Tuesday, April 21, 2015


I found this in an old textbook and I don't know the author...

Risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.  He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but hs simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love..live.  Chained by his certitudes, he is a slave, he has forfeited freedom.  Only a person who risks is free.

Wow. Well said. What do you have to risk?

Photo by Tara, Bologna, Italy

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Night Owl?

There has been a lot of articles online recently about whether being a night owl or a morning lark is better?  

There are apparently two types of people.   I am obviously a night owl.  I went to bed at 11:30 pm, read TMZ.com, Quora.com and the DailyMail, (a garbage newspaper out of the U.K.)  None of the above was very interesting except the article about Kim Kardashian and how she got her photo cut out of a Jewish newspaper because she is a female, so by 1:00 am I started reading a novel written by a famous chef.   It was interesting for about an hour, then I turned the lights off.  Sleep still eludes me.

Sometimes I like to sketch handbags in the middle of the night but only if I am getting paid for it.   The benefit of being a night owl is that sometimes that is when I am the most creative.   The downside is that I miss out on morning meetings.  I don't take any meetings before 10:00 am.  Unless like this morning I had to take the pug in to get his maleness removed and they wanted him there by 8:00 am.

Years ago I had a corporate job in Los Angeles that the boss wanted everyone there at 7:30 am.   I was the in house designer and lived about a 45 minute commute away.   I think I came in the office one or two times at 7:30 am.  I usually got there around 8:30 am.  He never fired me, I was there for almost three years, then I left for another opportunity.   I have never been let go for not being on time. When you design and sell bags for a living you are allowed a little leeway.  I am not a surgeon or a bus driver.  I can work at 2 am dealing with China if I need to.
There are benefits to being a morning person.  You can sit in rush hour traffic and drink coffee at 7:00 am and you get to be in line at Starbucks with all the other people.  You can also be the only one at the 6:00 am fitness class.  Big deal.  I don't feel like I am missing out because I can't get my cardio in at dawn.

It is nice that employers are now starting to be flexible.  Not everyone is a morning person and if their brains are not working at the crack of dawn why would you want them at their desk?

Flextime is the best invention.  Allowing employees to work from home once or twice a week is awesome.  Who wants to sit in traffic 2 or 3 hours a day?   I have a friend in Los Angeles that said her commute is 3 hours per day, just to get to her desk by a certain time in the morning.   If she had flextime her commute could be cut in half.

Its almost 3:00 am here.  I am not sure when I will fall asleep but its great that my first client meeting is not until late morning.   I will always be an owl.

Note:  Please excuse the typos - its 3:00 am here!


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

What Is Your Personal Brand?

A Great Personal Brand is Vital to Your Career Success! 

A strong personal brand will bring you new opportunities.   What is a personal brand?  A personal brand is a strong image of what you stand for and what you communicate to the outside world.   A great personal brand increases your ability to make things happen for yourself and your business.

For your personal brand there are 5 Important Things You Need:

1.  Social Media:  Make sure you have a Linkedin.com profile.  After that make sure you are on social media that is important to your type of business.   Facebook and Twitter are super for entrepreneurs in specific categories.  For creative types like Fashion, Pinterest and Instagram are vital.   You don't need to be on every type of social media.  Research what social media outlets are the most important for your field and then be active on those sites.  Choose a professional photo, not an avatar and use the same photo across all your social media sites.

2.  Fashionable Modern Wardrobe:   You are not going to stand out if you are still wearing the same suit since 2005.   First impressions are formed in seconds.   If you lack personal style and hate shopping seek outside help.   Major department stores like Nordstrom provide personal shoppers at no additional cost.   A personal shopper can help you evaluate your career and lifestyle to choose the right wardrobe updates.   Your clothing should reflect where you are going and who you want to be. Look at it as an investment in your brand, YOU.  Take time to get your hair done professionally.  A greasy bun is not exactly professional.  On a budget?  Check your local mall. You can also find cute updated pieces at The Limited or other mall shops.  You don't have to spend a fortune to look like you are working in 2015.

3.  Mission Statement:  Create a personal mission statement.  Who you are and what you have to offer to your target audience.  For example:  "I am an experienced fashion accessories designer and business consultant who helps new fashion companies launch their brands.   You can use this mission statement on your LinkedIn profile and on your social media bio page.    It may take a few tries to get it right. Show it to a mentor to get feedback before you post it online.

4.  Cool Office:  Keep your office professional and include your professional awards and certificates. Avoid too many cute photos of your children or dog.  First impressions count and that extends to your professional space as well.  People visiting your office or cubicle should feel comfortable but not like they are stepping into your living room.  Tip:  Leave the drunk bikini photos from your trip to Cabo on your fridge at home.

Leave the drunk vacay photos on the fridge! 

5.   Be Professional.   Have you heard of the 80/20 rule?  Use this at work as well.  Be 80% professional and 20% personal.  Co-workers and clients want to get to know the real you, but they don't need a play by play of your stomach flu over the weekend.  A quick recap of the awesome Thai restaurant you went to for dinner last night is great.  Keep in professional and your clients and co-workers will respect and relate to you at the same time.  The time to tell about your bad date with the guy from match.com is with your BFF at happy hour, not at the office.  Trust me.

80/20 Rule:  Do talk about the great Sushi place you found over the weekend. (Not your blind date from hell!)

P.S. I follow most of these tips, but sometimes I get bored with using the same headshot for all my social media pages so once in a while you might see a pug for my avatar.  (Hey, I named my fashion brand after my pug, so I can get away with it.)   Hope you enjoyed reading! Come back for more soon.


Design & Consulting
Sauvage Private Label LLC

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Millennial Traits & Fashion Branding/Marketing

Millennials, also referred to as Generation Y are the largest generation in the USA and will out pace baby boomers in spending $200 Billion by 2017.   As a fashion brand how do you cater and target this group?  You must first know who they are and what is important to them. 

What is a Millennial?
  •      80 million in the USA
  •      Born between 1980-2000 (approximate)
  •      Largest generation in the USA

     What are some of their Traits?        

They Love Technology:  They adopt technology quickly and expect it to work.  They grew up with technology and digital devices on a daily basis and most of them sleep with their phone!

Overall the millennial don’t watch too much TV and they like to text.  They all have cell phones and almost half of them do not own a land line phone.

They use a mobile device to research for shopping and check reviews.  Product reviews are important.  They use their mobile devices for everything from researching product features to donating to charity using their phones.  

They are very Social and love Groupthink:   Millennials are a very social generation in person and online.

They tend to do things in groups and seek opinions of others.  They enjoy giving feedback and reviews on products and services online.

They share their daily lives such as what they eat, drink and purchase online and this includes and affects brands. (Instagram, YouTube, etc.)

In marketing they want to interact and have a say about brands and products.  New brands must incorporate social media platforms to reach this consumer.  

They Crave Adventure:  Millennials like adventure and enjoy shopping and consumer experiences that are fun and interactive.  They care more about experiences then spending a lot of money on one item.  For example, they would rather take a trip to South America instead of buying a new sofa for their living room.

They like to travel abroad and try new things, such as exotic foods and cultures even if it’s just the new Thai restaurant across town.  Brands should be innovative in their online and in store shopping experiences.

Corporate Social Responsibility:

Millennials care about values and corporate social responsibility more than previous generations.  They care more about political and ethical issues.  Companies can incorporate this into their marketing and business models.  Brands that give back to their communities are popular with Millennials.   For example, Tom's Shoes One for One program has been a giant success!  

New brands should include in their business plan ways to give back to their communities whether it is supporting the local Pug Rescue Foundation or donating to clean up trash on the beach..giving back is valuable to these young savvy customers! 

Pug Rescue Foundation

Need help with marketing to reach this vibrant generation?  Email us at roccodante@gmail.com

Monday, March 16, 2015

Need Help with An Apparel Design Idea? Check out Human B!

This past two weeks I have gotten several requests for help with apparel design or referrals for pattern makers.    I have worked in apparel but it is not my specialty.  However, the awesome news is I work closely with an amazing designer and apparel business consultant based out the the Garment District in New York City.    His name is Boaz David and he runs Human B.

He can help a new designer start their design from first sketch through to pattern making and production.   For more details check out his website at www.humanb.com  

Boaz and his team help emerging designers to start and grow their fashion brand, as well as design, develop and produce their product.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact him and I am sure he can lead you in the right direction for your apparel startup!

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