Innovators kicks off with swimsuit designer
THE FIRST episode of 'The Innovators' season five was recently debuted on TVJ. Kicking things off, swimsuit designer Tresha Cole introduced her company, Beach Goddess Swimwear. With long-term goals of expanding her business into an international brand, she sought the help of hosts Yaneek Page and Gary Matalon.
Doing their own research into Beach Goddess Swimwear by way of an interview with Cole, as well as a secret shopper phone call, Page and Matalon realised that there were some gaps in the business operations. Tresha was operating as the designer, manufacturer, distributor, and administrator and was hesitant to increase the size of her team due to quality concerns with potential hires. Based on their research and Cole's vision, The Innovators gave Cole her assignment.
The Innovators came up with a plan to help Cole focus on her talents.
"She's the designer. "That's her thing, she's excellent at it, and she can thrive in that department, but that doesn't make her the best manufacturer ... distributor ... sales and marketer," said Matalon.
"The concern I have is how will she scale this if she is insisting that she can't find the right people," said Page. "I find that creative people are very good at innovating things - design - [but] when it comes to business, many of them, it's not their forte. The solution is for them to learn to manage rather than master other key areas.
Keneea Linton-George, designer, and host and executive producer of 'Mission Catwalk', served as Cole's mentor. Impressed by the designs, she outlined the steps needed for Cole to get Beach Goddess Swimwear in stores,
"The first thing you need to do is a photo shoot because it's all about the visuals." A lookbook and catalogue are a major part of getting a designer's line into retail stores, she advised. Linton also stressed the importance of having a signature piece.
"Designers tend to want to create and recreate ... sometimes you just have to have that signature look; sometimes you just have to create what the market needs and not what you think they want."
Cole was able to do a photo shoot and develop her lookbook and also met with veteran swimwear designer Loran V. to get advice on getting Beach Goddess Swimwear into boutiques and hotels.
"You have to be able to deliver and maintain your quality," Loran V. told Cole. "Thats how you're going to be sustainable in this business."
Cole was able to return to The Innovators with confidence and reported that she had already begun to see more profits. Taking the advice of her mentor, Cole secured a place on Style Week's showcase, where her designs were a big hit. Shortly thereafter, she was invited to Caribbean Fashionweek, and exceeded even her own expectations by winning the award for the top emerging designer. If you liked Cole's designs, you can reach her at 477-5528 to place your order.