Sunday, March 28, 2010

So overwhelmed.

To the left you can see my badge fashion market. I was so excited that I actually had a badge that said "buyer" on it that I snapped this picture on my phone and emailed it to my husband, Chris. But the badge is only the beginning - Christine and I spent 2 and a half long days walking the floors of "Market" as they so lovingly call it, and D&A, another trade show across the street.
We had a bit of a different agenda this time, we needed to write down what we actually wanted to order, so we could take that back home and figure out where we are with our initial budget. We had a few appointments with different vendors, but mostly we walked blindly into the showrooms and just had to wing it. We found a lot of great stuff , but not without major exhaustion as byproduct.
Imagine this - You decide to go shopping in a bustling shopping district, and you don't quite know what you want, so you stroll around from store to store for about 6-8 hours. By the end of the day your feet are aching, you are starving and you found a few things, but you wanted so much more. Then, take that experience and add a twist to it - you aren't just shopping for yourself, but you and 100 of your friends, who have about the same general style, but slightly different tastes. You need to make all of them happy in some way. Thankfully we were staying with our friends Steve and Julia, and they decided to have a homemade pizza party, the LA air was warm and inviting, and Steve mixed me a Jameson and gingerale the second we got home - we were more than well taken care of.
Although we felt a lot more experienced this time around - we are still learning how things work in this new world. While most people were excited to learn that our store was launching in the fall and gave us plenty of encouraging words - others wrote us off the second they realized our store wasn't a reality yet. Until our money is in their hands, they could care less about us. It took Christine and I a full day to figure out that the D&A trade show wasn't just the showrooms that were already in the New Mart building - that there was actually a "show" on one of the floors with several temporary booths. It sort of dawned on us that the showrooms are permanent fixtures of those buildings - yes, it seems obvious in hindsight :) . When we realized that was the case we couldn't remember what floor the show was on and we couldn't find it in the directory, so we were walking down 13 flights of stairs opening the door to each floor on the way. Seeing Christine do this threw me into hysterics and I felt like a giggling 12 year old as we took sidelong glances from the other adults.
All confusion and mayhem aside, we felt like we made some real progress in LA. By the last showroom visit we were talking about linesheets and deliveries, what we wanted to "write" for fall and what the items would look like "in production" - everything that seemed completely foreign to us 2 months ago. We are getting excited about what are store is going to look like and what is going to be in it. We can't wait to show you.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

“I have a old website, but I want a new one. Is there any option to sell off the pixels of the old one?"

A co-worker just shared this hilarious blog with me: Clients From Hell. Carly and I are in the middle of working with our graphics and web team and I am taking mental notes of what not to do to piss them off! We really like them and definitely don't want to be featured on this site!

Sorry we haven't updated since the weekend to tell you all about our adventures in Los Angeles. Hopefully we can find some time to do it soon, but things have been hectic! More soon, we promise!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Gettin' Reflective

Tonight, we head off to LA for 3 or 4 different trade shows. I have been feeling kind of reflective, so I thought it might be a good time for a diary entry of sorts. It is really hard to believe that Christine and I only just started to discuss this idea back in December. When we were interviewing for our SBA loan, one of the things they asked us was "When did you start thinking about starting this business?". When we told him "this last December" he looked shocked. "I thought you were going to tell me you had been thinking about this since college!" he said incredulously. I wasn't sure at the moment if that was helpful our hurtful to our situation. On the one hand, you would have to be pretty organized to have come this far in a few short months, on the other hand, I was worried that we would come of as rash and unstudied.
I have to admit, having done as much as we have in such a short amount of time is sometimes scary. Sometimes I feel like we are a "really rickety ship moving really fast" to use a favorite metaphor from my current work place. Did we really have enough time for research, planning, and thinking things through?
But in another way, I feel strong, and ready to charge ahead. I get that "Let's just do this" feeling and it is exciting! Did I ever think I would be here 6 months ago? No way! Now that we have found our graphic designer, and the team that is going to build our store for us, and we are running around to trade shows looking for content etc, all I can do is keep on it and try to do this right. I have a tendency to get stressed out and wake up in the middle of the night. How are we going to uh, ship things! and talk to customers when we're at our regular day jobs! Christine is good at balancing me out.She keeps reminding me that we don't have to do everything at once and be the best online store the day we open. We will get there.
I want to take a minute too to thank all of our family and friends who have been reading this blog and giving us the moral support we need.We couldn't do it without you and We love you!

Friday, March 12, 2010


While waiting for this excruciatingly long work day to end (a rainy one, no less!), I had some fun with this website and created the silly image you see above. Not-so-coincidentally, Carly and I are in the process of branding our business so I have this idea of logo and brand identity fresh on my mind today. As exciting as it is, it's also sprung a bit of an identity crisis on us! While we have lots of grand ideas about "who we are" as a company, we are now faced with the prospect of having to crystallize everything we stand for into one little graphic and a set of colors and fonts, and we are understandably having a lot of trouble picturing it. It can go in so many drastically differdirections! We'll be starting the process soon, though and are very excited to see what Fancy French Cologne is going to look like! If you have any fun logo ideas or suggestions, let us know. We'd love to hear what inspires you guys when it comes to graphic design.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Good thing we're so responsible!

Carly and I applied for our SBA loan today, and much to our surprise, we should know very soon if we qualify. And then we'll go to Vegas...muahahahah!

No, but seriously, we wouldn't even stand a chance at getting a loan if we weren't such responsible young people. Let's not count our chickens before they hatch, but I'd just like to take a moment to say "go us!" for not blowing our credit when we were younger and less responsible.

In the meantime, please keep your fingers crossed that the application is approved!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bedridden, but not bored

So, I've been bedridden for the last four days thanks to horrible back pain. As annoying as it is to be immobilized, it's given me some time to unwind and also peruse the Fall collections from fashion week on Here are some looks I've been very much enjoying from my bedside...

...long-sleeved dresses by Dries Van Noten...

...and bright tights by Gaultier.

Wish me well, friends!


Thursday, March 4, 2010


It's late. Carly and I have been sitting in front of this computer scratching our heads over government forms for hours. We finally figured it out, but honestly it has been immensely frustrating trying to navigate the various government/business/tax websites trying to figure out things like what the heck the difference is between FEIN and EIN (guess what--nothing!), and how we're supposed to fill out an application for an FEIN when they require you to already have one! Anyway, we figured it out. On top of that, we are overjoyed that our LLC paperwork has gone through and we are patting ourselves on the back for getting a few steps closer to being a legitimate business operation.

In more exciting news, we're getting ready to head down to southern California for the LA Fashion Market, Focus, D&A and Transit trade shows in a couple weeks! This time we are supposed to place some orders so we are cautiously trying to prep ourselves for that by asking questions, but at the same time trying not to come off as completely green. It is kind of a strange position to be in where you have the power (read:money) but you aren't really all that sure how to use it. You don't want to be taken advantage of in any way, but without much prior experience, how can you know for sure? OK, I guess we won't psych ourselves out before we even get there...but maybe on March 19th and 20th you can just send some good vibes our way - we will be navigating some interesting territory and we need all the nice thoughts we can get. If you don't believe in vibes you could bake us cookies or something. This is starting to make no sense. So tired. Enough for now...