Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Fashion Forward

Leggings in my boutique

I'm always trying to keep my inventory and business model up-to-date. My shop has always been evolving. I opened my eBay account originally to sell my artwork. At the time I worked as a graphic designer and illustrator for a publishing company and also freelanced as a writer for local magazines and publications. When I was pregnant with my oldest son my husband was in a near-fatal work accident and became disabled. He was out of work for months on disability and I was trying anything I could think of to make extra cash.

Artwork, as it turned out, didn't sell well on eBay but once I had children I realized kid's clothes did sell well. My daughter in particular had a fabulous wardrobe and I could often make a profit on clothes she'd worn and outgrown simply by combining pieces into really appealing outfits. That's when I was bitten by the design bug and started to think about creating my own fashions.

I found toys were popular, especially vintage toys and dolls. I began to explore doll making and restoration and started my Mandaline Artful Living blog. That's when my sales really took off and I began to have a presence as a brand. Five years ago I officially opened an eBay store called Atelier Mandaline. An Etsy store followed, then a Young Living distribution shop, then a Facebook shop and a Poshmark boutique, and now my website, which ties all the "Mandaline" stores together in one place. 

While dolls and doll supplies and kids' clothes are still my focus, I recently branched out into women's fashion. If you read my last post you know I have been trying really hard to allow a recent difficult life change to spark positive transformation for me. I've lost about 12 pounds in the past couple months and hope to lose a lot more. My wardrobe has been truly stagnant for years now. An embarrassing amount of the clothes in my closet are at least 10 years old and pretty much all my outfits are Mom-style sweatpants and leggings and ratty shirts or things my mother or sisters passed down to me that aren't my style or don't really fit. I decided to motivate myself by filling my Poshmark boutique with stylish new fashions to motivate me to stay on my diet. It's working, because I can already wear some of the new stuff and I'm sorely tempted to keep them for myself! I selected the hottest trends for fall, according to eBay: leggings in tie dyed, tribal, Nordic, native, and floral prints, chunky poncho sweaters, and super-soft tunic tops. The leggings and ponchos are one size fits most and the tops come in size small through large. In most cases I have only one of each color or size.  If you are new to Poshmark you can sign up with code STUDIOMANDALINE for a $5 credit. I'm trying a few pieces out on eBay too.

I hope my fashion experiment has positive results, because I spent a hefty chunk of change on new inventory!  I want to bring a new facet to my brand while keeping my traditional customers happy. I have to say, I absolutely love selling wholesale stuff! It's so easy and fun, and while I love designing and creating my own stuff, I really struggle to find the time to keep adequate inventory in the stores when I make or restore it myself. If the pieces in the boutique do well look for even more adult's fashions. You can link to all my shops from ateliermandaline.com.

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