Friday, September 17

How Are We Going to Compete?

Yesterday I went to show the luxury lingerie line that I bring in from Brazil to a potential client south of Calgary. She has a store that sells lingerie to the women in the small towns south of Calgary.
I showed her what I have to offer, and was bluntly told that my price point was too high. This is a store that sells bras for $125 and up. My bras are wholesaling for around $35 delivered to her shop. So in essence, she could easily sell these bras for $70 plus, and still make a decent profit.
The lingerie line I bring in is hand made and uses high quality fabrics and material. I have visited the atelier in Brazil where it is made and I can truly say that the working conditions are amazing. Natural light, windows overlooking the hillside and around 15 women working, laughing and truly enjoying themselves talking about the latest plot of the primetime novela as they stitch away at their craft. I am very aware of worker's rights in Brazil and I know these women are receiving fair pay for their work and all of their benefits(vacation pay, 13th salary, pension etc). Is their salary lower than their counterparts in Canada? I am sure it is, but it is far higher of those from the sweat shops of Asia.
The shop owner showed me what she considered the equivalent of what I showed her in terms of quality. I was offended. Not for me, but for the hard working women in Brazil that I have seen putting their hearts into their work. They are trained seamstresses who are unfortunately a dying breed in Europe and soon to be in Brazil.
Looking at the shoddy quality of what the shop owner was showing me, it was evident that it was made overseas. My hunch was right. Made in China. Wholesaling for $2-$6(shop owner admitted what she pays wholesale for her stuff)...Sold in the shop for $35 -$85.
What's wrong with this picture???

1 comment:

redhed1962 said...

Sad this woman can't see the opportunity here... she could be using the fair wage and working conditions you describe as a selling feature, sort of like fair trade coffee....