The following is a summary of my journey to starting my own business/project and the help I’d like from Crowdfunder supporters.
In 2014 after a very successful career in the financial services I resigned to take some time out for a career break and to reflect about my life and what I wanted to do ,I was a carer ( for 2 years) looking after my aunt who came to live with me after suffering a major fall at her home. It was during this time that I came across a course about how to sell products on Amazon. It’s their own ‘proven strategy’ for success on Amazon, I was hooked after the 1st DVD ( there are 7) , it basically teaches you how to buy your products ( mainly from Alibaba) and create your own brand, get it manufactured, shipped to sell on Amazon .For weeks I studied, read and researched their ideas about products and in the end I used this concept to create my own brand as doing it their way was very expensive .They advise you to choose a product, yours or otherwise that can sell year round and add other products once your main product starts selling. I thought about what I was good at ( sewing ) and what kind of garment I could make that (Kaftans), I was always social media shy but found myself adjusting very quickly to this idea, especially if I was eventually going to do business online. I did some research on some Kaftan brands like Czarina and the world famous celebrity brand Camilla and knew this was what I wanted to do. I started to research fabrics and where to buy them, I could not contain my excitement, finally I was going to start my own business (another one off the bucket list ).
So I made my dreams come true with my savings, a vision, passion, a sewing machine and some great fashion teachers who had helped me along the way, with sewing, pattern cutting and fashion illustration classes over the best part of 15 years. Initially I started by buying Kaftans from wholesalers and selling in Markets and Boot sales ( I must say being outside sure beats being in an office when the weather is good ) with the aim eventually to make my own bespoke line.
Lovingkaftans was born.
Everything I make and design comes from my own head, I love being able to make something with my own hands. Taking my own pictures with my phone is like playing dress up, it’s not fancy but it gets the job done, I take pictures in my home, on holiday or in my community. I offer a wide varying handmade selection, pattern designs, fabric choices, exciting and vibrant colour's bringing pure elegance without compromise in comfort. You are simply spoilt for choice. My kaftans are popular with all age groups. They are incredibly comfortable to wear, flatter all bodyshapes, hide all the wobbly bits and at the same time give a glamourous look. There are tie-up kaftans, kaftans that drape to the feet, just past the knee or they can end above the knee, accentuating your shapely legs. The styles are endless, the bottom line is that a person can feel rich and confident when they are dressed in a kaftan made by me.
This quote springs to mind “People may not remember exactly what you said but they will always remember how you made them feel” job done.
After living with me for almost 2 years my aunt is now better and living with her son, and whilst it has been an amazing journey it has been hard along the way. Getting back to work after a long spell away was proving quite difficult. I thought that having the experience I had would get me a job quite easily, but that was before I realised there was a lot of ageism going on in most Industries. Eventually I got a job and whilst it pays the rent and bills, it isn’t enough to take my business further.
I wanted to earn more money to plough back into the business, which after working at various markets and having a presence on Facebook and Instagram was doing quite well. I’m quite an Independent soul and whilst I’ve done everything myself, I’m at a stage whereby I need help to take my project/business forward. I’m nearly out of stock, I’ve gone quiet on social media and can’t sell at the market through fear of running out completely. I love market life but it is a dying industry, with the high rates and the ever increasing popularity of online trading, it’s become thin on the ground.. Amazon and having a website has been my goal and for this I need a lot of stock.
What will the money be used for ? it depends on if and how much I raise
1.Initially It will be used to buy LOTS of fabric , to pay for 4 machinist, which I have sourced ( to help me make the Kaftans ) as it will be impossible to make the quantity I need by myself by the end of March ( ready for Spring/Summer season) to rent a small workshop/space to keep the fabric and to work from.
2. Will also be used to finance a trip to India to meet with a contact I met last year who can help me with sourcing fabrics and also manufacturing my Kaftans from India, as this will be the most likely long term plan.
I’m sorry I can’t be more specific about costs as fabrics are different prices, I’m looking at between £5 - £10 per meter and I need 2 or 3 meters for each Kaftan. The machinist charge £6 per Kaftan. I’m still looking at workshops but we can all work from our homes but still need storage space for the fabrics.
My ultimate dream is to be in Ibiza with my kaftan business but that’s a long way off, god willing it’s where I hope to retire but I have to build it first in London.
I don’t have any rewards as such but I can offer half price on ANY of my Kaftans .
Thank you so much for your time and I hope that you can help me further.
Please do like me and share me on Facebook :-)