. sorry, i don’t make weddings dresses (yet), prom dresses, formal evening wear dresses, etc.
  • you must come to the studio and pick up your items. no, my intern is not gonna run across town to drop your purchases off to you.
  • no, i am not interested in bartering; i gotta pay my rent.

i know there are many more that can be on this list. what are some you would have on your list?

know your worth and never settle, people!!!

streetetiquette:

Ouigi of the Brooklyn Circus 

_________________________________________

ouigi! love him. he is such an inspiration.

and he is biking on my old block. i miss my old neighborhood!!! :(

(via buttahlove)

mental. emotional. physical. metaphysical.
relationships/friendships. business. household. health/nutrition.
GET THE JUNK OUT.
photo credit: www.kitchenstewardship.com

mental. emotional. physical. metaphysical.

relationships/friendships. business. household. health/nutrition.

GET THE JUNK OUT.

photo credit: www.kitchenstewardship.com