Professional development center Fashion Business Inc. unveils their newly created collaborative resource blog this week providing business owners with the answers to some of the industry's most commonly asked questions. In addition to addressing inquiries this new online community will also allow members to network, share ideas and help each other.
The launch of the FBI's blog is hosted by Randa Allen, the outspoken founder of the contemporary line "Notice." Robin Cornwall's FBI Apparel Boot Camp was where Randa created her company's first business plan, then along with her husband Scott grew Notice, into a multi million dollar brand. "Randa's no nonsense, warm and witty personality gives the blog character," says FBI founder Frances Harder. "We want the blog to speak in a voice that is coming from someone who gets the up's and downs associated with this industry. "Since founding the FBI in 1999 it has become increasingly apparent that there is a real need for apparel business development. We receive an endless amount of emails from around the world, inquiring about where to go for help," says Harder. "The FBI has developed the right connections and consultants who are willing to give back and help answer these many inquiries. Many of our members have also walked the walk and can talk the talk to assist others," she explains.
With the blog's interactive format, readers can submit questions and topics which will later be discussed in daily postings by Randa and a host of other FBI consultants, contributors and blog readers. Topics range from debating business dilemmas such as choosing between a showroom and in house sales, to everyday matters like finding good suppliers and contractors.
"We want to focus on the questions we get asked all the time," says Harder. "Our blog is in essence an open forum for people to not only get ideas but share ideas as well. We created the FBI blog with the help of fashion business consultant Ralinda Harvey out of a demand to provide answers."
Blog writer and owner of the fashion business consultancy Gloss Marketing, Ralinda Harvey is charged with translating the Blog's content into an easy to read informative style, minus any intimidating industry jargon. "We don't want to overload our readers with newsletter style information," says Harvey. "We want the blog to address important issues but still be as enjoyable to read as any popular fashion magazine would be. The tone is like hearing a story as opposed to reading a book," she explains.
Some of the blog's first postings include an interview with the popular showroom owner Michael Cohen discussing his perspective on sales strategies for new designers. While another feature outlines tips on how to be successful at a trade show by Melanie Wood, the director of sales training for Advanstar the company which produces the MAGIC trade show.
"The blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional business advice but to help point designers in the right direction," Says Harder. "We want to serve as a resource giving business owners the tools that will allow them to better evaluate every day decisions. The FBI is nearly 10 years old and we have formed many lasting partners who love the industry and who are eager to give back and share their expertise. I am constantly amazed and rejuvenated by people who are willing to share their expertise."
The blog also includes illustrations from artist Ai Shimizu, recent Otis fashion design graduate and former intern for the FBI.
Daniel Scally is the FBI's IT specialist who besides assisting Ralinda in the creation of the blog was responsible for building the FBI's newly launched website.
Questions for blog's panel of experts can be emailed to blog @ fashionbizinc.org.
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