Monthly Archives: December 2015

Dec 31

Happy New Year 2016!

By Maria Pesin | Business , Productivity


I so love New Years!  It is a time for new beginnings, new plans, and goals.  A time when all things seem possible and I can start anew.  One of the things I like to do when the New Year holiday comes is to take a hike in the woods.  There I reflect on the year before.  I look at what I accomplished and what I didn’t.  I look at what goals are not working for me and let them go (I finally realized learning French wasn’t going to happen).  Then I decide what my goals will be for the following year.

One of the things I have noticed about New Years goals are how easy they are to make and how easy they are to not follow through on.  There are thousands of gym memberships bought in January and abandoned in February.  The most conclusive results on this subject come from a 1989 study in the journal Addictive Behaviors. It showed that only half of all participants managed to stick to their primary—that is, the most important—resolution after a month.

According to Tony Robbins,  “The path to success is to take massive, determined action.”  But, the key is to take action immediately on your goals and to take consistent action.  If you want to grow your business come up with a target list of 50 stores you would like to sell and contact them each week till you get them into your showroom.  If you want to drive more traffic to your site.  Decide to increase posts on Instagram to one a day and then do it.  Resolutions or goals without actions are hopes and wishes.

So make this New Year’s Day about reflection and planning.  Then the 2016 year can be about follow through and action towards your goals.  Happy New Year 2016!



Dec 28

Why A Business Needs Goals

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized


I have had many clients who start new businesses.  I also have clients who already have businesses.  When I have my very first conversation with them I usually ask what their goals for their business are.  Many do not have goals.  Or they don’t have specific goals.  More like vague ideas of where they want their brand to go.  It is almost like they are afraid to have any, because if they do maybe they will be to hard to hit.  So you may ask yourself “Why a business needs goals”?

One of the most important reasons why a business needs goals is to measure success.  Good organizations should always be trying to improve, grow, and become more profitable. Setting goals provides the clearest way to measure the success of the company. When you are looking at your company from a three- or five-year perspective, you are looking beyond the tactical side of your business and instead taking a much more macro view, which allows you to see the company from a competitive, business vertical or economic perspective.  It also helps you make decisions based on where you want to go.  If you want a small volume but highly profitable fashion brand you might want to sell small boutiques as opposed to high volume department stores.

Goals move entrepreneurs from “I have a dream” to “I have a strategy and a plan.”  Which to me is probably the most important reason.  It makes your business real as opposed to a hobby you’re dabbling in.  It forces you to take your business more seriously.

Using S.M.A.R.T. goals is probably the best way to make your goals.

 S.M.A.R.T. Goals are






Having clear goals will help you grow you business which is why a business needs goals.



Dec 18

Weatherproofing Your Fashion Business

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized


“More Than 5,900 Daily Records Broken as Pre-Christmas Warm Wave Engulfs East, Midwest, South,” was one of the headlines on the site today. In fact it seems that the early winter weather has been rather warm the last several years.  November was the planet’s warmest month on record, in addition to an unusually strong El Niño effect heating up the US and Europe.  Neil Saunders, an analyst with the Association of Retail Environments, wrote that the total growth rate in retail across the board was an “anemic” 1.5% in November, calling apparel retail “a particular area of category weakness during the month” – specialist retailers dropped by 1.6% and department stores were down 2.8%, which Saunders attributed to warmer-than-average weather.

Now we industry people do not need to read a report by an analyst to know that warm weather impacts Fall sales.  Boot sales are down as are sweaters and coats.  Customers are not buying what they don’t need.  To compound this problem it seems spring weather comes later than usual.  So as fashion people you need to start weatherproofing your fashion business.

What does that mean?  It means we need to design clothing that is season-less.  Clothing that works for at least 3 seasons.  Coats that you can wear when the weather is a moderate 50 degrees.  Booties with open toes that you can wear stockingless in the spring or with a pair of tights in the fall.  As a young adult I dressed with scarves, hats, heavy socks, boots, and a coat in the winter.  Today I went out with Jeans, flats (no socks), and a light weight quilted jacket and a scarf that was purely for decoration and not warmth.  The climate is changing and unless we want to continue selling our clothing on sale we have to design accordingly.  It is time to start weatherproofing your fashion business.

Dec 07

It’s Hard To Be Successful Without Having Some Failures

By Maria Pesin | Business , Productivity


I once had a boss who said she was successful in everything she had ever done.  I didn’t believe her.  Either she has had some failures or she never took any risks.  I think it is more likely she had some failures.  It’s hard to be successful without having some failures.  According to John F. Kennedy;  “Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.”

If you look at the most influential innovators, athletes, scientists, inventors, and icons throughout history, they all shared a common belief – they simply did not entertain the idea that failure is a bad thing.  Rather, they knew that every failure they encountered brings you one step closer to success, and that this is a natural part of the process. Some even embraced failure!  As Thomas Edison once said;  “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

If you think about it, failure is just feedback; it’s simply showing you what’s not working so you can find out what will work. It’s necessary and can’t be avoided.  If we didn’t have failure, how would we know what to do next?   The process of learning from our mistakes is truly invaluable, and is something we need to run toward, not run away from. I once worked for a man that made such a bad business decision that the company went out of business in 2 years.  So you don’t only learn from your failures but you can also learn from others errors in judgement.

I love this quote by Michael Jordan;  “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”   It is the trying that is important.  You can’t make the shot if you don’t shoot the ball.

“Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It’s ok to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing.” – H. Stanley Judd




Dec 04

Are You Planning Your Business?

By Maria Pesin | Business , Productivity


Are you planning your business?  Or are you reactive to what comes up?  It is normal to be somewhat reactive to things that occur on a daily basis.  A customer calls with a complaint.  You find out your production is delayed.  Sometimes many days go by and you realize you haven’t done anything to build your company.

This happens to all of us.  But it shouldn’t.  There are important things you must do that moves the needle forward.  One of the important tasks that needs to be a vital part of your business is marketing.  I have a marketing plan that I have developed for my business.  I have different activities that I have planned into my week.  For example my goal is to blog 3 times a week.  I schedule it for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  I’m not perfect and sometimes miss a blog.  But I usually keep to the schedule.

It is easy to start a project, but without careful planning it is like setting off on a journey to an unknown destination without a roadmap. You might manage to make it to your destination eventually, but don’t be surprised if you get really lost on the way!  Not planning can also lead to overwhelm. By having a plan and are following it you have a sense of accomplishment.

A business plan can help a company assess future opportunities, choose one, and then commit to a particular course of action. By committing to one opportunity, all other options are effectively marginalized and the company is aligned to focus on key deliverables.

Yesterday I spoke with a potential client.  I was impressed with how he operated his business.  He had a vision for his company and stayed focused on that vision.  If an opportunity came in that was not part of his plan he did not allow  himself to be seduced by it.  Instead he concentrated on the business that he planned on pursuing.  His business has been growing dramatically in a very short time.

Business planning is an essential activity, regardless of the stage of business you’re at. The very process of producing a business plan enables an entrepreneur to give due consideration to the various factors that mesh together to create the opportunity they are seeking to explore, as well as the resources required and the key drivers needed for success.