Have you ever tried searching for the term ‘clothing’ on google?
Image via misfitzcarnival.com
Personal Branding is not a choice for entrepreneurs. It’s the story you tell to help drive awareness for your business. I try to be reminded of this fact while reluctant to assign a budget to a photoshoot for myself. After making a few attempts at squeezing my thighs into pants, it was clear that the closet fairy shrunk my clothes and shopping for my new size was inevitable.
LORD + TAYLOR
Before the pandemic, brick and mortar stores were fighting to keep afloat as they battled with eCommerce and the shift of customers’ behaviour. Lord & Taylor, one of the most iconic retail companies from NYC, was the latest to announce bankruptcy. After being in operations for close to two centuries, they announced a liquidation sale, via email, in August. I jumped on the opportunity to access high-end brands within the eCommerce space.
Eight years ago, I finished the book Delivering Happiness, and I went straight to Zappos.com to experience the story told by its author and CEO, Tony Hsieh. At the time, I didn’t have the budget to buy anything, but somehow, I landed on their discount retail division 6pm.com. It’s an online version to the sale rack. Since then, it’s been the only place I can find stylish shoes that fit my freakishly large feet.
LOCAL RETAIL STORES
Image via jksignaturestyles.com
The first time I saw J&K Signature was in a mall. It felt like the hip version of Janouras. I’ve walked in a few times, but I never managed to see anything I liked. Regardless, after many failed attempts to find a local equivalent to Express.com, I defaulted to their website. I bought a dress that I’m not sure I love, but I wanted to include a local element.
Have you ever tried searching for the term ‘clothing’ on google? Open a new tab and try it now, I’ll wait.
SEARCHING FOR NEW BRANDS
Dependent on your search history (and browser), the algorithm determines what shows up on the first page. If you try ‘Clothing Trinidad’ you are guaranteed to find something with Glam in the URL. It’s an odd trend in the cosmetic space that I discovered in a previous blog about the Makeup Industry.
I tried using the search term ‘Corporate Wear’, and Janouras was among the websites. Unfortunately, I prefer not to look like my grandmother in the 60s, so that wasn’t an option. The results on the first page were businesses offering uniforms and bulk purchases.
Instagram seems to be the popular choice for local designers such as Christan Boucard, Jangelique and Adrian Foster. Their content includes photos from Carnival Monday Wear, clients wearing their clothes at events pre-COVID19 and face masks for sale. There is no brand voice.
CAN SOMEONE CLOTH ME?
Caribbean entrepreneurs in the creative industry treat their business like an all-inclusive fete. Only a select few know of their existence, and you must know somebody to get in. It’s cultural and not accessible to a global audience. Heck, it’s difficult for someone who lives here to navigate!
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