This week had me thinking a lot about business practices.
When I used to work in the fashion industry, there were things I wanted to change. One was chargebacks. They happen when a factory makes a mistake that costs the retailer money or time, so the factory covers the loss. In many cases, it cripples the factory. I'd sometimes defend the factory, and the VP I worked for thought I was too soft. When I left corporate fashion to start my own company, I knew we'd be different. I prefer a discussion instead, followed through with an action plan to perfect procedures.
With Elegantees, many small mistakes have happened over the years, but we'd eat the loss and move on. The biggest one was in 2020. We completed an order that ended up costing $15,000 to make. The final product was not sellable and the retailer rejected it. Things were difficult in Nepal with the pandemic that I didn't even mention the mistake to our sewing center. I thought that big loss would bankrupt us, but then God surprised us later that year. Do the right thing, and you'll be rewarded.
THIS WEEK'S MISTAKE
Titled “This Week's Mistake” because they happen that often. We're human!
So this week, our new dresses arrived from India. I tried on the sample (photo above) to build some hype for Wednesday's launch day. That's when I discovered the dress was the wrong size. My warehouse called me that same morning because some of the size XL dresses were weighing less than the Mediums. We had to halt the launch to start a full inspection, measuring each garment. 5% of the dresses needed resizing.
The sewing center in India and I had a productive conversation. We came up with a solid plan to improve accuracy and efficiency. As we look to the future with dreams for really big orders, this mixup became a fantastic strengthener.