TC248: Building community with the help of piano parents coupled with other teachers with Shelly Davis

The encouragement of piano parents to their children plays a huge part in their growth as a student. But, as piano teachers, we also have a role to play in collaborating and connecting with parents and other teachers to help our students succeed.
In this episode, Shelly Davis shares the lessons she has learned over the years by  teaching piano, as well as interviewing so many teachers, parents, and students on her podcast, the Piano Parent Podcast.

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[02:40] Shelly gives us an update and peek behind the scenes on her Piano Parent Podcast.
[05:17] The technological advancements she has gained since starting the podcast.
[07:10] Lessons from the podcast that she has applied in her teaching life.
[10:40] Shelly tells us about how music teachers have a different level of parent support at home.
[15:12] Advice for teachers to help connect with their studio parents better to inspire students.
[19:01] Having parents feel that they are in a combined partnership with the piano teacher.
[23:21] Challenges that make it hard for parents to help at home.
[27:25] Shelly tells us more about the concept of the community of teachers.
[34:08] Advice and thoughts about parents and music education.
[38:32] Shelly tells us more about her new project.

Transcript of the show
If you’d like to download a PDF transcript of this episode, please click below.

Links Mentioned

Today’s Guest

Shelly Davis is the host of the Piano Parent Podcast. She’s been an independent piano teacher since 1990 and has worked with hundreds of children. She currently lives in Texas, has been married for 32 years, and is the parent of four musical children. 
Today’s Sponsor

Newzik is a unique digital score platform that lets you work in real-time with other musicians. With over 100,000+ users, Newzik lets you organize your scores in a digital library accessible at all times, enrich your scores with multimedia files including YouTube videos, and most importantly share your scores and markings in real-time with your band, your students, or your entire orchestra. Newzik offers a free-forever option as well as affordable subscriptions with unlimited storage and extra features such as Maestria, the first Optical Music Recognition technology based on artificial intelligence, which lets you turn paper into interactive digital scores.
Thank you for tuning in!
Consider implementing the ideas from this podcast by writing several actionable steps for your teaching practice if it’s inspired you.
If you enjoyed today’s show, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, which helps other teachers find our show.
Stay updated by subscribing to this show, and get automatic delivery to your device every time a new episode goes live! We publish on Fridays weekly.

Bulk suppliers and Dropshippers Put in in June 2021

One of the best things about the Worldwide Brands Certified Directory of Wholesalers and Dropshippers is that we don’t just list any company that says they dropship or wholesale.

We take each company through a verification process as well as research them before considering them for a listing in our Directory. Then on top of that, the supplier gets re-checked over for final decision. Our members NEVER have to worry about scam, fake or fraud suppliers!We announce new products added on our social streams, but you can always get this monthly update on our blog or newsletter.

This is just a quick note to let you know what products the new Wholesalers and Dropshippers have, that we added the Worldwide Brands Directory of Certified Wholesalers & Dropshippers in June 2021.

For June we added 25 new suppliers, that together, offer a total SKU count of over 7,000 products!! Best of all these suppliers are ready to work with our online retailer members and most were added as a result of a member product request.

The Newly Added Suppliers Offer

Wholesale Fine JewelryWholesale Protein SnacksWholesale Trendy JewelryWholesale ShawlsDropship Pocket JournalsWholesale Protein BarsDropship Kid’s ShoesDropship Men’s SandalsDropship CBD SupplementsWholesale Fun SocksDropship Soup MixesDropship Dip MixesDropship Men’s GiftsDropship BarwareDropship BBQ ToolsDropship LightingDropship Industrial LightsDropship Selfie SticksWholesale Crew SocksDropship Home HealthcareDropship Medical DevicesDropship Phone Camera AccessoriesWholesale Germicidal LampsWholesale Time Lapse CamerasDropship Gem Water BottlesDropship Organic SupplementsWholesale Dog ChewsDropship High ChairsWholesale Baby FurnitureWholesale Cell Phone Accessories…and more!

If you are a member, Login today, to check out the newest additions.Not a member yet? What are you waiting for?

Tags: dropship directory, dropship products, dropshipped products, dropshippers, dropshipping, dropshippingwholesalers, new dropshippers, new wholesalers, wholesale products, wholesalers, worldwide brands, Worldwide Brands Inc, worldwidebrands.com

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How much does MOQ Mean and how they can Calculate It?

In the world of retail, being the right and appropriate amount of inventory generally key aspect of your computer. You would want to make certain that you always have enough keep when a product rebounds so you are not together with the opportunity to sell and prepare a profit. But on top of this, you […]

Steps to start Your Own Clothing Venture in 10 Stages

If you’ve been thinking (or dreaming) of owning your own line, now is the perfect time to learn how to start a clothing business online.
Research shows that the online clothing industry is booming, continuously growing year after year. According to Statista, the retail ecommerce industry was worth $102.5 billion – and will explode to $153.6 billion by 2024. 
That’s 50 percent growth in just a few years. Dang.
Starting a business from scratch might seem intimidating. And I won’t lie: it’s a lot of work. But if you’re willing to stick with it and put in the time, resources, and effort, the reward can be incredible.
That’s why this article is loaded with helpful advice and resources on how to start a clothing line and market it successfully. We’ll outline 10 steps on how to run a clothing business, plus look at a few beautiful store examples.
Let’s get into it.

Don’t wait for someone else to do it. Hire yourself and start calling the shots.

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How to Start a Clothing Line or Brand in 2021: 10 Steps
1. Identify a Need in the Market
You might already have some ideas for what you’d like to sell. That’s great news, but don’t jump in just yet.
One of the biggest reasons that new business owners fail is that nobody actually wants what they’re trying to sell. And it would be a downright tragedy if you went through the whole process of learning how to start your own clothing line but never found the success you hoped for.
That’s why market research is your best friend at this stage.
There are plenty of free and paid resources where you can make sure that there’s a market need for your clothing.

There are two types of market research: primary market research, which is data you collect on your own, and secondary market research, which is data you get from other sources who already did the research, like Nielsen, NPD, and MarketResearch.com. 
Heads up: buying research reports can get pricey. If you’re bootstrapping your business from your own pocket, you might want to focus more on primary research.
Here are some primary market research ideas:

Search for specific items on Google Trends and see what’s steady or growing in popularity
Dig into Facebook Analytics to learn about the likes, interests, and behaviors of people who might be your future customers, or your target audience (more on that soon)
Do some competitor research on other online clothing brands to see what people love and what they don’t (pay special attention to negative comments – that’s where you can swoop in with a solution to their problems!)

Here’s a quick search for “crop tops” on Google Trends. It’s had a pretty steady level of popularity the past year, and they’re projected to spike as the spring approaches.

2. Identify Your Target Audience
Identifying a need and identifying a target audience go hand-in-hand, because it’s a specific group or groups of people who will need or want your products.
And those groups are your target audience. These are the people who you’ll spend every day trying to engage and connect with. The better you understand those people, the stronger your chances of securing and keeping them as customers.
If you want to learn how to start an online clothing store that’s truly successful, you’ll have a deep understanding of your target audience.
Do your research until you understand both the demographics and psychographics of your target audience:

Demographics: age, gender, income, marital status, geographic location, etc.
Psychographics: their likes and dislikes, hobbies, interests, lifestyle traits, buying behaviors including the companies they currently shop with and why, the problems they have in their lives and how you can help solve them

3. Write Your Clothing Line Business Plan
A good fashion business plan outlines:

Who you are as a company, including your team, company mission statement, and what you sell
What you’re trying to accomplish, including specific, actionable, and measurable business goals
Why you think the company will be successful (this is where your market research comes in)
How you plan to meet your business goals, backed by specific steps and strategies

Ideally, your clothing business plan covers the first three to five years of your business. Of course, things won’t always go exactly as planned, but you need to have something to work toward.
More importantly, you need to have something to compare your progress to so that you can better understand if you’re on track to meeting your goals, or if you need to make changes to your original plan.
Plus, your clothing line business plan is what you’ll show to potential investors and partners (step 10 in this article). If your plan is thoughtful, strategic, specific, and promising, you’re much more likely to get people on board to support your business and help it grow.
The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) has great resources for writing a business plan, including how to lay it out section-by-section.
4. Start Designing Your Own Clothing Line

Source
Now for the fun part. Get your creative juices flowing and create your masterpieces.
Here are some things to keep in mind when designing your clothing line:
Keep a sketchpad on you at all times. You never know when creativity will strike – so be sure you’re always ready to jot down new ideas and inspiration.
Don’t compromise on materials and overall product quality. Especially if you’re building a luxury line or boutique, your customers will know if you’re cutting corners to save money.
It’s a great idea to create your own samples. An intimate understanding of the process will help you run your clothing business more smoothly, especially while negotiating costs with your manufacturer. But don’t get so caught up in the technical side that you’re sacrificing your creativity and ability to design new pieces.
Start building your “tech pack” early. This is the basic info you’ll hand off to your manufacturer when it’s time for them to produce your clothing line. Your tech pack should include technical specifications and product details like measurements, materials, and accessories.
5. Find a Clothing Manufacturer
On your journey to learn how to start a clothing company, finding the right manufacturer is a big deal. That’s why you should take the time to do your research and properly vet your options before you make a decision.
Here are some tips for finding a clothing manufacturer.
Consider whether you want a domestic or overseas manufacturer
You might save money with an overseas manufacturer, but find that it’s not ultimately worth the potential drawbacks, like longer delivery times or lower product quality.
If you’re from the US, you can find local clothing vendors on Handshake, a hand-picked wholesale marketplace that connects small businesses with US-based manufacturers and wholesale distributors. 

Get creative with your search
Do a good old-fashioned search on Google, and look through social media sites like Facebook groups. You might also find industry meetups, directories, or networking opportunities.
Once you have a list of manufacturers, vet them thoroughly by asking plenty of questions and taking note of their response times. Check online to see if they have any good or bad reviews from other clothing companies.
We have a whole guide on how to find a clothing manufacturer. Check it out. 
6. Build Your Clothing Brand
It’s time to develop the creative materials that represent your clothing line: things like your brand name, logo, graphics and illustrations, product photography, and color palette.
Doing all the branding and design work can seem intimidating. If you don’t have any design skills or the budget to hire a professional developer, there are plenty of free, beginner-friendly resources to help you keep things affordable.
Check out Shopify’s tools page to see what’s on offer, like their:

Just to name a few!
Check out this logo I made in 30 seconds for a made-up company called RedThreads.

You can also find an affordable graphic design freelancer on marketplaces like Fiverr, 99designs, DesignCrowd, or Upwork.
7. Choose a Price Point for Your Items
To choose an appropriate price, you’ll need to have a good understanding of how much it costs you to manufacture the items, also called the cost of goods sold (COGS). COGS includes things like the cost of materials, labor, and production.
You’ll also want to consider the overhead for running your clothing line, like how much you pay in rent for your warehouse, shipping costs, and payroll for your employees.

Once you know how much it costs to run the business, you can choose a price that covers those costs as well as makes you some profit after all the bills are paid.
One common pricing method is called the keystone markup, where you simply double the price. So if it costs you $10 to manufacture a blouse, you might sell it in your store for $20. Or, you can sell to wholesalers for $20 and sell in your online store for $40.
However you decide to price, make sure you’re also considering how much your target audience will be willing to pay. It might take some experimentation to find the perfect price point.
Check out this article on pricing strategy for more tips.
8. Begin the Marketing Process
Marketing is a critical part of learning how to run a clothing business online. After all, nobody will buy from your store if they don’t know it exists, right?
Ideally, you should start setting up your marketing before your clothing store even launches. That way, you’re ready to hit the ground running.
You start setting up Facebook Ads, which is a popular advertising method for clothing companies to build their customer base. Facebook has incredible targeting capabilities that help you reach the right people.
If you’re tight on ad budget, you can start with organic social media marketing strategies, which focus on creating excellent content that engages and entices people to follow and shop with you. 

Influencer marketing is a great idea for a low budget: offer free items in exchange for shoutouts from social media users with a strong follower base within your target audience. Here’s Instagram influencer @gonolivier posting to promote a new denim line from clothing company boohooMAN.

You can also host a giveaway to build your email list before your store goes live, then use email marketing to build stronger relationships with them after the launch.
Check out our marketing hub to learn all about building awareness for your brand and getting customers.
9. Set Realistic Sales and Distribution Goals
You know that old saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Same goes for anyone mastering the art of how to start a clothing business.
In the early stages of your company, you’ll have a lot to learn. A lot of trial and error. A lot of testing and tweaking and testing again.
Make sure you’re going easy on yourself by setting realistic goals. It’s not realistic to say you’ll make a million dollars your first year (though it is possible!).
A more realistic goal might be to grow your revenue by 20% every quarter for the first year you’re in business. This kind of growth-oriented goal helps to make sure you’re not choosing arbitrary financial figures that just aren’t attainable.
The same goes for distribution if you’re figuring out how to start a fashion line that’s sold in other stores. Start with the goal of finding a few strong distribution partners your first year, then incremental growth from there.
10. Start a Soft Launch, Then Look for More Investment and Partnerships
Now that you’ve set up a presence and built up some anticipation, you can launch your masterpiece into the world.
This is when you can pull the trigger on all the marketing campaigns you’ve been working on. Keep working and building on them – just like everything else on the journey of how to start a clothing company online, you’ll need to keep experimenting and building as you go.
And this is when you can turn your sights to growing on the business side by seeking out more investment dollars and partnerships with other companies.
Try pitching your clothing line to retailers who are already selling products to your target audience. Depending on the size of the company, you may need to reach out to multiple people before you can secure a meeting. Keep at it!
The same goes for finding investment partners. Polish up your business plan to present to them – be sure you’ve nailed down specifics, like how much money you’re asking for and where those dollars will be spent within your business. 
And of course, make sure you’re offering a juicy incentive for them to choose you. Will they get partial ownership of your company, or a certain percentage of your revenue once you successfully grow?
Clothing Business Store Examples
Let’s look at a few great Shopify clothing stores for inspiration.
Khara Kapas means “pure cotton” in Hindi. The company boasts handcrafted clothing made from pure and homegrown Indian fabrics. It does an excellent job of showcasing this in their product photography, creating a natural, down-to-Earth feeling that instantly appeals to their audience.

Pour Moi is a UK online clothing store for lingerie, swimwear, nightwear, and more. They’ve created a sleek and sexy brand that appeals to stylish women who want to look and feel good.

The Candi Factory is owned and operated by Candice Levine, who makes all products from start to finish in Toronto, Canada. The brand has a lot of personality and it’s showcased beautifully on the company’s website. Candice is a perfect example of an entrepreneur who learned how to start selling clothes online and absolutely nailed it.

Should You Start a Clothing Business? Yep.
By now, you should have a solid idea of what it takes to learn how to start a clothing business online.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you won’t be a millionaire overnight. You’ll need to constantly try new things, keep track of your progress, and tweak what isn’t working.
Like I mentioned: it’s not a walk in the park, but when you have the passion and dedication to do it right, you’ll find that the rewards can be amazing.
You’ll never know if you don’t try, right?
Summary: How to Start a Clothing Business in 2021

Identify a market opportunity  
Find your target audience 
Write your clothing line business plan
Start designing your own clothing line
Find a clothing manufacturer
Build your clothing brand
Select a price point for your items
Start the marketing process
Set realistic sales and distribution targets
Have a soft launch, then look for partners and investors

Are you excited to start your own clothing line? What niche are you going to target? Let us know in the comments section below. 
Want to Learn More?

The Image of an Entrepreneur Seriously Needs an Update

“Young people are just smarter,” Mark Zuckerberg infamously said to 650 aspiring entrepreneurs at a Y Combinator Startup School event in 2007. His logic was straightforward—young people lead simpler lives, so they’re able to focus on big-picture problems. Now that Zuckerberg is in his thirties, I’m not sure he’d still agree—in fact, I’m confident he wouldn’t.
But this idea continues to resonate. Silicon Valley still fetishizes youth, and a lot of people probably see 22-year-old Zuckerberg as the archetype of a founder. Research confirms that many people perceive young entrepreneurs to be more driven and more capable of solving significant challenges.
There’s just one problem. A substantive and growing body of data tells us this picture is dead wrong. A study released in 2017 reveals that the average age of a startup founder is 42. The rate of new entrepreneurs in the US is actually highest among those aged 45-54, and lowest for 20-34-year-olds.
Public misconceptions don’t stop with age. In the U.S., immigrants are twice as likely to start businesses compared to native-born citizens. Meanwhile, women-led firms consistently bring in better rates of returns. The number of Black-owned businesses in the US increased by 400% between 2017 and 2018—Black women are the fastest-growing demographic of entrepreneurs. And more than half of moms we surveyed report interest in starting their own business.
In terms of gender, socioeconomic class and ethnicity, most entrepreneurs look nothing like the hoodie-and-sandal-wearing stereotype Zuckerberg exemplifies.
This isn’t just an image problem—this stereotype has a profound and growing economic and social consequences. Today, entire segments of the population continue to write off entrepreneurship as a career path reserved for the elite few, and stereotypes about the young, white, male founder perpetuate this myth. This needs to end, now.
Why entrepreneurial diversity matters
The nature of work is changing. Advances in technology are shifting the way that industries function, and as a result, long-term employment opportunities with one company are harder to come by. Some organizations are making an effort to help workers adapt, but for the most part, the burden is on the individual to figure out how they fit in this new landscape.
Here’s the thing—the world has a lot of problems, and more than ever, we need people who can develop solutions to those problems.

While technology might have made it more difficult to pursue a traditional career path, it has also lowered the barriers of entry to starting a business.

Tools and platforms like Shopify, Kickstarter, and PayPal are making it easier than ever for people with limited resources to start and scale companies without massive amounts of capital. This is a sharp contrast from the reality that my father and grandmother faced. They had to take second mortgages on their homes to bankroll their retail businesses.
But you can’t get innovation from homogenous thinking, and rarely from people who are cut from the same cloth. As Silicon Valley continues to struggle with its lack of diversity—both in terms of its workforce and the products it produces—we continue to see successive waves of copycat businesses. Whether it’s photo-sharing or meditation apps, these products target the same market, provide similar solutions, and often don’t move the needle in tackling the world’s most significant problems.
Diverse teams create better businesses. That’s not my opinion, that’s an empirical fact. And entrepreneurs can benefit from bouncing ideas with founders who don’t look and think like them. By doing this, they will be exposed to different ideas, which allows them to empathize with a broader range of customers. And, in a virtuous cycle, the more customer empathy you have, the stronger your products become.
Repairing entrepreneurship’s image problem
The need for diversity demands that we expand our ideas about who is an entrepreneur. If you see opportunities and find creative ways to solve problems, you’re an entrepreneur, regardless of how old you are or what your background may be.
For aspiring entrepreneurs out there, it’s critical to identify as one. The simple act of calling yourself an entrepreneur can have profound implications. This is something I’ve witnessed first-hand.
My wife, Lindsay, is a successful retail entrepreneur but initially identified as a mom first and a business owner second. To help convince her otherwise, I suggested an experiment. I encouraged her to change all of her bios on social media to include the word “entrepreneur.” Immediately, people started reaching out to her to talk shop. Once she claimed that word as her own, a world of new connections and opportunities opened up, taking her business to another level.
The importance of paying your success forward
Those who have already found success as entrepreneurs have an equally important obligation: pay it forward. Entrepreneurship is a craft—a unique career path built on mentorship and personal relationships. That’s why it’s essential to extend that support and mentorship to individuals from diverse and sometimes overlooked backgrounds.
Entrepreneurs are the world’s problem-solvers. It’s time we apply our tools, methods, and resources to solving a critical problem in our community, and change what it means to be one of us. Women, immigrants, and people of all ages and races are making outsized contributions as entrepreneurs and rewriting outdated stereotypes. The sooner our perceptions catch up to that reality, the better off our collective future will be.
Harley Finkelstein is an entrepreneur, lawyer, and Shopify’s President. A version of this article originally appeared in Fast Company.
Illustration by Islenia Milien