“Movers and Shakers”…the story behind the label

 There was a young  woman who lived in her shoes.  She had so many pairs, she didn’t know what to do.   That is the story of many of our closets.  Shoes have gone from being a necessity to a statement.  They depict our personality.  Maybe you’re outgoing and spontaneous so your shoes are yellow, orange or bright red.  Perhaps you’re more reserved and your shoes are black and navy blue.  Either way, our clothes and shoes tell others a little about who we are. They also tell you about the people who made them.  Designers put their heart and souls into their designs.  The pieces they create tell stories about who they are and where they’re going.  There are two stories in a shoe, shirt, hat or any other article of clothing we wear.  The story of those who choose to wear them and the story of the people who created them.
 My story starts on the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  As a kid, I loved shoes.  They are my accessory of choice.  I never thought I had one shoe too many.  However, shoes designed for children just weren’t as exciting as shoes designed for adults.  I wanted to wear shoes like my mom.  Shoes that were stylish not strapped with velcro. That is why it is my mission to create shoes for children that make them feel stylish.  Shoes that bring out their personality. My portfolio ranges from the sporty kid to the trendy one. Kids should feel confident from head to toe and my focus is the toes. You can find samples from my portfolio at Designs By Alexandria Corneiroslideshow
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A friend of mine recently launched his own line. I had the privilege of speaking to him about what his journey has been like.  MAS (Movers and Shakers) Apparel was founded and created by A. R. Paterson. Like me, he is from St. Thomas the United States Virgin Island. He was raised in a single parent home and at an early age he learned the value of independence and hard work.  He worked all through high school.  After graduating high school, A.R. Paterson joined the military.  He allister clothesserved 7 years to include an 18 month tour in Korea and a deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom.   After the military, he was invited by a friend to travel to Las Vegas, Nevada and Hollywood, California where several friends were showcasing their own clothing lines.  Paterson spent the week indulging in the world of fashion.  He was inspired by their business prowess and style.  Then and there he conceptualized the name for his brand.  He called it “Movers and Shakers”.
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    Being a business owner is adventurous, scary and exciting all at the same time. It is definitely not for everyone. The time I decided to start this clothing line and the time I actually started it was less than a month. Once I made my mind to do it, I just mustered up the courage to do just that. Before I knew it, I was drawing up designs on sketch pads and creating ideas for t-shirts. The most difficult part of starting an apparel company was learning the jargon and keeping up with the new trends as well as learning the old ones. Another obstacle I had to quickly overcome was …myself. By nature I am usually not one to go out of my way and strike up conversations with strangers. As a business owner, networking is God. The people you know, meet, and affiliate with can either make or break your business. My advice to anyone thinking about starting a business is to keep in mind that when the business is yours, it’s always personal. Passion is great to have but do not let emotions force you to make bad business decisions. Also expect setbacks to happen but take the lesson and not the lost. In other words, learn from your good and bad mistakes. It will only better your business knowledge. Finally, learn your field. Become a sponge of knowledge and research research research.

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“Always Settle For More”- A.R. Paterson

allister musicA.R. also loves writing and creating music in his spare time.  He invested in building a studio in his home.  A place he refers to as his sanctuary.  There he records and produces music.  His driven personality has been an inspiration to me and other up and coming designers.  He is a creator with many layers all of which he expresses in the stitch of every hem or the fold in every pocket.  He notes Marc Ecko “Ecoko UNLTD“, Thomas R. Gillett-Spio “Ugly Duklyn” and Shanticleer Graham “Gaudy Apparel” as his inspiration. I look forward to hearing where A.R.’s journey takes him.  “Movers and Shakers” is currently working on creating a website so stay tuned for information on it.

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Faux Leather Faux Promotion! The Truth Behind Synthetic Leather

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Over the course of this blog I’ve spoken a lot about the business side of what I want to do and not a lot about the product I want to produce.  My goal is to launch my shoe line.  I’ve been considering the types of products I would use to create the shoes.  I would like to develop an eco-friendly shoe.  There are shoes made of animal byproducts and vegan shoes.  I decided to do some research on both.  Vegan shoes have been given notoriety for being more animal friendly but are they actually greener than shoes that are not?  Some have called that concept into question. The majority of the argument over ethical footwear centers on the use of leather. Some have argued that while synthetic leathers are animal friendly they are not in fact environmentally friendly and pose the same issues in production as that of real leather.

Synthetic leathers are often petroleum-based, and they also require toxic chemicals in production. Some faux leathers are even made of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, which contains phthalates, chemical additives linked to a variety of health problems.  Certain vegan leathers are cork- or kelp-based, and many mainstream leather alternatives are a blend of cotton and polyurethane. While polyurethane is far from eco-friendly, it’s less problematic than PVC. But the question over what material makes the greenest footwear is more complicated than whether natural or synthetic materials are used.  “Natural fibers and synthetics have their own problems,” Huantian Cao, a professor in the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies at the University of Delaware told Mother Jones.

Synthetic leather and leather both require the use of toxic chemicals to produce. Synthetic leather uses PVC. Real Leather is chemically treated so it won’t deteriorate over time. Hydrogen sulfide, ammonia and chromium are all chemicals used in the process.  These chemicals are carcinogenic in large amounts.  Leather production ranks in the top 10 toxic-pollution problems around the world.  There is another option of producing shoes that lowers the amount damage done to the environment.  Shoes can instead be produced using organic cotton and recycled materials.  Simple Shoes, Groundhog Shoes, El Naturalista, Ocean Minded and Soul Seekers Recycled are all companies that produce their shoes using recycled materials.  They use materials like bamboo, recycled car tires, wool, wood, biodegradable bags, cork and water-based adhesives.  Their shoes are all fantastic.  The global footwear industry is estimated to gross over $195 billion by 2015.  That means the sale of many shoes most of which are made from products harmful to the environment.  Personally, I think it is not only important for a shoe to be animal friendly but also environmentally friendly and I will focus my shoe line around that.

Here are some samples of amazing eco-friendly footwear:

Reference Article: Are Vegan Shoes Eco-friendly?
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Creative Thinking

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I’ve been looking for creative ways to enhance my portfolio. I have over a hundred shoe sketches. I don’t want to simply create a website and upload the images. I would prefer to create a video that I can carry with me to show people my deisgns. I think that would be more interesting and innovative. My project over the next two weeks is to create a video that displays my designs. I think something fast paced with upbeat music would be nice. The video below is a sample of something I would like to do. I’ll post my finish product on here. So, wish me luck! It’s time to do my creative thinking.

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Inside Scoop

Knowledge is power! I was always told that growing up and I have to agree. You can never have too much information. The more information you have the better decisions you will make. I found this great video from Stanford Business . The video consists of a panel of entrepreneurs that discuss things they learned while pursuing their goals. They provide a lot of great information. Knowledge is indeed power but wisdom is priceless.

The Tunnels of Information

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I went on a tour of the NY Times last week. During our walk through, our guide mentioned that annually he unsubscribes to everything he’s subscribed to and starts fresh. I thought this was a truly interesting concept. It’s a great way to empty your brain, dust off the cob webs and start new. Typically, we tend to get stuck in our routines. We gather information from the same sources which can act as a creative roadblock. This is something that happens in the business world as well. Maybe we’ve been advertising the same way for years or trying to establish our business through the same avenues. Perhaps we can flush out our business routine and try something we’ve never tried before. Social media is a great way to get your product out there. The web is always changing and people flock to new sites regularly. I found a great site DAILYTEKK that has a post on the top 100 websites and blogs of 2014. The idea is that of a billboard top 100. The site creator never puts a website on the list twice. Sites like DAILYTEKK show you what’s new in the web world. Trying new methods can help you extend your clientele. If you search through the tunnels of information on the web you’ll discover fresh and creative ways to promote your business.

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If You Build It They Will Come

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If you build it they will come. People perceive you off of how you perceive yourself first. The same goes for business. If you invest the time to make what you have for your business look as professional as possible people will be more likely to invest in it. Take the time to create professional labels for your products or business cards for your services. If you are a designer put together a nice portfolio. There are great tools out there that can take your portfolio to another level. You can take images of your designs and create an online portfolio. There are apps that can help you make amazing portfolios. If you would like to do it yourself and not rely on an app you can do that as well. I’ve attached a video below that shows you how to create a website or portfolio of your designs. It uses photoshop. Choosing that route will give you creative control over all the details.

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Boost Sales Become Vanna White

The Little Mermaid

Ursula The Sea Witch- The Little Mermaid

Say what you will about Ursula but the woman knew the power of word of mouth marketing.  She had costumers lined up because someone always knew someone who knew someone who had told them about her services.  Marketing your business is essential. You cannot reach the masses if you don’t market. This week I found an interesting way for small businesses to get their merchandise and services out there. Have you ever considered doing a showcase? A showcase allows you to set up a booth and market your business one on one with potential costumers. Showcasing in conjunction with a larger business guarantees that the traffic will be there as their costumers flow in and out throughout the day. This is great for people who have products they have developed or special services they provide. If you’re interested in doing a showcase contact some big name businesses and ask if they offer the opportunity for people to showcase. During my research, I found  that Sam’s Club  offers this type of opportunity. The video below is based on the showcasing they do and what you should consider if you’d like to participate. The key to getting your product out there is marketing, marketing and more marketing.  Never underestimate the power of word of mouth marketing.  Someone may know someone who knows someone who knows the right person that they just happened to have recommended your product to.  Ursula landed the kings daughter as a client which wasn’t too bad for business.

http://youtu.be/POOZ30N5RMA

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