A lot of people approach us with questions on how we do what we do. How we patented our product. How we make this or that, how we find manufacturing, how we turn my crazy concepts into actual goods… and I am going to share with you some cool things about how we turn our crazy ideas into sellable items. It has taken years of trial and error to figure out what NOT to do. I am sure there will still be lessons on this in our future. That being said, as a creative person- its cool to see an idea you have in your head turn into an item that thousands of people buy and love! Our Tigerlily Interchangeable Sandal is our baby. It is our most obsessed about idea and the business that we spend the most time in. It is also the hardest one to manage, considering all the thousands of items you can accessorize with it. Considering it is really an empty vessel, anything goes as far as the pieces and parts that can be made to personalize it. We have sports themed bling, to fancy fleur de lis, to crosses, flowers, bugs, sea life, you name it. You can see how a thing like this can get out of hand really fast. I also want to give all our fans all the things their hearts desire! (as far as our Tigerlily's go) So, I create, and create, and create some more.
Nowadays I have a system that works for us. For our bling, I first draw a sketch of what I want. Sometimes I do this at 2:00AM, so it perfectly (not really) resembles what it is that I am looking for. Then I send that to one of our interchangeable bling manufacturers. Next, they make a metal mold or cast that I either approve or not (my designs don't always translate perfectly). The last step is choosing the stone color and the metal color. They plate the metal and then add the bling bling with our choice of stone color. When we first got started with the sandal company, it took us 22 months of back and fourth to get a sellable sample. Now I can have a sellable sample within a week or two. That is quite a change from the beginning. With our amazing technology and our education in this business, we can get things done so much faster. Thank goodness for that!
A lot of people have amazing ideas. They just do not know how or what to do next! I was also in that same position many years ago. I actually stopped and started the process of turning my idea into a product many times. We were busy trying to build a life, start our family, and we just didn't have the knowledge or the financing to do it all. So we started small, and figured it out along the way. It took years to go from the idea - to an actual sellable product. We also made a TON of mistakes along the way. I spoke about that briefly on my last blog. Failure after failure, but I wouldn't give up, I do not believe in giving up… it is not in my DNA. I am half asian, so you know how tough those asians can be! (lol)
If only I could go into the way back time machine and know all that we know now!! Imagine that? I know we all would like to know then what we know now. What would you all do different? I am not sure that I would do too many things different since those awful experiences taught us humility and definitely made us much better business people than we used to be. The best advice I could give my younger self would be to not let my big ole ego get in my way and find a mentor. Someone who has done what you want to do, or who knows more than you and learn everything you possibly can from them.
There is a very lengthy process to all this. It is a lot more involved than most people think! However now that we already have all of our contacts and manufacturers in place, it is much simpler. This took years of trial and error and went from terrible to amazing suppliers that we trust and do a lot of business with. I personally do all the designing, sourcing of textiles, importing, and most of the dealings with our manufacturers and suppliers. This ranges from packaging to the actual goods to even the crystals that go into all of our bling. Once you have everything in place and learn all this, you are set to create to your hearts content!
We meet a ton of fabulous people along the way with amazing ideas that were once where we were, and need help. I wish we had someone to help us years ago. It would have saved us from a lot of very expensive mistakes. We realized we needed to share this with people, and we would love to hear from you. If you have some amazing ideas and would like help turning them into a reality, let us know. We would love to help you!