Thursday, February 21, 2013

Recent Trends

Lots of recent trends in the bag market this year are bringing heritage style and design to the forefront of the market. Retailers cannot keep the vintage turn-of-the-century look in stock, and developers are clamoring for raw materials that inspire and dedicate to the theme and memory of such time-honored design.

Leather, waxed cotton, canvas, and wool felts are hugely popular and turning heads. Forged and antique hardware sets are making the rounds, as well as industrial stamped findings with special finishes. More and more capability is placed at the hands of young designers with the surge of inexpensive prototyping services available and the accessibility of technology in fabrication available to everyone.

Kickstarter is making an impact in our industry. This crowd-funding vehicle is spawning upstart companies everywhere, with a rapid development time and fun atmosphere. I encourage those looking for an organic way of funding your venture to look into this!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Early Spring!

The groundhog has spoken, and it looks like he feels an early spring will arrive this year. Great! I wonder what else that little ball of fur and teeth can predict? Maybe we should ask him the following:

Mr. Phil;

Can you please predict the outcome of tomorrow's Super Bowl? I would surely appreciate it if you could sway your decision in the favor of the 49ers. I might believe you more often if this one request came true. Oh, and perhaps I'll stop smoke bombing your buddies in my yard if you are right. But if you are wrong? Well, let's just say cousin Mike the Mole might be racing his little but towards a long sleep this spring.


In other news, I read this morning that some major retailers are shutting down stores across the country. I know this might sound odd, but I have never seen the need for so many redundant occurrences of these retail stalwarts anyway. I remember when I was a kid we had to drive to get to a specific store. There was usually only one or two in the whole region. Now, we have 2-3 Starbucks on just about every block, Office Depot's galore, and a host of others still haunting the hoods for that lone patron to appear. Best Buy scaled back too late, in my opinion because it lost any value to most of us. at my local store, the experience was poor, the staff discourteous, and the merchandise often being dismissed in exchange for a high price additional warranty. they should have just sold warranties, because that's about the only thing they provided with any effort.

It's time to scale back. Get these retailers to live within their means and tell stockholders that they aren't the only reason for existence. While shareholder value means continued investment, it shouldn't mean that the ultimate funding source, the consumer, should be punished.

Also today, the ILA strike looms again. Another extortion attempt with crippling effects. Sorry, but I have no sympathy for those port folks making in most cases over $70k a year and still complaining. That's ridiculous - You're making more than most teachers. Be thankful for what you have, and not greedy for what you want. You do realize that when you strike, shut down a port, and impede others ability to conduct commerce you further strangle those making less than you - those working for less at retail and in the service sector that rely on these goods to be delivered. Did it occur to you that leveraging them unwillingly might be a bit demonstrative?

I wonder what Phil might predict about the ILA strike? Let's ask him.