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Friday, October 10, 2008

A step closer to Prom 2009

I went to Jo-Ann’s Fabrics, today.

What was that like you ask? Well, if you walked into O’Reilly’s and saw all the shiny auto parts, how would you feel? I was a bit apprehensive about being there. I thought to turn and run, but when Toni called “number 18" I stepped up.

Toni stepped out from behind the cutting table (is that the correct term?) to assist me. She followed me to the fabrics section. She was very cordial and helpful, not patronizing or condescending even though she knew she was dealing with someone who doesn’t know taffeta from muslin.

My mission was to get some idea of three key things when making your own prom dress: Fabric, pattern and price. Toni showed me some examples: one Vogue (V2891) and two Simplicity (4070 & 3784) patterns.

The Simplicity 3784 pattern was priced at $16.95, or with the store 40% discount; $10.17. The Vogue V2891 pattern was priced at $27.50 and at 40% discount; $16.50.

Fabric prices ranged at one end from 5.99 – 9.99/yd for the 60 inch bolt to 3.75 to 4.75/yd for the 45 inch bolt.


The approximate cost of the Simplicity 3784 and fabric price at the high end in both ranges is below.

Simplicity pattern 3784: $ 10.17 10.17
Fabric 4.25/ 3yds 14.25
Fabric 9.99/ 3yds 29.97

Total $ 40.14 $ 24.42

Who are your clients? Moms and daughters who will be shopping for prom dresses for Prom 2009. Where are they? McNeil, Round Rock, Stony Point and Westwood high schools in Round Rock Texas or wherever you live.

Once you consult with your client they go and shop Jo-Ann Fabrics for the above pattern (or one similar) and fabric at between 40 and 24 dollars they have taken a big part in the ownership of their designer prom dress.

The next part is yours. You have measurements, needle and thread and a delivery date. The fee you set is your business, but whether a low $40 or high $70 you have a client who has agreed to your fee in consultation. The bottom line fee may be the same or no less than your client would have obtained from a retailer or online. The great thing about it though is they got THEIR fabric, color, fit and price all in time for the big event. No last minute rush shopping.

Something else to consider. The earlier consultation allows clients the benefit of being able to purchase these materials far in advance. Then they can then direct their finances toward covering your fee. In other words, they don’t have to be hit hard with an expenditure of 90 to 120 dollars all at once on the same day.

Think up some incentives to reward clients who send you referrals. An economy like our current one always has opportunity, both for you and your clients. Just do it.

Finally, all the above is my best attempt at being accurate and honest with the numbers. I must allow the possibility I erred in my math somewhere, but I trust you quite likely have a far better understanding of what I’m talking about.

You are invited to get your name posted on the PROM-DRESS NETWORK. It' free. Spread the word.

This is not to be taken as any kind of endorsement by Jo-Ann’ Fabrics, but I can certainly point you in their direction.

Yes. My name is Gilbert Torres and I approved this message.



Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Larger SuperstoreShops At Arbor Walk10515 N Mopac Expressway Nb, Bld 1Austin, TX 78759Get maps and driving directions
512-795-8086Mon-Sat 9a - 9p Sunday 10a - 7p
Weekly Sales Flyer

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