When I started out I wanted all my designs to be 100% Australian-made as well as designed… A feat easier said than done in today’s economy.
On the one hand I had people confirming to me that my idea was one that would be very much welcomed and to “go for it” (please note that the same people are not investing in the production of my designs so it’s a nice theoretical “go for it”), but then on the other hand I have evidence of consumers not willing to pay Australian-made prices. I believe that, in theory, people would like to support local – but when it comes down to it most people are mindful of their household budget and feel less guilty about luxury purchases like shoes if they don’t cost over $200. The reality is that it costs four times more to manufacture here than it does to do so overseas (including shipping it here!! How crazy is that!).
I want to share my designs, I want to provide high quality 100% comfortable leather shoes, and I want to make sure my customers are receiving great value for money BUT I also want my new business to survive AND I want to be able to bring more designs to market.
Which is what brings me to this juncture – I need cashflow for my little business to survive but to bring you even one style fully Australian-made I need to spend thousands of dollars and hold a lot of stock. Stores selling other people’s shoe brands have the luxury of only having to stock small numbers of each style and therefore can offer a huge variety. Designers can’t do this because the manufacturers require minimum volumes to be created. I have so many sketches of new shoes all ready to go but I’m torn about whether to hold off until I have the cashflow to get them all Aussie-made. As you would know from my lil “upheel” battle to get launched I had lost thousands of dollars on my first website created by a dishonest couple in Ballarat who had no idea what they were doing despite charging through the nose for their “expertise”. I had to spend the cashflow that should have been for making new shoes on building a new website (which I hope you love as much as I do!!). You live and learn!
One solution for my dilemma suggested to me is to have a line of 100% Aussie-made shoes and also have a range of shoes, still designed by me, but manufactured overseas that would cost less to you, my AGLS consumer.
Would you like to see two lines in my online store? Do you genuinely care where your shoes are made more than how much they cost?
I want to hear from you!