Family, Business and Love- Bye 2014, Hello 2015!

Aissata BA

Hello Babes,

Happy New Year!!! and a bit about me…

I hope y’ all enjoyed this holiday season with the ones you love. I remember how difficult was 2013. Now, 2014 was E V E R Y T H I N G for me. And, by everything I mean everything I could ever dreamed of, personally and professionally; yet everything I could have avoided if only the choice was mine but the higher power decides otherwise.

2014,

Family, the most important element of my life. It comes before play, before business, and many times before my own needs. We are a big family and we are very close to one another. I am in New York, they are in France. I have been away from them for so many years now, almost 9 and even if I see them once or twice a year, it is just not the same as spending all my french Sundays cooking, eating, playing or arguing with them all. The end of 2014 was a sad time for us. My family and I have experienced the loss of my dearest uncle gone too soon, in the most choking and unexpected way. I still don’t quite realize that, never will we see him again, entering my mom’s living room with his big smile or hilarious jokes. Peace be upon him! I will always love you my favorite uncle of all times! Another  strong remainders that our life, our bodies we live in, do not really belong to us. It is just borrowed for a time that really no one knows how long. This side note is not to make you sad, but rather, to share my feelings with you and remind you to know what really matter to you and to cherish it and be thankful for it while you can. Have a chance to say good-bye, or having time to do this or that…, is a myth because you will never know when it strikes. So let’s put aside differences if any and embrace each other, hoping and praying for health and a long life lived to its fullest extent.

Professionally, I have so much to be thankful for I don’t even know where to start. As overwhelmed as I was doing all this work for my brand Djeeg’n this year (designing, developing, sourcing, fitting, production, controlling, accounting, marketing, trade shows…) and managing my personal life at the same time, I am happy because I did and I am doing exactly what I want and the way I planned to do it (minus the obstacles…of course, lol). Obstacles that did not stopped me from moving forward, by the way, because, a Djeeg’n is a strong confident woman ,who knows what she wants and gets it. I still have a lot to accomplish but I can proudly say that I have reached, well… overreached my second business goal which was to have my clothing line bought and displayed on the floor of a few multi-brand stores (my first goal was simply to get started with my business – check!). The response from the market was much bigger than I was expecting. Orders kept on coming. Many up and coming or not so new designers are asking me how did I managed to wholesale my clothing line to stores with the very first collection that I presented to them?. In my industry it is believed that stores will first, look at your designs then follow you from afar for few seasons in order to be sure that you are capable of delivering orders before they actually purchase from you. That is because timelines between orders and deliveries usually take up to six months so stores don’t like to take the risk to work with new designers and risk not to be delivered on time or at all. Selling to stores, for new designers, is a real struggle specially with all these huge brands which are backed up with huge investments from banks and all, competing on the same level, same market and same price points and who, have economy of scale and can lower their costs because of the volume they produce.

Anyhow, that was not my experience. I must have done something good and different because the sales of my winter collection just kept on growing even after 2 of my stores closed without notice leaving me with extra inventory after I had already produced the garments for them. I was able to find new stores or I have been approached by new stores that took that extra inventory off my hand. This was a huge season for a start-up like mine. It was an amazing road with many conflicting feelings but I am agreeably surprised, happy and even more convinced that all it takes, is commitment and faith in oneself and god (if you are a believer) or the universe. We are women and we can get what we want with self-confidence.

For 2015, I plan on reaching my 3rd business goal which is to develop more into my online retail business. More freedom of styles for direct customers that are more willing to take risks in what they wear whereas stores can be picky and play safe because they are buying for others and are often times too scared to buy the wrong items, which can result in them only buying from safe and known brands. I will therefore lower my cost of production resulting in better and lower retail price for online customers. I am very excited!!!

In my personal life, I have made one with the man of my heart. He is the most loving and supporting individual. He has flaws, of course, lol he is a man 😉 but I love how he is kind, willing, strong, open-minded, helpful, focused on keeping his family happy and so much more. We have so many projects planned for our life. But first things first, 2015 will be about changes. Great changes, some of which we have already started and we are so excited about them all. Though, I will ask you to be patient with me because I am just not quite ready to share it all and I don’t have all the details yet. However, I promise, it is totally, absolutely, definitely worth the wait!

Thank you! To all of you babes who follow my blog and Djeeg’n, who read and like my sporadic blog posts, who dream, who love, who try, who are confident, fabulous and happy, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

May 2015 brings you most of what you have on your 2015 wish & new resolution lists with love, happiness, health, success and prosperity.

Best wishes.

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