Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Article - Making money in fashion

From content sharing of and MoneySense

Making money in fashion

By Lynda C. Corpuz
Last updated 04:26pm (Mla time) 09/10/2007

Styles are changing fast, making your faddish top and skirt and pants in your closet so yesterday. But that does not mean you have to keep on buying the latest in fashion, as not everything new suits an individual’s taste, says Mary Grace Magcamit, 24. As her friend Karla Loja points out: “It’s not practical to splurge much money on clothing with poor quality.”

Grace and Karla have their own women’s line, called Coffee Tops, which had an informal start in September 2005. When they learned of a December bazaar then, they eventually drew a budget and market plan. Grace says, “We didn’t know that it would be a blast and that was the springboard for Coffee Tops,” which is now on its second year. If you want to get into the fashion retail business, here’s what you need to know:

Weigh your priorities.
Despite her entrepreneurial foray, Grace has a full-time job as marketing officer for Lulu Castagnette. But she is certain to mainly design for Coffee Tops, a condition her employer is aware of. “I wouldn’t like my employer to think I’m just working for them to support my business since we’re both in the same industry,” she explains.

Do the dirty work. Since they are still newbies, Grace and Karla are not mindful of doing everything to grow their business. Now, they meet for Coffee Tops after office work and give it all attention on weekends. A per project accountant, who they pay around P7,000, assists them in financial and legal requirements.

Think beyond profit. Getting rich was far from their minds when they started Coffee Tops. “Personally, I want to offer the female market a wide range of comfortable clothing choices,” Grace shares.

Enjoy pecuniary benefits.
Grace cites they spend about P30,000 per bazaar and have yet to recover their P50,000 initial capital. “(But) sincerely, their appreciation and happiness about our clothes are more than enough. If we profit so much, it’s a bonus for us,” she says.

Always think ahead. Don’t deal with present situations and projects only. Set plans, and at least have a good sense of time management, Grace stresses. With these, she is certain to hit their goals for Coffee Tops. “Eventually, we will have our own boutique. And that’s the time we’ll be ambitious and try to generate 400% income in three years,” she shares.

(From the May-June 2007 issue of MoneySense, the country’s first and only personal finance magazine. Visit for more.)
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