Earlier this week i got back from my trade mission trip to New York. I was with a group of fashion and beauty brands as part of Enterprise Nation's organised trade visit. The aim was to get some insights into exporting to this market. Here is a video that i made in conjunction with o2 business who also helped to sponsor my trip. I'm still exhausted and jet lagged a little but it was an excellent and productive trip!
There will be a few more posts to come about the trip, so stay tuned!
I am going to New York! Its a work trip to investigate export opportunities for Goodordering. I'm crashing a trip with Enterprise Nation, its a Go Global Mission, all about fashion, beauty and accessories.
To get the most out of the trip i have to uh get to the airport on time, and not forget my passport. Actually, last time i had a disaster at the airport it was because i brought someone else's passport with me.
We will be holding up Pop-up shop in Chinatown NYC as well as zip around town learning from other businesses that have opened up shop in New York. When spending cash travelling for work (and lumping my other half with full parental duties) i need to have some goals, and these are them:
* identify 2-3 new stockists for Goodordering bags * present and get feedback on the new glasses and TFL range * create some content for social media
These things are not going to do themselves, so some preparation is in order, the things i need to do before i go (i have 3 days)
* email my current stockists in NY to tell them i'm coming and invite them to the popup * mine all the NYC contacts of my team at Goodordering to make sure that we invite anyone we know over there * look up some NY based bloggers to see if they also want to come say hi at our popup shop * look up some other brands or stores i want to check out whilst i'm there for some brand positioning / competitor research
Other prep i need to do:
* change my phone to an O2 business account so i can use the £7.50 for 24 hours unlimited data ! yessssss! (i only just realised that this would be beneficial to me * work out pricing of any bits and pieces i would like to sell whilst over there. (convert from £ to US$) * pack my shopify card reader so i can take card payments whilst i'm there * clear all the garbage off my phone so can can have enough space to take some videos whilst i'm there * pick up camera lens from camera lens fixing shop
Who i have to thank for the trip coming up:
* Mia for looking after otto whilst i'm gone * Enterprise nation for bringing me along and organising a great trip thats so important for small businesses * O2 for helping me to afford to go on this trip, i'll be making some content whilst i'm on the trip that will be shared by o2 and published on some of their social media channels, to share some of the highlights of the trip!
Here are some pics of our bags in our long standing retailer Magma. We love that they really champion our green market shopper! Its worth checking out all the other cool graphic products, design and stationery that they stock there in one of their two stores. The store in covent garden is located here:
We have had a few customers ask about our factory lately and we think its a good question! who wouldn't want to know where their bag comes from and who is actually making them. We take responsible, safe and ethical manufacturing very seriously and because of that I made a point of visiting and auditing our factory regularly.
We did a blog post about our factory last year showing some pretty nice images i took when i was there visiting. <READ ARTICLE HERE> However, since then, our factory moved from just outside Shenzhen to Kunshan which is just outside of Shanghai. The factories around the south of China have suffered from crippling labour cost increases as high rise apartments sprout up and we are seeing a much more professional and wealthy Chinese youth.
This is actually a good thing, don't get me wrong, but has meant that our little factory had to close up and move up to the north! So earlier this year i went over to visit the new factory. These are some photos taken this week at the factory when our new Stealth Collection has been on the factory floor being made.
I find it fascinating and always ask lots of questions when i'm at the factory. The eye opening thing is that often its the factory that can't get enough staff any more. China is becoming increasingly wealthy and from a manufacturing perspective are making a lot more high tech electronics products. Bags, accessories, footwear and fashion manufacturing in general is moving much more to the newer developing regions such as Vietnam, Cambodia and even Thailand.
Having a Chinese heritage - my dad and mum were born there, i love going back to China and having an excuse to go and stuff my face with delicious food and get foot massages! For me its really important that I use Goodordering to elevate manufacturing in China and give it the credit it deserves.
When i first started the brand Goodordering in 2012, living in London, one of the first things that i did was to research manufacturers in the UK, aside from it being very practical when designing and developing a new range, it was important to me to support the local economy. However, the more i researched the more i had doors close in my face and some manufacturers i contacted didn't even reply to my emails or phone calls. It was clear early on, that in order to be able to offer nicely designed bags at the £65 price point range, it would not be feasible to make them in the UK. This is a question i am often asked, so i wanted to make it clear that it was one of my early intentions to manufacture in the UK and much effort was put in to make it happen.
However, the latest exciting news is that i'm looking into a collaboration with a UK manufacturer to bring out a special made in the UK range. I realised that i didn't have to be a brand all made in China or all made in the UK, but explore having a combination. Above is a pretty abstract image of the lining of our new bags that are part of the TFL range. You can see a press release about this HERE - its launching soon so keep your eyes peeled!
In the image above you can see some of the foam padding that goes in between the body fabric and the lining fabric, as well as a whole bunch of backpack straps.
As far as our manufacturing story so far goes for Goodordering, here are the
* Our factories are Taiwanese owned Chinese factories that adhere to an international standard. Many of their other customers include global sports brands and well known fashion brands.
* I visit the factory once or twice a year, i spend days in the sample room, walking around the factory and meeting with the management to discuss future plans.
* My relationship with the factory is long term, i have been working with the same factory since Goodordering started in 2012 and hope we have a long and fruitful relationship together
* China is no longer the cheapest place to get bags made, in fact its pretty expensive, but for us, quality is so important that we do not skimp on manufacturing costs.
This article was written by me, Jacqui Ma, the founder, designer, creative director and all round dog's body of Goodordering, east london bag company.
We always welcome people's comments and feedback so please leave us a message!
Today i sat down with Lorna Bladen from Enterprise Nation for a little chat about Goodordering, social media and building a community.
Enterprise Nation have teamed up with Facebook to bring out a series of educational events and videos to encourage more women to start up businesses. I'm always proud to team up with them, and have even been on a trade mission with them to Amsterdam to investigate exporting there to their bicycle-loving population. Here is the video!
The key points from the video are:
* Grow your social following slowly and solidly, its a long game, don't expect overnight success
* Use social channels to have a two-way conversation with your customers.
* Create content that your community will care about.
* Use the different channels for their specific advantages and functionalities.
Soon to launch in London, Seoul and everywhere in between is our Stealth collection. Its black, waterproof and, like the classic collection has quite a few useful pockets. For all of the people who are so patiently waiting for them to arrive, i have to reassure you, it will be worth the wait.
It comes around every year and i don't normally celebrate it much, but this year for the first time, i am declaring 50% off everything from our online shop for 24 hours only between 12 midnight 28th may until 12 midnight 29th may. Go crazy! Use this code: happybirthdayjacqui on checkout.