Getting Started in Fashion Design

The runway, cameras, models and lights are enough to intoxicate anyone. But, fashion is about more than being part of the latest trendy fashion show. It’s about putting great ideas on people. The fashion industry has many jobs and many levels. For example, there’s the latest hot Italian designer and there the designer who sells out by moving clothes to the local budget-friendly department store.Getting your foot in the fashion door can be a challenging task, especially if your goal is to be a fashion designer. You can help your cause greatly by creating designs to show off. This applies even if you’re looking to get into a design school. While you can go the traditional paper and pencil route, there’s a plethora of software out there that can make the job easier and help you improve your designs.You want your portfolio to look like you, not a cheap copy of whatever is hot at the time. It should show that you have the ability to understand colors, know how to solve fashion problems and display your textile knowledge.Here’s a great fashion business tip. When you’re just starting out, focus on one thing and knock it out of the park. I think what trips up many would-be designers is they try to create entire clothing lines from the start. Do you know who Ralph Lauren is (I hope so)? Guess what. Mr. Lauren got his start by doing just ties, that’s it. So yes, you can start very small and become an icon who’s designs are seen around the world.In case you’re looking to go the fashion school route, be patient. Remember, in this industry, you’ll have to pay your dues to move up. If a really solid internship opens up, grab it. Yes, it’s not going to pay anything, but the experience you’ll get and the connections you could make might be priceless.And if you’re not going to school or have been to school already, look to purchase some good supplies, such as design software and get to creating. You’ll need to be good at marketing yourself to move forward.Lastly, let me leave you with some ideas to get started. One way to improve your chances of success in any industry is to specialize in something. Fashion is no different (again, think of Ralph Lauren). Here are some ideas for specialization: children’s clothing, costume design, footwear, lingerie, sportswear, men’s items (ties, suits, polos, etc), swimwear, uniforms, women’s wear (dresses, suits, etc).You can succeed. Just put in the effort and maximize every opportunity that comes your way.

Think You’re Well Educated? Alfie Kohn’s Myths About the Purpose of Education Dispelled

So how were you educated? Did you endure tests? Grades? Lessons? For shame! Those backwards concepts are catamount to child abuse! It never ceases to amaze me that Alfie Kohn’s writings still get attention, years after No Child Left Behind’s implementation. Often his writings show up in college education programs as if they are the gospel. Kohn is known for taking extreme stances on education issues and he’s well known for arguing the very purposes of schooling, grading, and merit pay. Kohn has a way of making talked-about issues even more talked about. For example, lots of experts banter on about the issues of standardized testing in schools. Kohn turns the issue on its side by questioning the presence of grading systems at all. He relentlessly shapes issues in a way that causes experts to pause from the normal course of intellectual deb to look at educational issues in ways they have not been looked at before.Myth: Vocational education is a waste.
Kohn maintains that it isn’t the school’s place to train students for their future jobs. The reality is that many students stay in school because they see a connection between their futures and their educations. Two-thirds of all high school students attempt college or university, but only one-fifth of students end up with a four-year degree. Nowadays, a university education is a huge financial burden to take on without knowing what the return on one’s investment is going to be.Myth: Schools are too much like businesses.
Kohn finds fault with the accountability movement’s premises that competition among schools will lead to eventually better quality education for young people. Kohn argues that schools lack a worthy purpose. He lashes out against the memorization of facts. His solution? “To be well educated, then, is to have the desire as well as the means to make sure that learning never ends.” Ok, I get that Mr. Kohn, I really do. He calls for universities to get more involved in education reform. Good stuff.Myth: Schools overemphasize achievement.
This is Kohn’s pill that I can’t swallow. Kohn writes that authentic learning is stifled by pushing students to excel according to grades, especially standardized testing. He doesn’t agree with the SAT. He attacks grade inflation and even teacher praise of students in general.Kohn is to educational reform what Malcolm X was for the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. That is, as far as reform goes, they both were important propelling sources who affected the mainstream way of thinking but were not always accepted by the mainstream. I appreciate Kohn’s brilliance, but only in a wow-that-makes-you-think kind of way. Yes, too much of our financial and human resources seem to be devoted to educational reform policies that blow with the political winds, seemingly in a different direction each election. Kohn may be the Gargamel of public education, but his arguments are important because us educational smurfs come up with the best potions under pressure.

What Influences the Purchase Price of a Business For Sale for the Buyer?

In order to realistically bridge the gap between the expectation that a business owner has with respect to the selling price of their business to the expectation that a buyer has, a business owner should see a deal through the eyes of the purchaser. A business sale is essentially an exercise of competing perceptions. The perceptions arise when the opposing parties have differing views on how exactly value is defined. This article will explore some drivers that affect the pricing decisions of a business buyer.Buyers calculate payback
The buyer of a small business will look at the purchase price and then do a calculation based on their compensation, debt servicing and overall return on investment. Often this is the key driver for a pricing decision and less effort is spent on irrational motivations such as emotions.Purchasers have a fear sentiment to deal with
Buyers of small businesses do content with their fear of entering into a business and assuming debt and risk. This overall sense of fear is a keen motivator (or de-motivator) for many prospective buyers. It may be easy for a seller to say “don’t worry” but for a buyer being asked to put their nest egg on the line, it is not so easy. Hence, buyers are constantly motivated to push a purchase price down to account for the fear factor.Steep learning-curve for new business owners
A business buyer will have more of a learning-curve than an established owner, obviously. They will need to get to know the customers, systems, staff quirks and may lose some business due to this or unfaithful customers. The first year in the business may not be as successful as that of the current owner. Because of this, a buyer may adjust their purchase price downward to reflect a softer first year in operation.Perception is everything
A seller of a business may over-inflate the value of their business, especially if they have owned it for a long time or if they are the founders. A seller will often see a low selling price as a reflection of their worth, not necessarily that that is where the market is. A buyer will see a company through a more sober lense so a difference in value may arise.Reliability of financial information
If there are many adjustments to a financial statements, such as add-backs for non-business, discretionary expenses, then a buyer may have less faith in the numbers. A general rule of thumb is that the more adjustments needed to the accountant prepared figures means less overall confidence in their credibility. If you own a business try to run your business so that the accountant-prepared books are a true representation of the economic reality.Whether you are a buyer or a seller, the key is to understand that buying a business, unlike most other transactions, can be a process full of emotions and misunderstood perceptions. Try to understand where the other party is coming from in order to come to a mutually agreeable position. Work with a local business broker and experienced deal attorney and accountant to guide you through the process.