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lady umbrella

Life Offline for Online Brands (Part Two)

by LadyUmbrella on December 15, 2011

LadyUmbrella at the Pop Up Style Swap Shop

Andy: Here’s part two of Rob from LadyUmbrella’s column about ways that t-shirt brands that are more used to online business can extend themselves in the real world.

Something to try look out for in the offline world of t-shirts is pop up shops.. I don’t know how it is in your town but right now Ireland is thriving with pop up shops..The idea of a pop up shop is simple – a group of brands or retailers team up together, pool resources and acquire a premises for a very short term let.. All the brands involved then work together to promote the life out of the pop up shop and they can be quite beneficial.. We’ve done a few pop ups in the past and I’m currently working on another one, The Blind Tiger Collective, which hopefully might become a more long term thing..And, therein lies the other advantage of doing pop ups..You get to meet lots of other brands in your area and I’ll tell you what, when you put a bunch of motivated dreamers together ideas can flow..

Another avenue for an offline t-shirt life is doing fairs..Now, these can be hit and miss, some of them might be good for your brand and some just might not work..We’ve done a few of them in the past and have sold in random places like Microsoft and a hospital here in Dublin, as well as in pubs and festivals – not all of them were homeruns but they were all enjoyable..And they do spur your on to “double down” your efforts, both online and offline..

The other thing I really like about the t-shirt life offline is that it gives you great online fodder like this video or the picture below to the right.

Elena Selling in Microsoft

Every event you attend will give you a photo opp to showcase your t-shirts – like the picture from Project 51 above..It’ll give you something to let your facebook/twitter friends and followers know about which will ultimately feed into you online activities.. Also, attending offline events should go some way to help build up the “trust factor” for potential online customers..I don’t know about you but I’m still apprehensive about buying online and so it’s logical to assume that some potential customers might also be..Now, if these potential customers see that you’ve been doing X, Y and Z and realise that you’re not some dodgy site your chances of getting a sale have just shot up dramatically.. Or, that’s my take on it anyway..

And so, to conclude, if things aren’t going as swimmingly as you want online don’t box yourself into maniacal tweeting (believe me, I’ve done it) but take a step back and see if there is anything that can be done offline.. There are lots of options out there like pop up shops, fairs and wholesale deals and by just partaking in them, even if they aren’t homeruns, you’ll get a renewed umph and motivation to push on and keep going.. And, ultimately, I think that pushing on is what is vital – nothing happens overnight ..Maybe a little flirt with life offline might give you the pep in the step you need to keep going until you get to where you want to go..

Anyway, thank you for reading and I want to hear your thoughts..Are you at times fed up with online life too? Have you been a part of any offline events? If so, any do’s or don’ts to share? (Um, that could be another blog post maybe if anyone is interested?) Speak freely…Ole!

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Life Offline for Online T-Shirt Brands (Part One)

by LadyUmbrella on December 12, 2011

LadyUmbrella in Project 51 Pop Up Shop

So, first things first, I better briefly introduce myself, I’m Rob from LadyUmbrella, a ladies t-shirt company based in Ireland..Andy, from this globally renowned site HYA asked me to write a blog post about our offline life and I’m all to happy to oblige..Now, that concludes the intro, lets get to the meat and potatoes…

Now, I think we’ll all be in agreement when I say selling t-shirts online isn’t easy! God, how I wish it was but the reality is that it isn’t easy.. I have embraced the grind with LadyUmbrella, facebooking daily and tweeting til my fingers bleed..Putting in the hard yards to try get a slice out of the online t-shirt sales pie..No doubt, we’ve been fortunate enough to get a taste and in no way am I saying that being a social media soldier won’t give you some joy but lots of times it is joyless..Perhaps it’s just me or maybe you feel it too – when you put in a truckload of effort into online promotion and see very little coming back..It can suck the life out of you and get you down..And, at times like these it is useful to consider leading a “double life” and trying to get some action offline via wholesale deals, fairs and pop up shops..

Now, I think we’ll all be in agreement when I say selling t-shirts offline isn’t easy! Sound familiar? And, whilst it isn’t easy there can be more joy to it..The reason for this is the interaction, the human interaction, the face to face stuff that gets lost in the 140 character online melee, is refreshing and can be invigorating.. When you can see the happiness people derive from your designs as the try them on and buy them it really gives you a shot in the arm – especially compared to tweeting to, at times, an empty room..

So, now, how to try find retail deals or fairs or pop ups.. One thing I’ve done to try find wholesale deals is to ask our facebook/twitter friends if they know of any shops in their area that might be interested in stocking our brand..This has yielded some leads for us and is worth giving a shot..Another way to try get some wholesale business is to step away from the computer for a bit and, with t-shirts and products in hand, call in to whatever shop you want to try get stocked in and sweet talk as best you can..Now, this approach won’t work for big shops as you’ll have to go through the “proper buying channels” but for independent boutiques and the likes where the buyer is the person behind the counter (or in the back room) you just might get some important face time to make your pitch.. Important thing here is to make sure you know your numbers – how many of each style can you sell and at what price? will you give a discount over a certain amount? do you give credit? what payment terms will you accept? By knowing your numbers you’ll be able show that, whilst you just came in off the street, you’re not a mickey mouse outfit.. Obviously, make sure to have a business card or lookbook or something to leave with the shop owner if they express an interest – or a notepad to jot down their order ;)

Andy: Thanks for Rob for putting together this advice column, the second half will be posted later in the week.

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seibei grab bag promo

Had a great weekend in Brussels, but the t-shirt world continues to turn in spite of my absense (shocking, right?) and I got sent a lot of e-mails about deals over the weekend, so instead of eeking them out over the day I’m just doing one megapost stuffed with enough deals to keep your wallet happy.

First deal is the Seibei grab bag promo, $13 for a random tee in your size and some other goodies, and if you order before July 9th you’ll be entered into a competition to win a hand-painted firgurine which David sculpted and cast himself, so it’s an unusual (one of a kind?) competition prize. Nice!


All tees from the wonderfully named Dripping In Fat are £10 for the summer, or at least until 1st September, I’m not sure if that’s officially the end of summer but that’s when this offer will be ending.


French streetwear brand Stereo Panda have got a big sale going on with up to 70% off some products. They usually aren’t the cheapest of brands so this is a good opportunity to pick them up on the cheap.


To be completely honest Parrotghost don’t sell my style of tee, but maybe they’re right up your alley, and they’re celebrating their relaunch with a buy one get one free offer from now until July 4th.


LTD Tee have got another box set on sale for $26.99 from now until July 4th, but you can get 15% off that price with the coupon code hideyourarms


One of the newer advertisers on HYA, Summerjunk, are offering a free ‘swan’ tee with every purchase on their site, pretty cool, huh? The deal will br running for about a month, and details are here.


LadyUmbrella are another tee company getting in on World Cup tee fever. They’re offering 25% off everything in their store (and free shipping!) as long as Spain are in the World Cup with the coupon code fiesta25. They’re playing Portugal tonight, and whilst I feel like they have the edge you never know, so this coupon might be expiring pretty soon!


Fancy an Urban Outiftters coupon code? I thought you might. Use the code SUMMER15 to get 15% off at Urban Outiftters from now until July 5th, there’s quite a lot of restrictions on the code, but if you’re buying clothing from them (online), then the code should work. As you can tell from the grpaihc they’ve also got a sale going on, though I don’t think that sale items can have the 15% coupon code applied to them. Still, cheaper clothes!


3 tee for $33 at The Onion’s Store, a pretty sweet deal if you ask me. Use the coupon code 3FOR33 to receive the discount.

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LadyUmbrella Bingo & Sale

From right damn now all tees at Irish tee company LadyUmbrella have got €5 off, making them €24.99 (including free shipping worldwide)… but that probably isn’t good enough for you lot, so you can knock another 15% off by going to their Facebook Fan Page, clicking on the 15% off tab, and signing up for the newsletter. The sale will be going on until May 1st, and all orders will be included in their Bonus Batch Bingo promotion. Quelle est Bonus Batch Bingo? Well, all their tees will be printed with a unique numerical hang tag, on May 1st a a number will be drawn, and whoever has that number on their tee will wins a t-shirt of their choice from the LadyUmbrella catalogue. They’re hoping to do the bingo every month, so there’s a nice little incentive to push you over the edge into making an order.

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lady umbrella coupon code

At the time of writing Lady Umbrella, a new Irish t-shirt company for the fairer sex that I’ve been meaning to write about for ages, weren’t too far off hitting their goal of 3,333 Facebook fans, the trigger point for the 1/3rd off sale. So, if that’s the case, visit their Facebook page and there may be a nice coupon code waiting for you, or become a fan and help get that sale going.

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That title is ridiculously long, if I’m going to keep doing these deal posts I’m going to have to work out a different way of doing the titles.

FULLB_rainbowroad

10% off everything at Fullbleed for the rest of the month.

GetHip

Snakes & Suits released a new line fairly recently, and now you can get 20% off it, and anything else in their store, by using the coupon code HOLIDAY2009.

holiday_sale

Some tees for $15-18, wallets for $30 at Resist Today, and there’s a free tote bag for every order over $50.

shop_banner_2

For the rest of the month get 20% off at Skilla Fashion with the coupon code SKTHANKS.

Emptees

LadyUmbrella aren’t quite ready for the spotlight yet (they haven’t opened their store), but they do have a cool tee (women’s sizes only) that is discounted for pre-sale.

Hoodies for Women at hoodiepeople.com - Womens Hoodies - Girls Hoodies - Hoody - Hoodie - Women's Urban, Streetwear, Surf, Skate, Designer Hoodies (hoody) and Sweatshirts_1260535188800

25% off everything that isn’t already discounted at hoodiepeople.com with the coupon code newsletter.

Imperfect Articles - Store_1260535984389

Free shipping (internationally too!) at Imperfect Articles until December 20th.

oms11

You guys are smart so I’m sure you’ll be able to manage the French in this post, especially since Grafitee are giving away 25 shirts.

bernos-free-shipping

Free shipping at Bernos for the rest of the month.

bandeau_noel

All tees €20 at French label Dandycore.

Print Brigade — Home_1260536793588

20% off from now until Christmas with the coupon code xmas at Print Brigade.

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