Africa Fashion Guide
A social enterprise promoting sustainability within Africa's fashion and textile industry.



Business

February 13th, 2020

Want My African Supplier contact list? The Reason WHY I do NOT give this out

Firstly… let me talk fashion.

Fashion is a very competitive industry and African fashion being a niche where a lot of people hang out makes it uber competitive.

The competition can come across quite daunting but I want to encourage you to overlook those who see you as competition and instead seek those to collaborate with.

Think @Beyonce with @Adidas.

Rihanna with @Puma

Think @hm and their multiple designer colabs.

You see collaboration enhances creativity

It provides growth opportunity

It breeds more visibility

And creates for you new networks and audiences.

Those who seek to battle in competition will limit themselves in these areas.

Be Uniquely you.

Your audience will recognise and appreciate you for this

So … chose collaboration over competition for better business and relationships

This strangely is one of the reasons I do NOT give out my supplier list.

Okay.. so it’s not making huge sense for you. Stick with me and I will break it down.

A few weeks back I held a webinar regarding our annual Fashion Africa Sourcing Trips aka F.A.S.T.

During the webinar I was led to explain something that has come up often and I thought it is time I addressed it. The question of WHY I do NOT just give my list of suppliers to those who ask. AND trust me I am asked sooooo many times….

SO I will explain as for some it may be the elephant in the room here and I have shared this equally on a video on my youtube channel here (www.youtube.com/c/africafashionguide) and video is here

So here is the thing,

  1. IT IS ALREADY AVAILABLE FOR YOU!

seriously if i just wanted to make some quick money then I could be likely 10,000, 20,000 or 50,000GBP richer! Yes as much as that with my vast network, just by just selling my supplier contact list! And to be honest … real talk … there ARE a few agents and businesses who DO give a list away AND … hear this now…. they give them away for FREE! So you do not even need to pay to have such a list.

So why would I be charging you for information you can get free or find out yourself? The reality is those who want the list simply do not want to do the work to find the information for themselves. This is a reflection of the attitude of the business person.

Tough… I know but keep reading… I promise it will help you to grow your business in the right way.

 

2. THE LIST IS NOT EVEN ENOUGH.

Working in fashion has taught me that there is various conversations that need to be had between suppliers and manufacturers.

There is a language of fashion production that you need to know

Understanding the industry is necessary

African fashion business is totally about relationship building.

Those on my webinar gave these comments when I asked them what they would do if I gave them  my contact list…
oh … and note, they call me JB 🙂

20:06:15     From HL : call you
20:06:15     From AO’s iPhone : I have no clue where to start
20:06:35     From MC : propose a plan with the list and call you for questions and critique
20:06:39     From RB : I thought the same thing….Call JB
20:06:56     From iPhone : help!
20:07:13     From OS : confused.com
20:07:45     From RB : just cuz u give us contact doesn’t mean it would wk 4 us
20:08:17     From MC : it will work but we dint know the steps in between
20:08:34     From ND : I’d probably start placing orders without doing any research about the company 🙁
20:09:39     From OS  To  jacqueline shaw(privately) : what if you have gone for one of the trip and need a contact from another country with your guidance . will dis work
20:09:46     From RB : We need U JB….u got  the ROAD MAP

 

3. HAS THE LIST BEEN AUDITED AND VALIDATED? DO YOU KNOW HOW TO AUDIT AND VALIDATE SUPPLIERS?

Working in fashion must understand the importance of ethical fashion and knowing who made your clothes. So I break down on my youtube channel here why this is key for you to work with suppliers who are audited and or validated. Those who are reliable, professional and experienced with exporting and who can manage your production size and level of experience.

 

4. YOUR BUSINESS IS NOT READY FOR PRODUCTION.

Right now maybe you are yourself the “1:1 tailor by the roadside” as I call them, or you are working with one. You know the kind who are good at one pieces but cannot scale with you for bulk production.

Those who know me know that I give my supplier partner contacts and make connections between you and with them. The people who work with me on my 3 month F.A.B coaching or my 6 month Source Africa Mastery coaching program. They have gone through vigorous training with me, accessed my unique A.F.R.I.C.A. Roadmap blueprint training (via my online training SPARK) plus have community support in my membership club theFAMILY.

All the above equips you for the industry and the real life challenges that happen. To just give you a list is not serving you well and to be frank …

though YES it is giving you what you want…

BUT it is not giving you what you need.

AND you know who benefits?

ME…

As you have paid me for that list!

“But you charge us for your coaching and online training course Jacqueline” you ask… and yes I do.

I charge for knowledge share, for the training that equips designers and creatives with not just information, but the tools, the Systems, Structure and Support that will set you and your business up for life AND for Success.

So rather than a PDF list that will likely sit on your desktop once you realise you do not have the tools to execute what you need to with that list, I prepare you instead for success and results.

So if i gave you a list what is the first thing you will do?

Can you be assured that the suppliers on the list will be up to date, valid, validated, reliable?

Do you have the fashion knowledge and fashion vocabulary to deal with the conversations you need to have with them before working with them?

Look, I have way too much to share on this topic and a blog is not going to do it justice. Instead why not grab a cup of African tea, or African coffee, your frappa, your mocha… whatever you tend to drink and let me break things down over on my youtube video.

And of course may I ask once you are there, do subscribe and please do leave a comment as I would love to know your thoughts. Maybe you totally do not agree with my decision, maybe you think I am right but do comment and share.

See you over there

Jacqueline

Your African Fashion Business Coach





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