Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tough Times: Alyasha Moore

Alyasha Moore of Fiberops


What is your current strategy to keep busy and continue surviving given the current economic conditions? Has your philosophy on business changed?
Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.

How do you approach risk-taking in this environment?
I think at this point, almost any situation is a risk to some extent. A lot more thought and research has to go into any situation one deals with financially. Scared money doesn’t make money.

What sort of lasting effect will the current situation have on your business/direction down the road?
I’ll let you know…Lots of folks try to sound impervious to the current economic state. Shit’s scary.

What sort of positives can you draw from this economic downturn if anything?
There is an old adage that says:"Necessity is the mother of invention.” Hopefully, we will be seeing more differing styles and individual brand identities. Also, people/consumers start to explore/develop their own personal styles as opposed to proscribing to the mass market.

Have you been more keen on certain types of advertisement or more willing to open up?
Open Up? I would not say more keen, but definitely forced to be more creative about the avenues we use. Lots of word of mouth and viral marketing. Teaming up with companies in other industries to get the more exposure with less cost.

Do you feel that there’s a need to create a more commercial style to be successful rather than being innovative and pushing the envelope?
Uniqlo, Gap, and Old Navy have that locked down. The market unfortunately, is super saturated right now, there is room for alternative product again. The issue becomes how to manufacture and get it to retail cost effectively. Interestingly, what was “alternative” and pushing the envelope has become commercial. Be on the lookout for some young upstarts to make a significant change in the near future. This usually happens in times of financial turmoil.

How has your manufacturing process changed? Are your products still created in the same areas as they were 12-18 months ago?
Unfortunately, we’ve had to find cheaper development. This compromises product quality but gets us in the competitive price range we need to be. Less development trips as well. In a strange way, it’s kind of cool in a challenging way. Makes you really challenge yourself more from a design process.

With many people stressing that through hard-times emerges new creativity and opportunity, how true is this?
Ultimately, when there is less money, people have to become more creative all the way around. I’d say it’s a very true statement.

For small start-up brands, do you have any suggestions given both saturation and economic factors breathing down their neck?
Think what is going to genuinely set you apart from the rest of the industry. Not some cheesy rehashed mission statement. Not your take on the same thing that everyone else is doing, but really spend time developing your own brand identity. If everyone else is looking at the same thing your product will stand out more. Don’t get caught up in being “the man” or the “it girl” … Focus on your craft, be creative in how you market yourself, work hard and your work will speak for itself.

Although a relatively general question, what has had the biggest impact on you from a business and personal perspective?
I’ve had to tighten up the belt. Be more mindful of biz and personal spending. What do we/I really NEED to be spending on ?

Any closing notes you’d like to finish off with?
Stock up on ramen kids … It’s going to be a rough road.

No comments: