1. Establishing ARCH as a brand is hard work.
2. Selling ARCH Footwear is very hard work.
3. Realizing that ARCH is a brand that creates other opportunities… LIGHT BULB!
I knew when I started ARCH I was taking on the impossible. I also knew when I helped another footwear company launch and that company earned a 50,000 Miller Coors Grant and has gone on to hobknob with millionaires, that I was missing some vital elements in my own company. It wasn’t until I began analyzing all aspects of my business that I realized I had something very unique.
Most new companies are attempting to build things for people who creating web based businesses (blogs, websites, content providers). There is a big part of the population being overlooked and that is where a company like Maker’s Row has filled a very big need.
The part of the population being overlooked are those people who want to make something. You get an idea, and you’ve drawn out sketches and you know what you want, but you don’t know where to make it. Maker’s Row is a great place to start. I realized about a month and a half ago that my consulting service on CBP provided an incredible opportunity for people just starting out to talk with someone who has launched a product. Not until I began work with a peer at Cowork Memphis did I realize the potential for what I could really do.
I’m starting to think that my real business with ARCH is not the production of my own footwear and apparel, but the manufacturing and development of new brands. Maybe, just maybe, that million dollar idea is not for me, but it’s for someone else and I become a facilitator in the process of helping others get there. I think I’m okay with that. Several times I’ve discussed the end of ARCH. I am now discussing the evolution of ARCH. Here is the story.
My peer at Cowork Memphis asked me several questions about manufacturing. She had a lot of ideas, but wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. Instead of paying for a 1 hour consulting session. She parlayed her management of Cowork to cover those fees. She allowed a friend of my who had created a network event based on my book One Hour To Wealth to use the space on a Sunday afternoon. Although I wouldn’t be paid for the hour consultation, or the speaking engagement, I helped two distinct businesses set up first time events. The network event and what derived from the consultation.
What exactly did my peer want? She wasn’t sure, so the first 5 minutes we talked about each idea an wrote them down. We did applied a number of importance to each idea: 5 minutes. We did analyzed how each idea could be accomplished and realized that certain ideas would be very long term. She finally settled on a need she saw in Women’s Apparel. She didn’t have a name or a concept, but she had already done her research and realized that there was a very simple solution to a problem all women shared. We took about 10 minutes and tossed around names and jokingly I took her idea and played around with a few sketches and while I thought the name was a joke, she loved it. 4. was born. We did a bit more research for the last 30 minutes and she confirmed that she wanted to manufacture her apparel. That night, I contacted my manufacturer for ARCH. We worked out terms for microproduction (making samples and small runs of products – any product not just clothing) and she gave me prices. It took about three days and we submitted the funds to make samples. The samples arrived one week later. 4. created a sizing list and sent directions for her first product. She was able to create a limited run to test her market. I’m writing this and she doesn’t even know her product is in.
Oh before I end this, she paid Fiverr for a logo. She did not pay me for a logo design and I’m not a designer, but look at this mess they sent.
Needless to say, I couldn’t allow this to happen. What I do know about marketing is that simple logos are lasting logos. This was too busy and looked like it was more of an Asian Touring company logo than a Women’s Apparel Company. I took those sketches I worked on with her during the session and revised the logo. The outcome was bolder and stronger. It also delivered her message. It only took me a few minutes using Publisher and then a photo editing software, but I think her revised logo is a much better representation of her brand. What is more important is that the logo I created can be generated in any color without losing any of it’s clarity or changing the logo. That kind of stuff is important.
I was so excited at the end result, that I knew immediately this was something special. What was a 1 hour consultation, a free 1 hour consultation, has potentially turned into a money maker and business for her. I’m writing this for two reasons.
1. Sometimes creating something isn’t necessarily for your benefit and that’s okay. I’ve worked at ARCH for six years. It has never gotten the type of coverage of the shoe brand I helped to create product for that earned the grants and entrepreneur funding I talked about above. Although I’ve sold shoes and built the company on my own, that hasn’t worked out for me. What it did give me is a ridiculous amount of knowledge about starting a clothing line and launching it. It taught me how to develop a website and try various marketing techniques, which I can’t say didn’t work. I’ve sold over 600 pair of shoes! That’s incredible for a brand with zero coverage on sneaker websites. I now have a “particular” skillset.
2. I’d love to capture lighting in a bottle and work with more people. Will it cost you? Of course, but in the end the final product will be worth it. One thing I forgot to add was that the whole process took almost 350 emails to complete. Which means that I don’t have to be in your city to help you out. Oh I also forgot to show you the new logo, although you can kind of see it in the pics above. It’s pretty dope and much better than the one she paid for.
Drop me a line if you want to Schedule A Session.