Updated: Oct 13, 2020
We are still catching our breath from the holiday madness but are already making plans for the year ahead. Before we get to that, let’s briefly reflect on 2019. It was a very good year!
We ♥️our retail partners
We absolutely love our retail partners! You keep us going on a daily basis. We have met many of you and forged great relationships and friendships. We want to meet more of you in 2020! You are our connection to all the folks out there who love fashion and want an eco-friendly, MADE IN THE USA, unique product to own and carry. We can’t say enough about you guys and thank you for your business and support.
Improved logistics (make that GREATLY improved logistics)
It is sometimes difficult to simultaneously be the maker, marketer, and seller. We are always changing hats and fighting the clock. This year, we stopped for a moment (and got some stellar help) and brainstormed ways to be more efficient and, hopefully, more productive. We tweaked our online payment system and brought all of our shipping functions in-house. The process is probably only interesting to us so suffice it to say that we can now answer shipping and tracking questions on our phones – from anywhere and at any time. We plan to continue to up our technology quotient. BTW: Retail partners --watch for a wholesale portal coming online sooner rather than later!
Trekking across New England -- and beyond!
We loaded (and unloaded, and loaded, and unloaded) our cars and hit shows across New England. We returned to some tried and true venues – and added a wholesale show where we found some great new retail partners and met so many terrific fellow New England MAKERS. We were seriously in awe of the creativity and entrepreneurship happening in this part of the country. We attended some high-energy women's conferences, including the MA Women's Conference and met some truly enthusiastic people -- including many amazing female business owners. We were proud to participate in the "Designing Women" Marketplace at the New York Historical Society -- a truly gorgeous museum! Michelle met lots of customers last winter at various shows across Florida and she’ll be back there next month.
NOW... WELCOME TO 2020!
"You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems."
We were recently gifted the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. It seems that traditional goal setting often proves futile so thus, we are learning to systematize our hopes and dreams! Clear believes that "you do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems." We are going to continue to grow our brand and business while holding tight to our philosophies: eco-friendly business, Made in the USA, small footprint, and community first!
Here’s where we will be focusing our attention:
We are working on bringing new shapes and styles to market. This has been a long-time goal but we keep getting snagged in sustainability, stability, and sourcing. Creating newspaper fabric has its challenges. Creating a product that wears well is important to us so there is lots of beta testing. Think crossbody bag... think larger tote... think new strap alternatives! We hope we will have more to report on this in the near future... know that we are listening to you!
Coming to a party near(er) to you – NEW MARKETS!
In 2019, we added a sales representative in Texas which has opened a lot of new doors in that great state. We will be at a retail show in Houston in April, but first will drop in at a real estate conference in Richmond, VA. We are currently researching wholesale, retail, and maker shows across the country and will hopefully be showing our bags in some new geographic areas. Keep up to date on our Events Page.
Sports (we don't just root for the home team) 😊
Try not to hate us because you ain't us. In the recent past, we New England fans have enjoyed unprecedented success in so many sports. We have certainly enjoyed providing Tom Brady and Mookie Betts bags to all of our fellow fans, yet we can root for other teams! We happily gathered recycled newspapers to commemorate the Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl victory (no nose holding – swear!). This past year, we celebrated the Washington Nationals World Series Victory. We gathered recycled newspaper and can make you St. Louis hockey fans Blues bags! A Couture Planet sports bag is a great way for a fan to carry a piece of their team with them daily.
CP ambassadors, bloggers, influencers, friends
Word-of-mouth continues to be our best marketing tool and is helping us enormously in building our brand. We have partnered with some fabulous young bloggers and learned so much about social media and “influencing” from them. Their generation has a lot to teach us about women supporting other women –something that is essential to who we are as a company.
Our commitment to our community
Our planet is suffering, and so we all suffer. We all need to be more eco-conscious in large and small ways. Recycling (and upcycling) is at the center of our business. We recycle all of our waste, except for a tiny bag of garbage weekly -- and we're constantly working on reducing that footprint. We will continue to work hard on responsible sourcing -- doing business with companies that share our commitment to the planet. We recycle and re-use all of our packaging. We are proud to be a Made in the USA company. We want to be part of our local community -- and have our community be part of who we are. We employ local workers and volunteer at local non-profits. Couture Planet is so lucky to do our work in the growing city of Lynn, MA, where there is so much energy and enthusiasm regarding who we are and who we can become. We will continue to focus on being more than just good neighbors, always working to contribute locally.
Yes... the blog itself gets a mention! We want to create connections with our customers, old and new, so we plan to update our blog on a regular basis to let you know what's going on here at Couture Planet and in our community.