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Business Struggles Take Me Back To The Beginning

By February 23, 2016 My Posts No Comments

IMG_2050The first Monkey & Mum designer collection launched December last year, and as expected it brought a lot of hard work and a few revelations too.

Rather than beat around the bush, I’m just going to name the elephant in the room (excuse the safari euphemisms)… price.

While many of you were happy and able to purchase the new collections at the new prices, many of you simply couldn’t, and for this I apologise.

It’s become increasingly apparent to me that competing with big corporations (and even other creatives who see their designs as a hobby rather than a main source of income) is really bloody tough! What’s worse, many of the big corporations are drawing inspiration from us little guys and capitalising on today’s popular ‘handmade’ ‘boho’ look (Kmart with their ridiculously cheap woven plant holders springs to mind).

I don’t think it’s news to any of us that these guys very rarely manufacture ethically – they simply can’t! Don’t kid yourselves that the lower costs of living in other countries means t-shirts can retail for $6 here and someone in India is still being paid fairly (or working in safe conditions!), it’s simply not possible! Only a few weeks ago we saw another factory fire in Bangladesh – a factory that creates clothing for H&M and JC Penny. It was pure luck that the fire didn’t occur one hour later when the factory would have been filled with more than 6000 workers!

Needless to say the last couple of months have been an emotional rollercoaster for me. I’ve pondered the point of it all, and had moments of wanting to give it all up! I am happy to say that I have now hopped off this fear wrangling ride, and made a few necessary changes.

Give up Monkey & Mum? Who am I kidding?! I’ve powered through nearly six years of sleepless nights, no money, days without my children, and a lot of really hard work. I love design, and I love connecting with so many mothers.

Monkey & Mum began over 5 years ago!

I realised there was only one solution. I needed to bring prices down, plain and simple. I had to find a way to cut my overheads.

The first cost cut was thrown into my lap. Unrelated circumstances led me back home to work (my beautiful old building was being redeveloped) and this has actually come as a blessing in disguise. It’s an overhead I can happily scratch for now. Another big expense is the photo shoot, so I am doing my best to source student models and photographers to help me out with the next shoot.

Some things however, I’m unwilling to compromise on.

The pieces will still be created with organic cottons, designer prints, and custom printed with low impact water based dyes. Each piece will still be a one off style designed and handcrafted by me, and made in very limited runs.

With all this considered, I am doing my absolute best to try and keep the prices of the new collection between $70 and $100 (a 30% discount from where they are now) – to discount further would force me to compromise on my style and materials, and that’s something I simply can’t do.

So now that I’ve named the elephant, let it stomp around this page a bit and make us all feel uncomfortable (money, yuk!), I hope you’ll join me in focusing on all the good things that the new Modern Dove Collection has in store.

I’ll share a few snippets over the coming week, with the hope of releasing these babies by mid March.

My first little snippet is the super exciting news of a new product line! Check it out here.

Click here to find out how to win this one-of-a-kind piece from the upcoming Monkey & Mum Modern Dove Collection.