During my first ever freshers fair I met a student in his fourth year called Nilante. I guess this was my first ever experience of networking and it was a very important thing to learn. Nilante had started a clothing line called Musically Motivated so naturally I had intentions to learn from him and ask him questions to assist me in finc, which at the time was still an idea being drawn up.
What was most important about meeting Nil, is that it gave me some self-belief. It is always good to surround yourself by people who are on the same path as you and he was an important boost to making me at Matt put in the money to start finc.
I think it was perhaps February 2012 when I got a random call from Nilante, he wanted to introduce me to Posty the owner of legendary GrimeDaily better know now as GRM Daily. It was second to SBTV at the the time on youtube subscriptions and he told me that they are selling garments on there own bigcartel store.
Very gratefully I gave Posty a call, and negotiations began almost immediately. From what I remember he was slightly sceptical about what the demand would be for our range, but as I explained the concept with belief he was the converted and was happy to put us on the store. Our hats where priced at £25. The GRM store added £3 for postage totaling one hat at £28, off the top of my head we agreed on a fixed cost of £6 per sale but I messed up and they kept the postage fee aswell.
To be quite honest I could care less, in regards to exposure it was a big thing for us, within our second month to be sold on GRM Dailys big cartel was exactly what we needed. I look back in hindsight and realise that this was all done over the phone, on a trust base scenario. Posty is someone I still haven’t met to this day, but I respect him totally for honouring his agreement because he really didn’t have to.
Invoicing the finance dude at the GRM offices was so long though, we had to create a spreadsheet and calculate the amount owed to us per order, and because the order where just forwarded to us via an email it was a pain-stakinly boring and manual process.
About 70% of our sales for our first three designs where via the GRM store, I’m not sure what sort of traffic they were getting back then, but I can tell you for sure this is valuable prime advertising estate.
You shouldn’t force networking, but having a genuine interest in someone else’s projects can always come back in a positive way. Never feel shy to ask someone for advice or help, it isn’t a sign of weakness. If I hadn’t shamelessly asked Nilante where he manufactured his varsity jackets, Finc would have had a way slower start then we did.
There is no formulae I could have followed to get finc on GRM daily, but you make your own luck. Don’t be afraid to talk to strangers, humans are meant to help each other out.