Changes at Viscera
by Ari Takata-Vasquez
When you think of ‘change’, there’s usually a certain level of dread involved. Change can be scary, stressful, and uncertain—but it can also bring growth, development, and refinement. At the shop, we’re making some changes to our business model and while it is a bit scary, I’m excited because it’s ultimately for the best. In this blog I’d like to tell you what we’ve got in store, why I’m making these changes, and how you can be a part of the transition.
Breaking from the Fashion Cycles
Currently, I source from 40+ designers/brands and go to market twice a year to buy for the next season. For example, this month I would be buying for product for September through February 2018. It’s a challenging cycle to be on because we’re constantly rushing to get product out-the-door before it ages and trying to predict what our customers will want six months from now. On top of that, we’re constantly struggling to find new designers who produce in the US. With the made in American market being challenging, some of our brands either have to up their prices season after season or unfortunately go out of business. All of this is exhausting, and I’ve realized it’s contrary to my approach to building a wardrobe. Sure, we need to account for seasonal weather changes, but ultimately, I think building a wardrobe you love means finding your style— that means finding colors and silhouettes that look good on you and your body type. Does it really matter if it’s called Spring/Summer 17? My favorite black jacket is from “Fall 2015” and I wear it year round because it’s good quality and is a timeless cut. I feel good with it on and I still get compliments whenever I wear it.
Making a Bold Move
So with all of this in-mind, I’m breaking from the buying norm. I’ll no longer be participating in the fashion machine—instead I’m going to focus on our Viscera brand. If you’ve been a customer for a while you know we love comfy basics. It’s something I’ve spent time refining and I’m going to expand that further into men’s and women’s fashion pieces. So the big change here is that going forward the majority of clothing at Viscera will be our own brand. This provides me more control in the styles we stock year round and allows me to respond quickly to customer requests. Another benefit is the price point; right now my average item costs about $95 and with this change our average ticket will drop to about $76, all while remaining American-made.
Additionally, our jewelry model will of production will change to respond to customer needs. Rather than ordering jewelry and then picking it up 3 weeks later, I’ll have all of our current styles in stock in both black and stainless steel in a full size run. If you want a piece made in precious metal (silver, rose gold, bronze, brass, etc.) then we will make it to order, but you’ll be able to try it on in steel before you buy. Ultimately, I’m taking my own advice and simplifying things at the shop.
Supporting Small Designers
While I’ll be focusing more on our own brand I still want to continue to support small, independent makers. I will continue stocking are locally made brands such as Lacson Ravello, Alamere Designs, and Kali Made. I love being able to let someone know the new piece they’re trying on is made here! Buying local matters. To continue supporting small makers, I'll host more pop-ups in store to help launch other small business and give them a retail presence. Having a pop-up can make a huge difference for a small business just getting their legs because it gives them the opportunity to talk directly with customers and gather feedback. If you know any one who might be looking to test out their new idea in a retail setting, send them my way!
All of this planning happened because I gave myself some time to take a break. I had a week long vacation in Stockholm, Sweden (I swear I’ll stop talking about this trip soon). I had major jet lag because of the 9 hour time difference and couldn’t sleep. It left me with some idle thinking time which is fantastic in a new city. Everyone in Stockholm wears greyscale and I felt deeply inspired by the simplicity yet uniqueness to fashion in Stockholm, it’s functional (because it has to be with such cold Winters) but has a certain quality that’s almost architectural. During my time away I was able to think about Viscera more objectively and recalibrate my mission.
This transition period might be a little bit awkward, so bare with me. While we’re making these adjustments you can help out by getting the word out about the shop— tell your friends, write a review, and tag us on social media! I’d also love to hear your thoughts on products you’d like me to stock at the shop. Above all else, I’d love to see your beautiful faces so stop by soon and say hi!