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LadyUmbrella

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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blind tiger collective

The Blind Tiger Collective is a really cool project spearheaded by Dualta Jones of Project A Apparel that is bringing together ten of Ireland’s finest indie brands to open a pop-up shop in Dublin in the run up to Christmas. They’ve written a really good press release, and it’s Saturday night, so I’m feeling lazy enough to just copy/paste that:

Hot on the tail of the collapse of the Celtic Tiger comes 10 Irish Designers as Blind Tiger Collective

The Blind Tiger Collective, a collection of 10 Irish clothing brands, are launching their pop-up shop on the 20th of December in the distinctive Dublin North Inner City.The pop-up will be open for 4 days until the 24th and will give customers a chance buy Irish this Christmas from independent designers.The collective consists of over 10 brands aiming to give the Irish shopper an opportunity to support their local designers and young businesses this Christmas and to do so with distinctive style and swagrrr.

The Blind Tiger Collective will spring to life on the 20th of December until the 24th at Little Green Gallery on Green Street and the temporary space will be retailing exclusive Irish Streetwear and accessories. In the run up to the launch, Dualta Jones, organiser of the event and co-owner of Project A Apparel decided he was tired of large foreign companies opening pop up stores to promote brands that were already saturating the market. He said “I decided that small Irish brands like my own need to come to together and help promote each other in a joint effort a stake a claim on our territory.”


There will be a wide variety of brands at the Blind Tiger Collective pop up like Turtlehead, Swallows and Daggers and LadyUmbrella, ranging from tattoo inspired hand drawn designs, skate apparel, street art and graffiti inspired work, showcasing the diversity of Irish design talent. A lot of the brands in the Blind Tiger Collective work on very limited print runs, some as low as 25 pieces, and when a design is finished its finished for good which guarantees exclusivity.

To celebrate the launch night and make the Blind Tiger pop up a bit more special, Galway based screen printer killertees.ie will be screen printing a unique “Blind Tiger Collective” tee. All good collectives need some good music and there will be a DJ for the launch as well as a range of free drinks to get the launch started. With a big push to buy Irish this Christmas and campaigns like “Irish Indie Xmas” getting a lot of attention maybe it’s time to forget the Celtic Tiger and listen to the roar of the Blind Tiger Collective.

“forget the Celtic Tiger and check out the swagrrr of the Blind Tiger Collective.” Follow the ambush at

Facebook : www.facebook.com/blindtigercollective
Twitter : twitter.com/weareblindtiger
Email : blindtigercollective@gmail.com

As you would imagine, I’m all for a project like this, and looking at the people that they’ve got involved it should be a big success as long as they can get enough people through the door. In the past I’ve made it clear that I have issues with the term pop-up shop, and I still do, but at least this seems to be a be an actual pop-up shop, as in a shop that will only be around for a couple of days, rather than when some fancy brand takes a corner of a hotel and calls it a pop-up shop.

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Sale on this week at Lady Umbrella

by Andy on May 31, 2011

ladyumbrella sale

Infographic says it all, but I’ll repeat it anyway. Use the coupon code WOW30 at the ladies-only t-shirt brand LadyUmbrella between now and June 6th and you will receive a whopping 30% off your order. Oooh, I’ve just realised I have extra information, if you buy a tee and a print you will receive a free notebook, they might as well just be giving his stuff away!

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30% off at LadyUmbrella until Monday

by Andy on November 24, 2010

LadyUmbrella Black Friday Coupon Code

LadyUmbrella aren’t actually going to start promoting this offer themselves until Friday, so you HYAers (and presumably Coty-ers and IATTers) can get the jump on their hardcore fans, which might be helpful since stock will likely go low at the weekend. Use the coupon code blackfriday30 to receive a saving of 30% on your order AND free shipping worldwide, good on them for making that worldwide, though as they’re Irish and Black Friday is strictly speaking an American thing, I suppose it makes sense. The offer is live until Monday.

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LadyUmbrella go bricks & mortar!

by Andy on June 22, 2010

Post image for LadyUmbrella go bricks & mortar!

Really big news from Ireland’s favourite women’s t-shirt store, they’ve gone and opened a store (as in one that people can visit in person rather than clicking on). From what I can tell they’ve got space in something called the Loft Market at the Powerscourt Centre in Dublin, which I assume to be a bunch of cool brands sharing space as part of a larger shopping centre, which seems like a pretty cool idea to me, almost like a stepping stone for brands that aren’t quite ready yet to have their own full shop. Still, it’s a big step for a brand that hasn’t been going for that long, LadyUmbrella really do seem to be going from strength to strength. They can be found there on Friday/Saturday/Sunday, I’ve never been to Ireland, but if I do, I’ll be sure to pop along.

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