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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.

Tools of the Trade: Export

TOT 205 Help from Government and Private Programs
This course is an introduction to the variety of export assistance policies, programs, and initiatives available to help you effectively market your fashion apparel and accessories. Explore the various export promotion strategies organized by the U.S. government, New York State, and New York City as well as private sector initiatives.

TOT 206 International Logistics
International logistics--the organized movement of goods, services, and people across countries--is explored. Participants survey international infrastructure challenges in the global environment, freight costs of on ground, ocean, and air transportation systems, and strategies for supply chain efficiency.

TOT 207 International Trade Finance
This course introduces the basic strategic legal considerations for entering new markets. Learn to read key contracts, become familiar with the principal standard rules, terms, documents and laws that apply to international transactions, understand the rules for letters of credit, the use of pro forma invoices and purchase orders, and the legal issues related to bills of lading. Learn how to register and defend intellectual property rights in an international context.

TOT 208 International Fashion Law
This course introduces the basic strategic legal considerations for entering new markets. Learn to read key contracts, become familiar with the principal standard rules, terms, documents and laws that apply to international transactions, understand the rules for letters of credit, the use of pro forma invoices and purchase orders, and the legal issues related to bills of lading. Learn how to register and defend intellectual property rights in an international context.

TOT 209 Global Market Research
Understanding the market dynamics, risks, and comparative opportunities in a given market or region is vitally important to business success. These sessions will help you identify key types of information, utilize a variety of readily available data sources, and conduct a comparative analysis to reach sound business decisions.

TOT 210 Product and Pricing Strategies for Global Markets
In this two-session course you will learn how the “product component model” can guide you in product strategy, better understand quality issues and brand performance in global markets and explore approaches to international pricing.

TOT 211 Promotion and Distribution in Global Markets

Learn how to effectively communicate your brand message to international markets via advertising, direct marketing, social media, and public relations with an eye toward cultural differences. Learn how to develop distribution channels and manage distribution relationships in international markets.

TOT 212 Export Documentation and Classification
This two-session workshop introduces the import and export regulations enforced by the U.S. Customs Service including ECCN (Export Control Classification Number) and HTSUS (Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S.) and export documentation. Don’t let the paper work hold you back!

Tools of the Trade: Finanace

TOT 300 Introduction to Finance
You have or want to start your own business but you don’t know a thing about finance? Like many entrepreneurs you’ve got great ideas but just don’t know how to make the money work. In this introductory course you’ll learn the basic concepts and the difference between business and personal finances, why “cash is king “and tools for budgeting and goal setting. This course is designed for creatively minded individuals without a background in business or finance.

TOT 301 Basics of Financial Statement
Thinking that three sheets is a mismatched set destined for the clearance table at Century 21 rather than the elements of good financial reporting? Then this class is for you. This two session course will introduce the concepts of financial statements and their importance to building your business.

TOT 303 Product Design and Budgets
Is your passion is for product and not numbers? Are you on the creative side of the business? Need to be able to talk the talk to retailers so they can sell your products? Well, then you’re in the right place! In this course you’ll learn about the numbers from a retailer’s perspective. Discover how speaking in numbers with the correct fashion industry terminology-- critical concepts such as pre/in/post season planning processes, OTB (Open to Buy), gross margin, markup, markdowns, and sell through-- improves your budgeting and decision-making.

TOT 305 Introduction to Pricing Strategy
“You paid what for that? Seriously?” Understanding pricing strategy is the gateway to finding out why some retailers can charge $400 for a tee shirt while others are selling three for $10.00. In this course you’ll learn what pricing strategy is right for you as you enter the marketplace; how to determine the price is for your products; the vocabulary of pricing; brand values and market positioning for pricing; and the basic psychology of pricing and value.

TOT 309 Selling Into Retail
The retail channel is complex with many buyers and sellers competing for business. Selling your product to buyers is just the starting point. In this course you’ll learn how to create and interpret fundamental retail metrics; the stages of sell through and related markdowns; critical concepts such as gross margin, markup, markdowns, and gross margin return on investment (GMROI).

TOT 310 Brand, Customer, Segmenting, and Pricing
Connecting brand, pricing strategy and the customer’s “reason to buy” is the quintessential key to robust sales. Understanding who you’re selling to, what they buy and why they buy is elemental to a great pricing strategy and profitability. In this course you’ll learn how to create brand value to support your pricing strategy; customer segmentation; communicating brand value using FAB’s (features, advantages & benefits) and connecting pricing strategy, brand, value and sales. Knowing when “the price is right” will maximize your profits while creating a solid and adoring core audience for your products.


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