Why would Mickey need a handbag? To give to Minnie as a gift, of course! After all, both Mickey and Minnie Mouse already sport their versions of bow-ties.
The San Diego-based company Above-Time is branching out from its exceptional bow-tie line to include couture handbags and other sportswear items.
Carey Reddick, II and his team recently concluded their second meeting with Disney’s Executive Minority Buyer who provided feedback on what she looks for in an emerging business. “Sitting down with this person and receiving this information was gold,” Reddick said.
“To be serious players in the fashion accessory world, we had to check several crucial items off our list,” relates Reddick.
Three Components for Success
The first piece was to become certified as Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) with the National Minority Suppliers Development Council.
Companies and government entities are actively seeking M/WBE- certified businesses to work with business leaders who can connect with of all segments of the population. This includes businesses owned and operated by women, veterans, and LGBT.
According to the Black and Minority Business Blog, “there are more than 2 million businesses in the United States that are owned by African Americans, but most are small operations with very few employees.”
Why does this matter?
In the words of President Richard M. Nixon, who in 1969 signed an Executive Order creating the precursor to NMSDC, the Office of Minority Business Enterprise: “The opportunity for full participation in our free enterprise system by socially and economically disadvantaged persons is essential if we are to obtain social and economic justice for such persons and improve the functioning of our national economy.” (Source: article from NMSDC President Joset Wright-Lacy)
Local to Above-Time are a group of Los Angeles buyers from corporations including Target, TJ Maxx and Nordstrom looking specifically for MBE fashion-based companies with which to do business.
The second component was to establish a retail business presence in a storefront, in addition to their website. With the help of Alexander Salazar Art Gallery, bow-ties are on display right in the gallery, and selling quite well. The Art of Bow-Ties: A Gallery Rebrands
The third piece was for Above-Time to attend MAGIC, an annual fashion convention recently held in Las Vegas to network with interested buyers and distributors. “We had to have our MBE certification to even participate in the convention.”
Essential to this third component involved staying on the business plan which involved handbags, sportswear and other accessories. Examples of these bags were demonstrated at the Blogger’s Bash as Above-Time celebrated its first year in business.
These next few weeks will be busy for Above-Time as the holidays settle in.
After attending San Diego Fashion week in September, Reddick and team will provide bow-ties for the Leonard Simpson’s 10 Best Dressed Awards Gala, November 17th in San Diego.
More about that later this month.