How do you like the new template I chose? I hope you like it because I actually decided to pay $49 for a premium template and I have to say that I’m pretty happy with it. Also, it means that I’m going to commit tumblr as a blogging platform, despite not having any ability to post ads or what not. Geez, after I wrote that, I’m kind of regretting spending $49. LOL.
"You gotta hear this one song, it'll change your life I swear."
OK, I’m not going to choose one song, but my top ten songs that I think are life changing events. Not in any particular order. In reality, I have a way longer list, but I’ll keep it to ten just for this post.
First, I should say that I’m back home and I’m exhausted, but I think MAGIC was a better experience for me than my previous attendance. Even though it’s not a long time, but I’ve now been working in fashion retail for 4 years and T.I.L. Darling now has a small but respectable following. For a lot of the smaller brands, I’m pretty much at the same stage, if not further, in developing my business and so many of the brand owners and I can really relate to each other better. While in previous years, I really was still pretty inexperienced navigating shows and talking to sales reps/brand owners. Quite honestly, I now can walk in with a quite a bit of confidence because I do have a respectable email list, Facebook fan page, and twitter page.
I talked mostly to smaller brands, versus nationally recognized ones such as Free People, Betsey Johnson, etc. Except for maybe 3, I would say all were very receptive to what T.I.L. Darling is doing. Flash sales site are not new anymore and I believe many have already done sales events with bigger companies, so they are very aware of the potential sales that can be generated. I was fairly straightforward that I have no idea how much sales we can actually do, since we haven’t had our first sales event, but most seem happy to be part of it anyway. I believe that T.I.L. Darling is going to have plenty of brand partners going into the future.
Right now, I’ve actually decided that I’m going to just pick a date for the first sales event. I believe either way I’ll be close to having the intended 15K members/subscribers. The CEO of BeyondTheRack repeated a couple of times to me that “You just launch with what you have” and the Founder of JackThreads said he launched with zero members and only had about 3-5 orders his first day, mostly from friends or family members. Even though I don’t want to be, I’m a bit superstitious so I’m going to choose a date that’s good luck. I’ve been jokingly saying that I need to see a fortune teller, but Buddhist Monks are really into picking dates. I may have Toon, my girlfriend, go ask a monk what date we should launch, though it kind of has to be a Monday.
Last thing, I actually bought one sample the last day of the show. It’s a handmade custom bag made of recycled seat belts. It’s not cheap, but it’s super cool.
I think I’m determined not to ever really write about fashion, despite the blog being called theonlinefashionblog.com.
Today, I actually didn’t get to the MAGIC trade show until about noon. In the morning, I was trying to find a Bank of America branch, not ATM, and in the meantime I scored tickets to The Beatles Love show at the Mirage, as well as 50% meal tickets. Oddly enough, I’m having a marginally better time than my first trip to MAGIC simply because I’m doing non-fashion related activities, which I suppose is the reason why they have trade shows in Las Vegas and not somewhere like Fresno.
My first experience at MAGIC today was a seminar on some subject I have no idea. All I know is that the CEO of BeyondTheRack was there. I talked to him very briefly at the end to get some advice for the new relaunch of T.I.L. Darling and basically he said he would never do what we’re doing because our target market is not primed for flash sales sites. I certainly agree that our target market, women 18-24 years old, are not the most profitable segment for flash sales, but I certainly think it’s worth doing. Gilt, Rue La La, MyHabit, and BeyondTheRack are all going after the aspirational luxury buyer and they’re doing a great job at it, so I’m certainly not going to compete in that specific demographic space. I also asked him how many members did BeyondTheRack launch with and it turns out they launched with only 1,500 members! The Founder of Jackthreads later told me that he actually had seed funding, but nonetheless that was surprising.
I’ve been really bent out of shape about attaining 15,000 members/subscribers, just as Gilt did when they launch, but the CEO of BeyondTheRack said, “launch with what you have.” After that, I realize that I just need to choose a date for the launch of the new site and just build from there.
After that seminar and a quick lunch, I took the free shuttle bus between the Las Vegas Convention center to the Mandalay Bay Resort, where the other half of MAGIC is held. There, I attended another seminar focused on marketing. That was slightly more interesting because one of the founders of Adroll, which is a retargeting platform, was there. Adroll actually reached out to me about a year ago and I was signed up on the platform before they blew up as big as they are becoming. But more importantly, the founder of Jackthreads, a flash sales site for men’s street wear, was there. He didn’t exactly give me words of advice, but he did tell me that when he started out that he had zero members and maybe had only 3-5 sales the first day from friends and family. I read he did have a SBA loan for around $75K, but in reality that’s not much money and still considered a shoe string budget in my opinion. Anyway, if he and I met in any other situation, then I feel he’s someone I probably could have befriended in a different world.
I forgot to mention that after the first seminar, I saw Susan Kroger, the founder of ModCloth, and two of her friends/buyers in one of the lobbies of the convention center. I considered introducing myself, but considering I received a letter from their legal department just about 2 weeks ago, I hesitated. Hahaha. I actually “tweeted” that I saw her and for some reason @modcloth followed me on twitter.
Anyway, after the 2nd seminar, I walked around the men’s section of MAGIC. I was actually looking for the UFC booth because the UFC always has fighters at their booth. I’m a pretty big MMA fan. I saw Nate Diaz, who I actually met last year because my friend use to teach Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Gracie Fighter and I filmed a youtube video with them. He was with a bunch of his friends so I didn’t say “hello.” Who I did say “hello” to was Stephan Bonnar. One of the original TUF fighters. I got a photo with him and he seemed really nice.
That was really it for MAGIC. After spending a little bit at the hotel room at the MGM Grand, I went to the Mirage to pick up the actual tickets for The Beatles Love show and then had dinner at Treasure Island. The portion sizes where huge. Food is really expensive in Las Vegas, which is pretty frustrating because I know how much food really cost, but the portion sizes are fair.
After losing about $2 on the penny slots, I finally watched Love. It was pretty cool. I’m really surprised not more people watch that show high. It’s so psychedelic and it would be pretty close to watching Roger Water’s The Wall. It was great, but it just makes me more eager to watch Paul McCartney live before he stops touring.
I’ve been taking the Monorail, which is the way to go by the way because it gets your exercise in. Tomorrow is Day 2. The plan is to actually look at the vendors. Sleeping in first though.
I just finished seeing David Copperfield, the magician wise guys, at the MGM Grand. I actually saw him perform probably over 15 years ago in Hollywood, CA when he was at the height of his popularity. It’s a little bit sad to see it so many years later because I could feel that he’s just going through motions at this point.
Don’t get me wrong, most of the illusions are still mind benders. Even though I know they are just “tricks,” I still cannot figure out how they done, but the enthusiasm or excitement of his act is lacking what it once was. In reality, I don’t think anyone could blame him. He’s been in the field for so long and has reached monumental popularity for a magician, but the tv specials and appearances are done with. I could imagine it’s hard to stay truly motivated.
Anyway, it’s still cool that he’s still able to perform at the MGM and still general command $100 ticket prices.
Killing time before boarding my flight to Las Vegas
Unlike most people, I really don’t look forward to trips to Las Vegas. Even though when you get me going, I’m fairly talkative, but I tend to be fairly reclusive in general. There’s a reason why I jumped on the ecommerce bandwagon a long time ago. I bought and sold my first car on eBay just about 10 years ago and order things as mundane as pet food through the Internet. Even though I make sure to stay fit and exercise close to 1:30 hours to 2 hours, I am no doubt a computer nerd and Las Vegas just isn’t really for computer nerds.
A) I don’t drink alcohol b) I’m not a big mall shopper c) I don’t like eating out that much because it’s pretty hard to stay fit doing so d) I’ve always lost money gambling e) I don’t have a lot of money to spend on shows, such as the Beatles Love show f) I’m not single.
Given the above, there just isn’t much for me to look forward to.