6 Months In...
This past weekend marked 6 months since I launched Studio 128, so I figured on this rainy, gloomy day it was time to sit down and start writing my first blog post.
First off, I have to say thank you to all of the customers, friends, and family who have been so supportive over the last 6 months. I couldn't have come this far without the continued encouragement from all of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you! And a special thank you to my husband, Derek for being supportive and a great sounding board! I still distinctly remember that Saturday morning in January after a fun and challenging workout at Chaise Fitness in Madison. During my 10 minute drive home, the idea came into my head. I immediately walked into my kitchen and said to my husband, "I have a great business idea!" and got to work.
I immediately started researching brands, gathering contacts and sending out what felt like hundreds of emails. When I get an idea in my head, I go full steam ahead and I was so determined and passionate about executing this. I guess that's what 16 years of working at Goldman Sachs will do to you! Within 2 weeks, I had a business account set up and appointments at Coterie in NYC. It was my first trade show and probably the biggest one out there, covering all women's fashion, not just activewear. To be honest, I was overwhelmed, but excited. I met some amazing contacts during this event, secured agreements with several major brands, and had fun during every chaotic second.
The next few months were full of challenges. I now had accounts with a few high quality brands (and got shot down by a few others), but still needed to build a website, figure out shipping, packaging, marketing, and.....social media. I started researching every aspect of the business. When I got estimates on having my website built, I was blown away by the cost, so I decided to build it myself. I spent my free hours while my 3 kiddos were at school, building it, tweaking it, and making it look exactly how I wanted it.
Social media was a whole other animal. Of course, I had a FB account but my posts consisted of family vacation photos. I had an instagram account, but barely used it. I didn't even know how to post.....and forget about the story feature! I decided to reach out to the experts on this one....so I pulled in my 18 year old niece who was in her first year of college in NYC. Over dinner in the city, she filled me in on it all.....stories, hashtags, tagging, locations, etc....And thank you to my sister who helped me come up with catchy content when I just couldn't come up with anything!
Finally, we were ready for our go-live.
On launch date, the orders starting flowing in. With the website up and running, I started reaching out to local studios to inquire about setting up pop-up shops. There were so many studio owners that were (and continue to be) so supportive. A special shout-out to Claudia at Chaise Fitness who has been so encouraging! (if you live in the Morris county area-check out her studio!) I've also held many private events that are a great way to really connect with customers. And that's what I've enjoyed the most; learning so much about my customers. Now I know who loves a high waisted legging, who ONLY wears a black legging and who won't wear stripes (you would be surprised at how flattering they can look!). The results have been better than I could have imagined. There have been a lot of long days and late nights but it's been a lot of fun too. I have learned so much about the retail and activewear business and have made some great connections and met so many incredible women that continue to inspire me to pursue my goals. And seeing women around town, wearing their orders from Studio 128, hearing about the compliments they get on their outfits, makes it all worth-while.
It's been a great experience and I'm looking forward to the continued success of Studio 128. Look out for new blog posts featuring bestsellers, new brands, fashion and fitness trends, and a whole lot more!