Behind the scenes: The way forward
Posted on 23 January 2017
Prepping behind the scenes
It's been quite a journey for both Chris and I in these first three months of GALE Polewear. Not many people know exactly how much work we put in to make things happen at the speed that we operate in.
In this little article, we'd love to shed some light on our process and philosophy, explain what's important to us, and also show you some of the juicy bits behind the scenes.
Our community is the center of everything
Unlike most fashion brands that serve the masses, the pole dancing community is tightly interconnected. That's why one of the first major questions we encountered was the question of how. How to engage and build a community that trusts you and supports you over the years? How do we determine where to spend our time and money, especially since we are short on both as boot-strapped entrepreneurs?
The good news is that with tight communities, word of mouth recommendation from friends is effective. You are our best advocates, and that's why our answer to the big question of how is a relentless focus on being humane and on quality. We feature our fans on social media, we listen to our customers, we make exceptions when we can to help each and everyone of you.
We f**king love you.
Soon enough, some of our most amazing fervent fans will become our brand ambassadors and help push our brand higher.
High quality content is expensive
Time is money. Or so the saying goes.
From prototypes to photoshoots, our emphasis on quality has meant opening our time and wallets to a lot of things. With my years of experience in the fashion industry, I am painfully aware of the short cuts available to us that we have to refrain from. That's the cost of innovation. Trying something new instead of the easy and done is the only way to improve.
Mood board during photoshoot
We've opened our wallets to build close partnerships with manufacturers because manufacturing in-house means that we can better monitor our production process. It allows us to build and test a greater number of prototypes before our designs are finalized.
We've opened our wallets to source better fabrics when they are available. Sometimes great ideas and products have to be shelved for a time because the costs are just too prohibitive (I'm looking at you velvets!).
Edward the photographer
We've also opened our wallets when we make errors to defend the trust and reputation our name carries. If there's something that we genuinely believe to be at fault for, we pay for it, not just because its right, but because it is a gesture of our commitment to you. There was one time during our opening sale that we found a minor structural defect in our shorts (the elastic could have been slightly stronger), so we halted all sales of it, upgraded the entire stock, and gifted the repaired version to EVERY single purchaser without question because that's who we are.
We also work around the clock, sometimes up till 5 in the morning to answer questions, reply emails, and fix problematic orders such as lost shipping. This is on top of a full day of design work, visiting factories, sourcing parts and buttons, or what not. We love our product and we sincerely hope our passion shows through.
Chris in her crazy cat lady t-shirt
Commitment to openness and the way forward
For all the talk about how much we care about our community and how busy we are, none of it would translate to real change if we spent no time to listen to you especially since you are the ones that use our products.
I've long believed that the best businesses are the ones that can implement impactful change quickly and effectively. I hope that regardless of how big GALE Polewear grows, even in our hectic schedules, that I will find time to listen to you. So when we release our swimwear line-up in a few months, we will once again be manning our social media and email stations ready to serve and answer any questions/comments you will have.
Austin - Co-Founder at GALE Polewear
Reach me here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris had to add filters cause I look like a fool
P.S. A great big shout out to all the people that helped us. Our model Zhenya V. who kept up with our insanely tight shooting timing! Our photographer Edward So who moved sofas, furniture, climbed and crawled to get the perfect shot! Our makeup artist Candice Li who fixed hair and makeup every 3 minutes! And most of all to Chris Chan, my business partner that's helped make this possible.