Launching at Pool pt.1

Daniel is a client that Miracle and I have been working with over the past several months. He recently had his first launch at Pool. Luckily for us, he’s written a multi part series on the experience. In depth and detailed, today I’ll post the intro making for a short piece but once I publish tomorrow’s entry, you’ll see why I did that. For now, I’ll just step out of the way and leave the rest of it to Daniel.

Being approached Arthur Rubinstein, the pianist, was asked by the passing stranger, “Pardon me sir, but how do I get to Carnegie Hall?” He replied “practice, practice, practice”.

When planning to show at POOL or any other show, the answer would be “prepare, prepare, prepare”

I volunteered to write this piece about my experience showing at the Pool Trade Show so others can learn and improve for their own tradeshow. For those who don’t know, Pool is an alternative to the “other” large show, MAGIC. Last year, Pool was purchased by MAGIC, which also owns the Project Show.

Thank you Kathleen and specially Miracle for all of your ideas and support, so on with the show…

I’m going to break this down in to a few posts and there are many things that I want to cover and the first involves all of the preparatory work. This is an almost day-by-day account of everything that I did to get ready for the show and what happened at the show. At the end I’ll have some type of summary.

So get ready and travel back couple of months with me (tomorrow)

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  1. elizabeth says:

    Hi Daniel, quick thank you (Kathleen too, and it’s OK to be a little crabby sometimes, ride it out, get some rest, and you will feel like yourself again).
    Daniel, if you can disclose, do you meet the end customer and fit them, or are you making the jeans based solely on measurements (measurements provided by them no less)? That would be extraordinary if you could get that kind of fit without try-ons and fittings! A large number of questions come to mind regarding sizing, fit, the number of patterns you carry/ make, turn around time etc, but I don’t want to push an issue if it’s company privacy.
    Can’t wait to hear everything you can disclose.

  2. Daniel says:


    Retailers can meet and measure the end customer however the entire system was designed with the idea that the customer measures themselves.

    A pattern is made for each customer and each order.

    Turn around time is 4 – 6 weeks.

    HTH and keep the questions coming!

  3. Natasha says:

    I am all over this like butter on bread. I was so sad when levis discontinued their custom line even though it consisted of them taking hip waist and inseam measurements and fitting you into the closest premade sample and from there you only got a choice of color but it was better than a kick in the pants

  4. elizabeth says:

    Thanks Daniel, do you ever meet the customer to fit them? Land’s End has a custom section and even though they were said to have spend a lot of money on research, a lot of people who ordered said they didn’t fit as well as they expected. I’m blown away by how well the ones in your gallery fit. You bet I have a ton of questions! (Now that I had time to get into your website more, the sustainability process is very interesting- what kind of dyes you use, do you buy the fabric already treated, or do you purchase raw goods and dye it yourself, how much fabric stock do you carry, do you produce in house, how do you figure your wholesale price compared to mass market wholesale since you are practically making samples, have you sold to the end customer at all before approaching stores, how did you test your line and patterns and this is just the tip of the iceberg- oh, and do you use a CAD program for the patterns?)- I feel I’m hijacking a thread, maybe we should move the discussion to the forum?

  5. I think the number one tip for any entrepreneur is to value your family *very* highly. Very often there’s a partner, slogging away back home, making it possible for you to pursue your dream. There are kids missing their Mommy or Daddy while they try to make their business a viable success. The partner left behind may even be setting aside their own entrepreneurial desires because it’s just too risky to have both people be self-employed.

    So remember to give your partner some time off when you finally come home. It makes it that much easier to drive you to the airport the next time.

  6. Daniel says:

    Hello Elizabeth,

    Everything is done in-house at an offshore factory (Pakistan).
    Earth friendly dyes (no azo, formaldehyde etc), minerals and enzynmes.
    Our price is reasonable. I know I could get away with charging a lot more, but I don’t.
    The jeans are loosly based on the classic five pocket jeans, but that is where it ends.
    The line was tested in the field (real world testing).

  7. elizabeth says:

    Thank you, Daniel. You have a good system in place. I wonder if it would be doable on a smaller scale domestically. There are a lot of garments in womenswear that would benefit from MTM- tops and bras come to mind.

  8. Andrea D. says:

    Hi Daniel,
    I, too, am looking forward to more info from you. My questions are…How DO you maintain accuracy if the customers measure themselves? Do you have a lot of returns due to their error in measurements?
    I’m interested in your answers to Elizabeth’s questions: “how much fabric stock do you carry?”,”how do you figure your wholesale price?”
    Thanks for taking the time to post all this for us. –Andrea D.

  9. Miracle says:

    I’m not speaking for Daniel, although I did work with on this project. When the questions first started coming, I just told Daniel that I, personally, don’t answer sensitive business questions in public places. And I consider a blog, to be a very public place.

    While I understand the inquisitiveness, I don’t personally find it appropriate to ask a company to reveal strategic product information on a very public, and highly read, blog. The questions just seem to be very intrusive and Daniel was really here to share information about exhibiting at a trade show, not to reveal his business model in detail.

  10. Kathleen says:

    ooh, I’m glad you said that. I was feeling very discomfited myself. I thought Daniel was providing amazing intellectual generosity as it was. I’d feel a lot less proprietary if it were in the forum (where he may have well followed up but I haven’t looked). That’s where Rene posted her show data-dump altho I’ve been meaning to ask if I could post an edited version on the front page.

  11. Elizabeth says:

    I agree, that’s why I suggested we start a thread in the forum, I don’t think one should open up about private business practices online. However, a forum discussion we can all have on the MTM Internet model would benefit from any experienced input Daniel and anyone else might be generous to give.
    It’s very exciting to see someone being successful and we can all learn from what they share. I, as I’m sure the readers of F-I, appreciate the wealth of information Daniel is sharing. It gives us a real “feel” for what the process and timeline of exhibiting at a trade show is, particularly since he has such a unique line. I would like to explore the concept further, without intruding on anyone’s private company issues. I have been meaning to start a thread on the topic because I see it as a practical and doable possibility for small lines to start up this way and a welcoming market, but I have been hesitant since my commentary would not be based on experience, and rather speculative and I don’t know if anybody would like to join me in the discussion. Anyone else interested?

  12. Greg says:


    I believe I actually met you at Pool, my assistant Teresa Ziraldo was with me. You presented your book of make your own denim and I thought the idea was very cool. I could see how this could be a hard sell and defiantly requires the retailer to know a little bit more about measuring someone correctly and doing more work than there used to. I just want to say good luck I applaud your idea.

    Thanks Greg

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