Monday, March 24, 2008

Corky Warehouse Sale in Full Bloom

A big thank you to all who attended the one week Corky spring 2008 warehouse sale and to all our school partners that helped promote the event. Our employees worked two weeks straight to make the sale possible, changing the warehouse into a store, assisting customers, running the check-out area and then turning the store back into a warehouse.

The Girls Toddler Asle

We took Good Friday off for a much needed rest and then finished setting up the warehouse today. Behind the scenes and late into each evening, we continued shipping current season merchandise to our cherished retailers who are the ones that truly make the "Corky Sale" possible.

These Cowboy Hats are so Cool!

The sale kicked off on Wednesday with our VIP afternoon. We rented a carnival popcorn machine and provided drinks along with the fresh popped popcorn. We managed to keep the check-out line to less than a fifteen minute wait and the selection was tremendous for those who attended. This is really the best way to shop the Corky Sale. Here's some tips to become a VIP attendee.

The Girls 4-6X Aisle

We had a special email invitation only day on Friday that kicked off at noon. This has now become as large as our official opening day as the email list has sailed past 5,000 people. You can sign-up for the special email day at The selection was still great, but the first few hours felt like the running of the brides at the Filene's bridal gown sale. I personally apologize for the long check-out line. I had an all time high of twelve people at check-out, six people collecting money, two tallying orders, and four bagging orders. I understand there were a couple of line cutting fights and I hope all left feeling satisfied.

Kim & Lucie Checking Out and Keeping a Sense of Humor

The Dreaded Check Out Line

Jeanne, Ellie, Amanda and Diane Hustling at Check Out

We started early Saturday morning in an effort to get a jump on the check-out lines. I was truly amazed at the line waiting to come in at 9 am on a Saturday morning. There were 25,000 invitations given out between our mailing list and schools handing out postcards. Again we kept twelve people at check out and I think we were able to keep the wait to less than an hour. I just don't have more people that I can trust at check-out.

The Girl's 7-14 Aisle

I provide some warehouse sale shopping tips a few weeks ago to help during the sale and I can offer one more now. Hint: Come as team and have one person wait in line while the other shops and then trade rolls. If you get to the front we'll let you stay off to the side until your ready to check out. Husbands can make a good surrogate line holder to.

The Boys Selection was the Best Ever

By the end Saturday the best items were in short supply but we came in very early Sunday to organize and restock items discarded at check-out. The selection was still good when the doors opened at 10 am on Sunday. This was our third day of the sale and Corky was able to take five and take some pictures of the sale. I hope your enjoying the photos.

Find a Quite Corner and Try It On

The sale continued Monday and Tuesday and by the end of the day Tuesday we were getting very picked over. At 7 PM Tuesday we sent an email announcing an egg-citing sale for the last two days of the sale. As customers arrived they picked an easter egg and inside was a discount coupon for between 10% and 50% off your entire purchase. This was a lot of fun and thanks for all the return shoppers who came back to participate in the egg-citing days. Warehouse sale shoppers we love you. Please enjoy this photo gallery.

Picking through the Seconds. Must be the eBay Resellers!

The items on the third highest rail were off limits because we are still shipping those items to retailers or we're saving the inventory for our Canadian and European retailers. Please believe me NOBODY CHECKED OUT WITH ITEMS ON THE THIRD RAIL. I had no devious plan like saving that inventory for later in the week. Thanks for your understanding.

The spring sale is now closed and we won't open to the public until Columbus Day weekend. Thanks to all who attended and we hope to see you back in the fall.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

How do Fashion Designers Predict the Future?

Many times I've been asked the question,"How do you know what fashions will be in style next year?" It's simple, you need innovative one of a kind designers that live in the present but know the future. This answer begs another question:

Do fashion designers start trends or do they have an ability to anticipate fashion trends?

When a new product is released there is a principle called the theory of diffusion which helps answer the question of why fashion designers are so clairvoyant.

The Theory of New Product Diffusion
  • Innovators – venturesome people with an ability to process emerging information
  • Early adopters – popular people (social leaders) who are first to try new products
  • Early majority – people with many social contacts that quickly mainstream products
  • Late majority – skeptical people that will try a product only if it is a true trend
  • Laggards – people who look for the Levi tag in the pocket of a pair of corduroy pants

The best fashion designers are clearly innovators, people with an ability to process information from magazines, television, movies, songs, art, buyers, consumers and sales people, and then correlate with existing fashion to forecast color and style. It's an ability that can't be learned, you either have it or you don't. This ability, however, gets better over time and when mentored properly becomes simply extraordinary.

At Corky & Company our chief designer is one of these rare individuals. Betty Sioux, her nickname on Myspace, a gifted innovator is one of the last persons you would think would be an award winning childrenswear designer. When she comes to work I never know if her hair will be black, blue, red, purple, yellow or some combination there of, if her undergarments will be on the inside or outside of her outfit, if another body part will be pierced or inked, or if she'll be wearing flats or seven inch heeled shoes. The only sure thing is she will sport a look that is meticulously put together.

Betty, my wife Kim and Annie, our youngest designer, collectively seem to be able to predict the fashion future. But since I don't believe in tarot cards, palm reading or extra sensory perception, I know they are not part of the paranormal. So the answer to the question I posited earlier is; fashion designers don't start trends, but they have an incredible ability to anticipate trends before they start. The best fashion designers are all processing similar information from all forms of media and therefore come to similar conclusions about the direction of fashion.

So my wife, Betty and Annie don't start fashion trends, they just have a rare ability to know what you will like, a year before you know you will like something.

If you enjoyed this post, you might want to check out these other fashion related Corky Nation blog posts.

Specialty Stores on Target - As one of the nation's largest apparel sellers, Target has raised the fashion - value bar to new heights and set a standard boutique label manufacturers must exceed to remain successful.

Great Fashion Starts with Outstanding Quality - A small branded apparel manufacturer can’t afford a large quality assurance department, nor is this the proper way to insure a quality product in garment manufacturing. At Corky, we define quality in five very simple steps.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

How do I Subscribe to Your RSS Feed?

An RSS feed stands for Really Simple Syndication and let's you easily keep track of your favorite websites and blogs. Millions of sites publish feeds with their latest updates which you can subscribe and stay up to date by using an RSS reader like Google Reader.

Once you have a reader you can easily put it on your iGoogle home page and keep updated as sites and blogs publish new information. In this post I'll show you step by step how to sign-up for Google Reader and subscribe to the feed for the blog, Corky on Fashion and Profit. You can then add subscriptions to your Google Reader and all of your favorite sites will be updated in one convenient place like a personalized in-box for the entire web. Whether you're at home, at work or abroad, you can access your Google Reader account from any computer with online access.

The first step is to go to to open an account. This will bring you to a screen where you will need to create a Google account. Simply click the big blue button and you will see another screen to enter your email address, choose a password and accept the terms & conditions. A message will appear telling you to verify your email. Go to your email in box now.

Click the link in the email to verify your email and you will now have a Google Reader account. You'll get this message confirming your account.

Then go to and login with the your email and password.
Access your Google Reader by clicking on the my account link at the top right. Under my services you can see the link for your reader. (Just note the iGoogle service because will come back to this later). Click Reader and go there now.

On the far right is a screen shot of just the left hand side of your Google Reader. You're now ready to add a subscription to Corky on Fashion & Profit. Open a new browser tab or window and go to and look for a subscribe button like the one shown to the here.

At the Corky blog right click on the orange subscribe button and select "copy link location." Then go to your Google Reader and left click "add subscription" and then with your cursor inside the subscription block, right click and paste the link location. Click add and you now are subscribed to the blog, Corky on Fashion and Profit.

After hitting the add button you'll see the screen below which shows the expanded view of your reader. I like the list view, so just click the "list view" tab in the upper right of the reader.

This is the list view if the reader. If you select the second headline, that particular headline expands.

Now you can read the story, Great Fashion Starts with Outstanding Quality, in your reader. If you want to go to the origin site, just click the headline and you will go to

Your Google Reader is working now and your subscribing to feeds of interest to you, but to read the feeds you need to go to your Google Reader. To make your RSS feeds feel like an email in box you need to set up an iGoogle page as your home page. This is simple, when you logged into your reader account you automatically set up an iGoogle service. Just log into your Google account and select iGoogle and click on "add stuff" on the right hand side. Search for Google Reader and then click add to your iGoogle. Your Google Reader is now in the top left hand column of your iGoogle home page.

Now you have an RSS subscription in-box in the left hand corner of your homepage. I hope this tutorial helps at least one person because it took a fair amount of effort. I'm sure I missed a few of the finer points, but as you start the process it becomes very intuitive. Good luck!