We are apparel people teaching apparel people.
Trying to break into the apparel business but don’t know where to start? Then you’ve come to the right place.
The Apparel Business Co. at Portland Sewing is a preparatory and finishing school for apparel designers, companies and aspirants. Our goal is to create and improve apparel skills and apparel business skills for those who are in or want to enter the apparel industry. You’ll get:
– Business classes focused on starting and succeeding in your apparel business.
– Access to industry insiders and information.
– Classes on fashion design and apparel construction.
– Coaching so you can create the right portfolio to get you in to the right schools.
Interested in learning more? Then ask about our:
– Three certificate programs in apparel design, apparel entrepreneur and computer essentials for non-degree students to get you in to the right jobs. All three are listed and described here on our website.
– Facilities and materials for those wanting to produce ready-to-wear garments that meet industry standards. Portland Sewing memberships are available for those who qualify.
ABC: Simple steps to take your apparel ideas to successful reality.
Please register by one day before class starts. Payment due with registration. Minimum number of students per class: 4. Maximum number of students per class: 8. Confirmation sent upon registration. Supply list, if any, sent upon meeting minimum number of registrants. Refunds available until 48 hours before day of class.
Apparel Business Consultations
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 1-6 pm; Saturday 1-2 pm.
Need advice for your apparel business? Need help with product development and refining your product ideas? Need help finding the right sources for your fabric and labor?
Then consultations are for you.
All sessions are one-on-one with the appropriate experienced apparel professionals. Thanks to our non-disclosure policy, your ideas are safe with us.
You must register at least 24 hours before attending. Book your spot now! Just let us know which day, what time, the business needs you have in mind.
Saturday, March 15, 10 am-1 pm, $52
Instructor: Tiffany Bean, owner of Mabel & Zora Boutique
See the world through retail eyes. Great class whether you want to sell to stores or open one of your own.
Learn how to interact with manufacturers, sales reps and buyers on their terms. See how store owners merchandise products so you can learn how to get yours on their racks. Learn their jargon, such as “assortment plan”, “store layout”, “open to buy”, “6-month buying plan”, “stock plans”, “stock to sales ratios” and “turnover rates” from BOM to EOM.
See the tricks of visual merchandising. Learn how to get your products into stores, in prime locations in the store and how to make them stand out. Learn how to work with stores to promote your products so visitors become shoppers who then can find, select and buy your products. Learn how to get the attention of buyers and how to merchandise your line so they will take notice.
These techniques work whether for on-line or bricks-and-mortar stores.
Tiffany and her husband Corey opened Mabel and Zora Boutique in June 2006. "The vision for the store," Tiffany says, "was inspired by Doris Day movies and Tiffany's grandmother's boutique from the 1950s. The outcome is a lovely ladies' boutique that transports you back in time to an era of beauty and fabulous customer service but with today's top designers."
Tiffany started designing her own clothing line - Tiffany Bean Designs - in 2010 also inspired by 1960s movies and fashions.
Saturday, March 22, 10 am-1 pm, $52
Instructor: Eden Dawn, fashion editor for Portland Monthly
Get the LINE on how to get coverage from bloggers, and the news media while learning the four basic tips for visibility. Eden will guide you though how to make contact with media and when they would like to hear from you. Then she’ll talk about how to get ready for your conversation through:
– L: Give your information a Local angle
– I: Think about how it will Impact the readers. In other words, why would they care?
– N: News means it is New. What is different about what you’re offering?
– E: Tell a story. Make your information Entertaining.
By the end of the class, you’ll learn who (and how) to contact in the media. You’ll know how to look at stories from the press’ point of view, how to recognize a news peg and put it first in your e-mail to your contacts, plus find out the things fashion writers don’t want. Most importantly, you’ll know how to see media as friends and colleagues.
Eden Dawn (yes, that is her real name) spends her life submerged in fashion as a stylist, writer, and tastemaker. Born and raised in Oregon, she began her style career while still a child, by cheerfully violating numerous dress codes at her private school before turning that troublemaking into her trademark as one of Oregon’s top fashion experts.
The project enthusiastic style lover spends her time as a freelance wardrobe stylist and fashion writer. Not only does she provide regular contributions to Portland Monthly's (Oregon’s award winning magazine) fashion content, style commercial and editorial jobs, and talk about trends frequently on television.
Saturday, March 29, 10 am-1 pm, $52
Instructor: Celeste Sipes, owner of Radish Underground
Learn how to approach stores and make a sale – that will make both you and the store owner happy. Learn the five mistakes most designers make and how to turn them around to make a negative into a positive on such things as:
• Communication. How and when to approach the store.
• Presentation. What items stores expect to see.
• Quality, particularly fit and finish, so the garments are ready for purchase.
• Scheduling. What to show the store and when.
• Delivery. Making promises, making them stick. If you’ve never sold to a store before, this class will help you make your first impression a good impression. If you’ve been trying to sell without success, you will learn tips for turning it around.
End this class with a game plan for approaching boutiques with your product line.
Celeste Sipes owns Radish Underground, a boutique at 414 SW 10th "in the heart of Portland's trendy West End." When she and her former co-owner, Gina Morris opened Radish in 2008, "we set out to be detectives, finding independent lines you can feel good about supporting: designers/companies who give a damn about the world we live in and the people in it. Buying local is a great start, so we focus in on our Portland-based designers, but also believe local is everywhere and know that to truly live their dreams, small lines must reach a broader market. We want to be part of the broader network, a conduit for people in all places to find an outlet for their thoughtfully made goods."
Saturday, April 5, 10 am-1 pm, $52 class/$52 private consultation
Instructor: Alisa Sloan, Cabana Reps, independent representative for emerging designers
Get a rare opportunity to spend time with someone who can help you sell your clothes. A sales representative’s job is to contact store buyers and find you new accounts. If you’ve never worked with one before, this class will teach you:
-- All about trade shows and how to attend as a buyer or seller.
-- All about showrooms and how to get your line into one.
-- What road repping is and how it works for you.
-- Where to find reps and how to select the right one.
-- How reps select a line. What they need from you. What you need from them.
-- What a typical contract should include -- and NOT include.
At the end of the class, you can sign up for a one-on-one consultation with Alisa. She'll review your clothing line, tell you how to prepare it for sale and how to position yourself for success. Consultations are limited to six appointments and are scheduled first come, first served.
Alisa Sloan was a fashion & lifestyle editor for 14 years, and during the last seven, she helmed online publications covering retail and fashion in Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, Chicago and Minneapolis. After leaving that job, a designer friend suggested she try repping. Cabana Reps was born. Her lines include Carolyn Hart, Hubris, Spun and Urban Lace -- all locally made.