Vintage Clothing Trading

Vintage Clothing Trading

If my daughter and her friends are anything to go by, vintage clothing is in vogue at the moment. A combination of environmental concern and the desire to have something you won’t find on the High Street is leading many young people to seek out vintage items. It seems to me that there is money to be made here.

One persons old tat is another persons vintage. By scouring charity shops and jumble sales for bargains, cleaning them up and then selling them on via eBay or  a concession in an existing shop, it should be possible to make some interesting profits.

The key here is that you need to have an eye for fashion and  a firm idea what’s likely to appeal to vintage clothes lovers. Not one for me then, but certainly an opportunity for the right person.

Green Weddings

It’s no secret that ‘green’, eco friendly products and services are popular at the moment, and often command a premium price.  And it seems that weddings aren’t exempt from the trend.  Some recent research revealed that two thirds of brides-to-be are keen that some part of their wedding be green. So could this be a profitable niche within the lucrative wedding market?

In the United States, we found at least one website (www.greenbrideguide.com) which caters for eco friendly couples, and I see no reason why this couldn’t be duplicated here in the UK. If you’re looking to get a slice of the huge £20,000+ spent on the average UK wedding, and want to avoid hordes of direct competition, this could be a good opportunity to do it.

The Kids Spa

It’s no secret that little girls want to copy their mums, and that’s the basis of the business set up by Ayanna Williams near to Buffalo, Canada.

Candyland Spa is a spa set up exclusively to pamper children. Treatments include chocolate facials and banana pedicures and because everything is for decorative or entertainment purposes, there are no special licences required to run the business. The company started out in the basement of a house, progressed to running mobile parties, and eventually ended up in High Street premises.

There are two things to take from this. Perhaps you could start and operate a similar business here in the UK. It seems perfect for any reasonably affluent area. If you don’t fancy that, how about giving some thought to the overall principle…what other ‘adult only services might it be possible to convert into a child-focussed spin off version?

Make One Like It!

Make One Like It!

Have you ever had a favourite item of clothing which wore out and you wanted to buy another, exactly the same?  If you have, the chances are that you couldn’t get one.  Styles and stock change, and unless it’s an iconic style of jeans, your favourite item will have been replaced by something not quite the same. So imagine if there was somewhere you could go where they would replicate your item exactly. You’d have to pay a premium price of course, but it would be worth it to get what you really wanted.

Could there be an opening for someone to provide a bespoke service like this in the UK? Certainly there are plenty of skilled seamstresses and tailors available both here and in the Far East, where prices are very reasonable. The job for the UK based entrepreneur would be one of marketing and co-ordination rather than anything technical. ‘You Bring It, We Make It’ could be your advertising promise.

Who’s The Daddy?

I’m not sure I like this one, but what do I know?

Robert Nickell had the idea for DaddyScrubs while his wife was choosing a scrub gown for the delivery of their son. He felt left out and wanted something special for himself as a soon-to-be Dad. And so he designed a series of scrub gowns with ‘Daddy on the Front’ and ‘I’m The Daddy’ on the back. The range of products was subsequently extended to include baseball hats and T shirts.

DaddyScrubs is apparently doing big business in Hollywood, so perhaps something similar might work in areas where people have more money than sense here in the UK! Alternatively, how about designing a range of ‘That’s what you think.” T shirts for friends of the new ‘dad’? That WAS a joke!

Clothes On Tour

Here’s a strange thing…a company at the top end of a market, adapting an idea from the bottom end, and making it work.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept of the one day sale. A company hire a hall or empty shop unit and hold a one day sale of sports goods, leather goods, jewellery, furniture or something else. These sales almost always operate at the lower end of the market. The key selling point is that this stuff is dirt cheap and it won’t be here tomorrow.

Clemens en August do something remarkably similar, but at the other end of the market. They are a high end Munich based fashion retailer, but their clothes aren’t available in shops or online. Instead, each season they travel to international cities, selling their collections in contemporary art galleries for only three days at a time. This tour system allows the company to  cut out the retail margin, and the selling point is very similar – this is very attractively priced, and if you don’t buy today, it won’t be here tomorrow. Exclusivity is added into the mix. The concept has been dubbed ‘clothes on tour’.

It’s an interesting concept isn’t it, and I’m sure it’s something that could be applied to other markets. Remember the key factors – a time-limited opportunity to buy an exclusive product at an attractive price. Here today, but gone tomorrow.

Heating Tips & Tactics

The Heating Helpline at www.heatinghelpline.org.uk is offering some money-saving tips.

If you have less than 10cm of insulation in your loft you’ll be wasting energy. Top the insulation up to 27cm and you could save around £150 a year.

Since the 1930s, most houses have been built with an air cavity between two outer walls. If you get this gap filled with insulating foam you could save well over £150 on your heating bills.

Floorboards lose a lot of heat – insulation seal between the gaps can save you about £25 per year.

Insulate your hot water cylinder. Fitting a jacket at least 75mm thick costs very little and you could save more than £50 each year. Lagging all your hot water pipes could also save you over £25 a year.

Badly fitted doors and windows mean avoidable heat loss. Draught-proofing doors and windows by sealing gaps will help you save energy.

Unused fireplaces are one of the biggest causes of lost heat. If you’re not using your chimney but don’t want to board it up try a chimney balloon – they’re easy to inflate and last for years.

There is a free helpline at 0800 810 8303 or you can go to www.heatinghelpline.org.uk.

Butlers Trousers

In the 19th Century, Butlers would often ‘break in’ their masters trousers for them so that they would never be seen wearing new trousers – and therefore never face the allegation that they were Nouveau Riche. That’s the inspiration behind ‘Butler Jeans’ an initiative developed by French fashion label APC.

If you have an old pair of APC Jeans, you can take them into the store and part exchange them for a brand new pair. Apparently, many customers prefer the ‘well worn look’ and so the company make any necessary repairs to the jeans, add the original owners initials and then sell them as Butlers Jeans.

The company benefit in a number of ways:

  1. They are more likely to sell new jeans because of the trade-in element.
  2. They have a new product range – Butlers Jeans
  3. It gets people talking – excellent PR.

Is there an opportunity to apply this idea to other businesses? I’m sure that there is. Might there be something in your product range which you could ‘buy back’ from your customer and garner the same benefits outlined above?