Monday, January 30, 2012

Setting and Reaching Goals

I have always been a goal oriented person. It is just how I get things that I want. Remember back when I wanted to sell 1000 bags in a year? Boy that seems like a long time ago! After I surpassed 3000 in a year, I pretty much quit counting bags and started setting financial goals. I was telling a girlfriend the other day how I look at my sales from the past year and think, "How can I turn that $25,000 account into a $30,000 account?". She laughed because as a successful business person, she has never had to do that. And here I thought everybody did that! When failure isn't an option, I feel like I always have to be on my toes and planning for the future.
Honestly, I look at things like that and for example if I want to increase my sales to one of my stores by $5000 for the year, I break it down into what it means for me as far as productivity. Since there are 52 weeks in a year, I figure that I would need to increase my sales by about $100 per week to achieve that particular goal. I then look at the type of bags that I sell to that particular account and figure out how many bags that translates into. It may mean developing a new design that will sell better in a particular location. Or concentrating on bags that require less time to produce since I haven't yet figured out how to extract extra time out of a day. (still working on that one).
Looking back on life, I recall planning for family vacations a year in advance so that we would have the funds to cover hotel, gas, food and fun. Other things in life I really don't like to plan too far in advance. If I have to make an appointment for something a week from now like getting my hair cut, it stresses me out. I don't like having to be someplace at a particular time when I don't know what next week will bring. But when it comes to $$$, I like to plan. That is why I am having a sale in my Etsy store for the next 7 hours. I have monthly goals that I would like to achieve in my own retail sales and this month is nearly over with me being SO close to my monthly goal! So I am giving a 25% discount to all of my facebook friends and fans when they use a code. It will put me over my goal and be a nice "mahalo" to all of my customers. I may be utilizing this sale technique throughout the year when I have a goal I need to reach. So be on the look out towards the end of each month to see what I am offering.
I have lots of goals. Some are business related, others are health and fitness related and some are just related to being a good person. Will I reach them all? Probably not all of them. But one thing is certain. Without setting goals I wouldn't achieve any of them. So as I embark on a new year, I am setting goals and dreaming big.
How about you? Do goals keep you focused? Have you thought about goals you may have for this year? All my best to you.
a hui hou

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Don't Shoot the Messenger!

The Messenger bag has been on my "to do" list for a very long time. Back in September a customer put in a special request for a Sasaki Bags Messenger tote. Life got in the way for a few months and thankfully this customer from New Zealand was very patient! (thanks Ann!). Finally I was able to focus my attention to designing this bag and I am thrilled with how it turned out. It is roomy enough for a laptop computer or all of your campus books. It has an adjustable pocket with a buckle inside to secure your computer or tablet and it even has a hidden zipper in the flap!
I included an exterior pocket to slip her cell phone into and added a zip top and buckles for extra security!
I seem to have been inspired lately to finish projects and allow myself to be creative with making new designs. It feels pretty good!
I have SO MANY ideas....Who knows what I will come up with next? Stay tuned!
a hui hou

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Burlap Purse with ruffles

I love contrast! This week burlap and ruffles were my contrast of choice. It is just a little bit "unexpected", and I like that! This week I was finishing up my inventory for taxes and was digging through this one big ole bin that is marked "Bags in Progress". I put things in there that I start and for some reason never get around to finishing! There are straps without bags, bags, without straps, linings without bags and bags without linings. One of the things I came across was some Amy Butler fabric that I had sewn into long strips to try out a new pattern (last year!). The strips were to become ruffles.
Well, I decided to get in touch with my inner "girly girl" and apply some of those colorful ruffles to a Kealakekua style hobo bag. I liked it so much that I decided to keep the bag for myself...because, a girl can never have too many Sasaki Bags! (shameless self promotion!) Actually I made some design changes to this bag, besides the ruffled addition, and I want to test drive it to see if the stress points have been eliminated and how it wears. If all goes well, I will be making more of these fun colorful bags. I have about 100 yards of Amy Butler fabric that I hope to use up this year and can already imagine some of the great color combos to use on more ruffles. I better get started!
a hui hou

iPad Fever

Sasaki Bags is now offering iPad bags and sleeves. It seems that everyone and their cousin now own an iPad! Even me! (Thank you MM!) So while some of you on the mainland may be suffering from cabin fever as the first big snowfall of the year has finally hit, I am here on the Big Island with iPad Fever! Beware! It just may be highly contagious! I started making iPad bags and I just can't seem to quit! One of the things that I love is that the burlap ones are very unisex. MM is comfortable packing one around without feeling like an "aunty".
Then once I got on the roll, I had a free, creative day that I tackled some of my obis and resurrected them into iPad shoulder bags. They are all silk on the exterior with a punch of color in the center. I took mine on a buying trip to Honolulu last week and loved all the compliments I received. I also liked that with the extra pocket, I was able to use it as a purse when we went out to dinner and I wanted something dressier than the burlap tote I had taken on the trip.
Speaking of my buying trip...
Today I am expecting the delivery of about 400 yards of fabric that I purchased from my wholesalers on Oahu. I stocked up on thread for the year, bought a new foot for Consuelo that is making life easier, and found some new bamboo handles to apply to new bags. It was a lot to squeeze into 2 days but I got so much accomplished that it made me feel pretty darn good!
I purchased some new fabric that I am excited to put into circulation. I am hoping to release it to my Waikiki locations to see what kind of buzz it stirs up with all our island visitors. Stay tuned for that!
So that about catches me up on the year so far. Sewing, shopping, and spending. Not a bad way to start off a new year!
a hui hou