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Tools of the Trade Course Descriptions

TOT 006 Tax Tips
Paying your taxes promptly is important. Fees and penalties add up quickly. That said, don’t pay more than you owe! The IRS allows special tax deductions for freelancers, the self-employed and business owners. Learn how to reduce your tax bill.

Tools of the Trade: Fashion Design

TOT 102 Assessing Your Market
The most important research that designers can do is assessing their potential market. Whether you are looking for your perfect product niche or analyzing competing collections, the market research you do positions your business for success.

TOT 103 Fabrics 101
Designing a collection starts with fabric knowledge. Learn how to identity different types of fabric, their uses and properties and how these effect your designs. A discussion of wholesale and retail fabric purchasing, fabric allocation and planning your sample fabric buy for your 1st prototypes.

TOT 104 Line Sheets, Look Books, and Sales Collateral
The most important aspect of establishing your brand is providing sales materials that convey the image you are trying to create. From line sheets to look books, this seminar will present strategies to increase sales while preventing unnecessary duplication of your valuable design concepts. From models and photographers to stylists and printers, we will provide an overview of the tools you need to create the branded image you want to achieve.

TOT 105 Finding the Right Supplier
Take advantage of all the new opportunities in sourcing and supply chain management available to the small designer. Representatives from the Garment Industry Development Corporation will review manufacturing opportunities and resources available from sampling through production. Global opportunities the Internet has made available to the small designer will be discussed.

TOT 106 Sales, Marketing, and PR
Score free publicity and get your product in the spotlight. From fashion editorials and the "what's hot" pages to morning television spots and celebrity endorsements, this seminar will show you where these opportunities are and how your company can benefit. Industry experts will teach you how to write press releases and how to send your product to editors.

TOT 107 A View from a Retail Buyer & Sales Rep
This seminar gives you the opportunity to hear about the fashion business from a Buyer's and Sales Rep's perspective. A discussion on how your product will be received at the two levels, insight into getting your product into a boutique and how to properly merchandise your line to get maximum sales using a sales rep.

TOT 108 Selling and Marketing Your Product Online
Today's fashion market strongly relies on the Internet. This seminar discusses the advantages of having your product available online and shows you how to get it there.

TOT 109 Pattern Making, Grading, and Sample Making
What really goes into the process of making a pattern, a sample, and marking and grading? Get firsthand advice from industry professionals to fully understand the steps to make your product come to life.

TOT 112 Selecting a Showroom
Finding the right showroom for your collection is a lot like Woody Allen’s line about dating: The showrooms you want to be with typically won’t have you. The best showrooms have an established retail clientele and a list of notable designers that cater to their customer’s needs. Understanding how to find the right showroom for your line is the first critical step. Becoming knowledgeable about showroom fees, including publicity and rack fees, will give you the tools to make the right choice. Finally, we will give you insight into marketing and presenting your collection to a showroom. Being in the right showroom is often the difference between success and failure for a collection.

TOT 113 Selecting a Trade Show
The question we hear most from designers is, "Should I do a trade show?” followed quickly by, “What show should we do?” With well over $7,000 at stake for a tiny booth at a large show it is a question that merits much consideration. This class helps break down the shows by market and locale they serve and helps you target shows by the types of retailers they attract. If you are going to spend the money to participate in a trade show, this class will give you the resources to make the correct choice.


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