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Arthur Zaczkiewicz from WWD on Handbag Designer 101 Podcast Every Tuesday

Updated: Dec 21, 2023





Emily Blumenthal

Host

00:00

Hi and welcome to the Handbag Designer 101 podcast with your host, Emily Blumenthal, handbag Designer Expert and Handbag Fairy Godmother, where we cover everything about handbags, from making, marketing, designing and talking to handbag designers and industry experts about what it takes to make a successful handbag. Welcome Arthur Zaczkiewicz, to Handbag Designer 101, the podcast. Arthur, you are the executive editor of Woman's Wear Daily, amongst other things. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

00:33

huh, yes, Amongst other things. It's been a long journey for the past. I don't know, 25 years, 30 years, but yeah. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

00:42

Does your interest fall into retail fashion or journalism, or you just keep ending up back there because you're good at it? 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

00:48

It's like the CIA you never really leave fair shot WW Day. They kind of really aback. My interest is journalism first and foremost, but my skill is kind of understanding why and how business works. So I'm not a fashion guy but I understand branding. I have a keen understanding of what it takes to deliver a product into our market through the whole value chain and what it takes to succeed and to fail hard and learn from that. So before we recorded, we talked about my past and one of my jobs. When I left Women's Wear Daily, I worked as a business administrator for the county of Ulster and basically, having just earned a message in social work, I applied that to companies. So just think of it as being a marriage counselor for two partners of the tech support firm that didn't speak for 10 years and trying to get them back on track. So I have that understanding of it and the ways to assess interpersonal relationships and businesses and how that works. But I'm a journalist and that's first and foremost my own way of life. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

01:49

What has been your favorite ongoing topic to cover? 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

01:54

Well, I guess of the day, the genre topic is consumer behavior and just watching it change and evolve, and this is really if you're interested in becoming a handbag designer, creating a brand. It starts with understanding the consumer, like what they want, what they expect from a brand and the experience of that brand, and it's been so strange and interesting for me to see how it has changed pre-pandemic, during the pandemic and now in this period where we're facing so many different like macroeconomic issues and headwinds from inflation and workforce shortages to I don't know and everything, everything is disrupted. And I think what you're seeing in brands, how they're reacting, is they're trying to unlock the mind of the consumer, and when I say the consumer, I'm talking about specific demographic. It's a multi-generational understanding of different generational cohorts, if that makes sense. So there's that to unlock, because Gen Z is different than you know. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

02:50

Boy, aren't they? 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

02:52

And millennials. They're all over the place as far as what they prefer, how they communicate, how they protect their data, for example, is a good one. So that, to me, is the most interesting at the moment. But it could change and, depending on all of that sustainability, People demanding more. They want to know where the products are made, how they're made, if they're ethically sourced and if there's circularity potential for that product. If they buy a handbag, they think, well, I guess I could say yes, they are thinking about reselling that at some point. So that's part of the same sustainability picture as the resell market as well. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

03:28

It's funny. I spoke to one of the founders of Fab Scrap. I don't know if you're familiar with them. They run a really great organization and there is this difficulty in terms of sustainability and also to decrypt or debunk this method that PU is actually sustainable, it is not vegan leather, it is 100% chemically made but to recognize that it's almost impossible to have a line that is 100% sustainable and if you do, the price points are going to actually price you out of becoming, I don't know, a brand that is 100% commercially viable. So we had spoken in detail about this idea that if you're going to have this transparency with your customer, that you should at least have a few items within your assortment that you can speak to and say these are sustainable. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

04:19

Going back to the transparency. That's what consumers are demanding, like they want to know, and the truth is that it's really difficult to create a sustainable product. You know to your point. It's not economically feasible. The true north of sustainability is just being honest, you know, to the consumer and saying this is as good as we're going to get on this product. You know, but what happens is they set goals and they keep moving the goalposts. 

04:47

And consumers becoming aware that they feel they're being a little greenwashed. But you know, I think consumers want honesty. You know they want authenticity and not being told a narrative. That's not true. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

04:58

Yeah, it's. I'm so into this conversation, I could do this all goddamn day. It's so good. Moving back to what you were saying about understanding your customer and recognizing that different age groups have different needs, different understandings, I always ask my students every year what's the first thing you do out on your phone, what's the order of operations? They're like huh. And I said what do you look at first? So you know, way back, it was email and then it was Facebook I mean, I've been teaching for a long time and then, little by little, and that was text messaging and, like the way it works, it's like, okay, you go to. Now it's Snapchat, tiktok, like text messages, and email is like almost at the very last and forget it. They don't even look at Facebook. God forbid, god forbid. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

05:45

That's true. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

05:47

Oh man, is it? Yeah, you see that people anybody who's of a Gen Z demographic is only on Facebook because they are about to go to college and need to join a Facebook group of people who are about to go to college, and then they don't look at it ever again, and it's usually their parents that are tagging them in pictures. They don't even look. So, in terms of understanding the needs and wants of the customer and you said a really good point about purchasing a bag and recognizing no matter what at some point it might be resold that's another interesting thought. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

06:16

And it's technologies too. These brands, whether it's Gucci or Luba-Tan or Katespade and they're aware of we also have the price point that this is happening. They want to protect their brand, so there are blockchain technologies that you could trace the journey of that bag as it's sold and resold again and again. So for brands it's good, and then we've seen them more. Initially they were reluctant to get involved in this kind of resale market and it's separate. I think that's another good point, too, that people don't realize. We have the value chain for the normal goods that are made, so their source, the materials, are sourced, it goes through this whole process, through the supply chain. It's marketed, it's created, it's distributed, and the distribution could be online, it could be whatever, but the resale market is almost like a separate entity that operates outside of that, which is good. So when you think about, are we making too many products? Is that really the problem? 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

07:13

Yes. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

07:14

So you need the secondary markets to keep it live and keep the product lifecycle kind of going, so to speak, Even though it's circular. But I think the other thing is, how do you succeed as a brand today? It's so challenging. How do you protect your brand in this market where there's so much counterfeit, especially in handbags? Right, I don't know, I would be if you say, oh, but Arthur, let's, let's launch a handbag line. I'll be like no, aren't you scared? There's too many variables. But so I just want to say if anybody out there thinking about launching a line or have their own, you are very brave. You should be congratulating for your efforts. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

07:53

I know a lot of bigger brands which I was wondering and waiting for them to actually do that, to actually open their own resale marketplace on their own website. I think Coach was starting to do that. I think that from what I've read, yeah. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

08:09

This company. I don't want to get away. I have to look it up now. I know. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

08:12

We did that as a case study. We spoke about that last semester and it's not that well-known of a brand, but they had started to do that. I had one of my students in my class that was interning and saying it was a big deal. I can't remember what it is, but it's important to see that if you're going to develop your own brand, to be very thoughtful in terms of the product lifecycle what happens after it leaves you. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

08:34

Right. So that's why it goes back to that technology, I think, is really important. But there's a company called Archive and they just worked with a fashion brand Mage, I think is the name of the brand to do that. So basically, they have the platform and you control the resale of your product, which is, I think, fantastic and you could create. Once you capture that resale audience, you could market to them too. They become part of your marketing funnel and you work customer acquisition. So I think it's a great thing. 

09:01

Again, like we were saying about the generational differences To me there's emerging designers who want to be well-known. And then there's an interesting thing I've been noticing over the past 10 years the maker economy. So there's an event up in Kingston called Field Supply and it's just handcrafted goods and these are people who have worked in the industry. Now they're making handbags, they're making clothing, furniture in its high end, and it's intimate, one-on-one with the customer. And it's so funny because all of them come. They come up to Kingston and they're all from, like Brooklyn. You go to the low east side and they go up there and their customers are from Brooklyn. So I'm like you're traveling all the way up here to kind of sell these To do the same people, the same people. 

09:44

But the maker idea is interesting because it is sustainable. These are one of our kind pieces or similar pieces that are handmade and it's based on demand, so they're not going overseas and going to Vietnam or going to China or South America and getting these goods. It's like one handbag maker up there works with a local beef farm to get the leather. That to me is the future, like if we could do more of that sort of the micro economy Along. I'm not saying avoid big mainstream, but we could do that too. Supplement it with a resale and then have mainstream and somehow have it all balanced out. Then we're talking where I think we're moving the needle on kind of reducing carbon emissions and wastewater et cetera. So I love that. I want to see how that's something I'm going to keep an eye on the maker economy as it moves forward. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

10:34

Well, I want to flip that, though that any designer I work with that says one of a kind limited edition. To me that always represents that they don't have their production in order. They don't know him. 

10:47

And it always makes me nervous because that bag, that product, 1,000% misses the opportunity of scale, even scale on the small part. And it just shows that this person doesn't understand what they're doing. They don't understand their branding, they don't understand production, they don't understand their customer and then they outprice themselves from actually being purchased. And if you're selling D2C, direct customer, then you can eat a little bit of your own profit if that's going to be your story. Because, again, understanding your customer, what's the sweet spot? Once you start cracking beyond that 500 mark, no one's going to pay for your bag if they don't know who you are. So it's this balance to really understand, because that one of a kind I'm like well, you ain't Judith Lieber, so I don't know what you're doing. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

11:37

I think what I like about the meager economy. You're right, they have no idea. They do this, it's like a hobby. Yeah, a lot of them are trust fund kids and I applaud them. But you're right, you totally have no idea. So it's interesting to me because a lot of them do have other jobs. Like there was a woman there who was working on a laptop and she was actually a film editor. I see dear. 

11:58

So she's doing that and she's there doing the thing that she loves, which is making these on eight lamps, and that to me, is interesting. But you're right, it's not scalable at all. I still think I love when people get inspired about the work that they do. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

12:12

Yeah. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

12:14

I've been seeing this in beauty too. A lot of executives are leaving and they're launching their own brands. They're like I've worked just a lot over 20 years and I want my own thing. I want to be able to create my own. I love that too. It's very similar to the maker kind of approach to creating things. They're creators, so they want to do something that's their own and have their own mark on it. So that's interesting as well. Makeup is obviously a lot easier to scale. Yeah. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

12:41

It's also a lot harder to make a profit because you need to sell out that much more, a lot, yeah. Yeah, I want to talk a little bit about you know, as someone who covers the industry, especially in handbags. There is this interesting, in my opinion, wave right now of there being a bigger opportunity for independent brands, independent designers, because they are able to control their own media narrative with social media. And you know, like I know, modeling agencies won't pick up models unless they have a following now and retailers won't pick up brands unless they have a following, because even with virtual real estate on somebody'scom, they don't want to carry anybody who doesn't have a guaranteed audience. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

13:28

Yeah, so that's the great point. You know, it worked as a business administrator where a consultant business is, and it was one company that they wanted to launch. It was a single owner of a business here in Hudson Valley and so his first thought was to, you know, rent a space. Right, it was, you know, not a lot of squares feet, but it was costly. I think he was making soap in the bag and they wanted to make these handmade soaps and yeah, so I'm like, no, as I said, as I said, what you want to do is create a social following and get your brand out there, and you can do pop-ups, go to a farmer's market, do a pop-up, get a brand down there, but you need to create the social first, before the physical or even the direct to consumer Like do start small, get your brand out there and engage customers and make sure you have all the right attributes. 

14:14

Was he a brand and it's marketed in the right channels in the right places? You know you target audience. And so he didn't listen to me and he ended up closing it and a year later he was like you're right, you should have done that. And then he started seeing, you know, around him. You know the power of social media, but you're totally right, I think, when it comes to building a brand, I think the biggest mistakes is that it doesn't align with the product right, because people just buying the product and you need a brand that's going to align with the product, make and resonate with the target consumer. 

14:40

You have to know who that consumer is and kind of develop that relationship and engagement. And when it's time to open up a physical store and lower site, you have to make sure that that brand translates across all of those channels the social media and picking them, like you said. Well, what's the right channel, you know, for me and my brand and my product? All of that has to align and that's the challenge and if I knew the answer, how to do that, I would be super wealthy. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

15:05

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15:46

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16:17

Join me, Emily Blumenthal in the handbag designer, one-on-one masterclass. So be sure to sign up at EmilyBluenthalcom slash masterclass and type in the code on cast to get 10% off your masterclass today. You know a couple case studies like, and obviously it was timely for Telfar. He had been around for a really, really long time more than people were aware and obviously the pandemic and everything that had been going on at that time was a perfect moment for him to have his tipping point. But I like to use him as a case study of having this intimate understanding of who his customer is and doing the collaboration that he's been doing. The collaboration he did with Rainbow in Brooklyn was just marketing genius to me. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

17:10

That's exactly it. You have to intimately know your customer and what they expect from you, and the product as well, and collaboration is another way of extending that and amplifying that love of the brand. So where does it make sense to collaborate and when and with who? All goes into that and I'm at skill in that area. Yeah, I love what pops up now and then and that's a good example of brilliance and collaboration and marketing and branding. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

17:38

Yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

17:39

But that's another mistake is we only have a closed system, right? So I know it's competitive, brands are competitive, but you have to be open to new landscapes and I think that's what collaboration is due. I think what's going on with the Formula One racing I don't know if you've been following that this been a whole bunch of collaborations with fashion brands, and that's fascinating as well because it's a high end, it's a NASCAR, so Formula One racing the upscale version of that but they're finding success and it's going to be not too long before we start seeing deal making conferences that hosts Formula One racers and fashion brands, and the same thing with Gainey. That was another Gucci headlight with that. But I think that's where you have to think you can't be in a bubble, I guess is my point and you can't think you could do it all alone too. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

18:29

Right. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

18:30

So you know, with directing consumer, you could test or you do a lot of AB testing on product designs, on collections, but you know you need basically is like outside testing is reaching out and saying okay, audience, tell me what works here with this collection or this product, or tell me what the pricing even you get AB test for pricing. So that's what I mean. You can't just do it in the bubble and think you're right. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

18:52

What, in your opinion, just from being part of Woman's Wear for so long, on and off, in terms of and I figured you must have known this question was coming in terms of trends you're seeing within brands that have a lead in with handbags, because I think what a lot of people don't realize, that typically the most profitable segment of a fashion brand is usually their handbags Because they're a size agnostic. There's a lot more opportunity, there's a lot less barriers to entry if you already have that retail space. So could you share some thoughts on that? 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

19:28

Yeah, I think that the biggest thing that we're seeing now is the price sensitivity, price point sensitivity, so luxury, so when we're talking about, like the LVMH and Hermes, and that's pretty well insulated, you know, from the price sensitivities that we've been experiencing. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

19:42

Which should now with jumping double, triple quad and those customers will are. You know, it's inelastic. Those customers will follow them if that same damn bag is 20,000. Yeah, okay, I got it, it's 20,000. Guess what? You need to know that. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

19:55

Yeah, exactly, and so it's that operates separately. I think really, the issue comes in as other brands, you know, at lower price points you know if it was coach like the more aspirational luxury brands, or where they have to be really careful because you want to bring them up high, so you're enjoying stronger gross margins and you want them to buy through the seasons, but you don't want to scam away and you have to be understanding that sometimes you may have to drop a little bit to keep them loyal. So that's the trend I say I don't see, you know, like the, as far as like designs, I think that's very exciting, it's all over the place, but to me it's the price point is the place. You know we have to tread the lightest and smartest and be the most strategic, and I think some brands are doing that. Others are learning in the hard way. So, yeah, that's why it does. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

20:40

I spoke to Beth from formerly known as NPD, now Sir Khanan. Yeah, NPD. 

20:47

Yeah, go way back with her too. And one of the points she had spoken about was the deficit of newness within Silhouettes, the deficit of newness within innovation, and it's interesting that and I think perhaps it's as a result of the resale market that people are able to continue to bring out their anchor pieces or their hero bags, however you want to call them over and over again because of this need for nostalgia that I know I could resell it because it used to be hot. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

21:18

Right, yeah, I see that as well. They're almost obligated to presenting those classics, so to speak. And then with that there's a narrative. I guess what's happening is you have to be innovative in certain areas, but you also have to lean on your heritage, because that's what success is and that's what your brand is well known for. So, yeah, I know, so it's innovation. That's a great question. I don't want to think of innovation. I'm not immediately thinking of handbags. So maybe there's room there, yeah, and what would be innovative for a handbag? I just saw last week there's a technology company and they have. I don't know if you said it was a dress that changes the pattern. 

21:58

Yep, yep, I saw, so maybe that would work, but I think people would get bored with that too. I don't know. That's a great question. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

22:06

Yeah, and I just you know in terms of what that means to a designer that isn't established per se. You know, like you could still you know as Rebecca Minkoff defined as affordable luxury. I think she is. I've known her for a billion years. She actually applied to the handbag awards right when she started. When I spoke to her I think she said her publicist did that and I was like, okay, but your name was still there. I love her dearly and I love what that brand has done in terms of innovation and always being two steps ahead. And I don't know if you saw her last show she did was a partnership collaboration with Morgan Stanley so genius. And then created a banker bag so genius. And then they sponsored her fashion show, her Fashion Week Perfect, exactly. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

22:59

Yeah, go ahead. That's knowing your audience, that's being very strategic and smart about where your audience is, how much money they make, how much they could spend and how familiar they are with your brand. That's perfect, and I would love to see more of that. She could extend to other segments or even by job title. That would be fun. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

23:20

Yeah. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

23:22

But look at the C-suite. Is there a CMO bag that can be made? 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

23:27

No, no, no. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

23:28

CFO at the AK's or something. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

23:31

I think that's a really good idea. Actually, I'm breaking down my title. What does the assistant bag look like, though? It's like pretty empty. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

23:39

Pretty, empty or worn out. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

23:42

Yeah, that's the transparent bag. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

23:45

Yeah, I was thinking about me Krakowals and his career like starting. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

23:50

A coach just for people who don't know. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

23:54

Yeah, and he's had a great career that span. I think he went to Parsons first, then he worked at Ralph and then Tommy. I love that. I love that he worked for somebody else and he's learned from them, and I think that's another part of your thinking about becoming a designer Work for somebody else 100%. 

24:16

Learn there and see how the process is done and understand, going back to the value chain and how it's structured, the impact of sustainability on the value chain, pricing the consumer If you experience it at a big place and then such your own company. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

24:31

If I could just ask you a couple questions as to how you see brands gaining success and momentum in getting the customers to come back If 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers? What, in your journalistic opinion, do you think brands are doing right in terms of getting their customers to come back? What are they doing? 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

24:54

It's a luxury brand but it's a retailer. I love what Neiman Marcus does and during the pandemic it was their salespeople. It was that one-on-one connection to their best consumers. Whether they bought something or there was a conversion or not, they stayed in touch through the pandemic and when the COVID lifted, people were crying, they were hugging each other. I've seen the sales essentially for a long time and that to me is the magic place. You're using social media, creating yourself as an influencer. Whether you work at the Macy's lipstick counter or you're selling handbags at Maltrums or Neiman Marcus is connected with that consumer. 

25:34

So back in the I'm not sure the listeners know this, but Neiman Marcus, back in the day in the 50s they would have cards and they would write information about the customer. Today we call it client telling and we have software to do it. But they would put in clothing sizes, shoe sizes, birthdays, how many kids, and they would update it. And so these three by five cards would be updated and they would know when the customer came in. They knew everything about that customer and they would ask oh, how's your niece? Isn't there a birthday coming up? Once it will get some cashmere sweaters Like that to me. Knowing the customer. Connecting with the customer is equally as important as having the right product, and that's how they do it. 

26:14

But culturally, they went through something very Neiman Marcus went through something very interesting which I think all brands could take a lesson from. And retailers, as they decided to work remotely before the pandemic started, they wanted to be more flexible in how they're corporate not the store level, but the corporate level, how they worked. So they offered that they closed their headquarters. They're going to open up a new campus with an auditorium and a hotel seating where you just go in and sit at any desk. And then the pandemic had literally said they were ready to do that. But they did something interesting. They called it leading with love and externally and externally, and basically they practiced empathy. So the child when you're doing a Zoom call and your child is sitting on your lap making noise during a business meeting or meeting with the CMO, you accept that you just take that. And they did that. And it was to me was a remarkable transformation to see, as I was doing the reporting on this and did several stories Leading with love, practicing empathy and active listening. Now that sounds so simple and sounds a little corky, but it works. And now, people leading with love and practicing empathy, kindness, active listening those are the brands that I think are doing really well because they changed the internal culture. 

27:31

But practicing outside of it you practice it in your stores and with the customer it changes the whole relationship. You go in and say I love this. There's a local Lowe's Home Improvement Chain and I go in there and there's a couple of retired people and they really listen to you. They want to know. They're not there for the transaction, I guess is the point. As a matter of fact, they get rid of their registers and everybody's on the floor and they have automatic pay machines, but they spend time with you and they love what they do. They love some of the retired planners or whatever, and it's really interesting. Same thing with Dick's Sporting Goods. If you're not familiar with Dick's Sporting Goods, take a walk through. The person who's working in the fishing and hunting department is a fisherman or hunter and they just love it. And that's what you need to do. Even with it's in store or online, your brand needs to be pushed out and held up by brand ambassadors, somebody who loves the product, who loves your brand, and I think that's really important. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

28:31

That's Sage Advice X50. So I think all those key points are so interesting. You know, one of the lessons I teach it's ethnography and empathy go hand in hand. Oh, yes, so you know recognizing and I think so few brands remember the day to day needs and wants of what their customers are. Right Like. 

28:58

I show this one archaic video of this woman in Miami and they interview her while she's cooking dinner and she's a working mom and you know she's talking about eating healthy foods and the food she's making, or something unhealthy Like oh, I put American cheese. You know it's like pretty gross. My students always cringe, but it speaks to. They're watching her cook and they're asking her these questions. You see everyone taking notes and like and what shows do you watch and where do you get your recipes from and why do those recipes appeal to you? And where do you go buy food and what sections do you spend the most time in? And you know this idea that there's I mean, I always have to repeat this there's no such thing as a day to night back. They're different people, different times a day, like the shoes you wear during the day or not the shoes you want to wear at night. This is how you get people to buy more, and obviously you don't want people, you know, choking the planet and buying more, but as a brand, you need people to buy more and recognizing you're not Van Gogh, right, you don't want the product to sit on a wall. 

29:58

There was a store that I absolutely adored that was in the village called Verve. I don't know. I think if, yeah, de Bruyse, steve, not Steve Bruyse, obviously not Steve Bruyse. But it was this incredible man who ran it and so many big small designers got their start there. I know Monica Bach here went there, minkoff went there and I interviewed him for my book and he was so strict with these new brands and I love that about him. I mean everyone let their crying until he became a supporter. 

30:32

And you know there's stories of designers, because if you got into Verve, that was the big like litmus test, like we validate you. But he told me the story. And again, I need Minkoff, I'm going to be Rebecca, I need to, I need to get this validated. But he told me the story, so it's his version. But like the first shipment she sent, he called her up and said I'm not paying for this, I need you to come and see this, and then he took it out of the box and showed her and, like this is not how you pack, this is how you do it. Now take it back and ship it back to me and then I'll pay you. 

31:04

But it's those things like that, it's the attention to detail that we now demand as customers, right? Like if you get something shipped to you and the packaging is shoddy or there isn't a thank you note or there isn't. You know it's all those small details and they can be done on a budgetarily way, can be done. But you know you need to pay attention to all those things that design into the lifestyle of your customer, regardless of what the product is in this case it's handbags but to really understand, these are the small things that you want to encourage people to share and that's how you're going to get your name out. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

31:41

That's great. You know I keep reading about returns and customers will abandon a brand if the return experience is lousy. Often you don't have control over that, right? So, especially like the last mile of something getting stolen, something getting damaged people will forgive you for that. If everything else is there, if the packaging is right, if there's a note this is a ribbon, a car or something they will forgive you for that. But the things you have, that you don't have control over that. It's just the way it is. It's the world we live in, so you have to be mindful of that. So, yeah, give it 120%. As far as the packaging used, the stuffing. You know how it's presented to the customer when they unbox and should be a loud experience. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

32:21

So definitely, Arthur. I so thank you for your time on all this. Where can people read what you write to learn more? 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

32:30

Just go to the at wwwcom, where it paid subscription. Some of our content is free, but it's a paid site, so subscribe and, yeah, read more. We cover everything, basically retail from Walmart to, you know, nike to all of them, neiman Marcus, et cetera. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

32:44

What was your last article that was published? That was free. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

32:47

Today. What's it today? Oh, yesterday, yes, I do have some free stuff. Let's see here. Yeah, you go to WWD, you could look for what was my story. I have a bio here. Oh, executive's concerned over inflation and workforce issues. So yeah, that's on topic, right? So that was a company, multimedia plus. They did a survey of executives and you know, crossing retail hospitality and there's issues with workforce. And again it goes back to what we were saying before about having the talented workforce is going to build conversion. So they're concerned that inflation will impact business, but internally that they're not. You don't have the right training for their sales. Frontline work is those brand ambassadors? So that's a good story, oh my gosh awesome. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

33:30

Arthur, thank you so much for being part of handbag designer 101, the podcast, and I know I'm going to keep reading what you have to say because clearly it's important. 

Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Guest

33:39

All right, you're so lucky. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

33:40

Thank you, thanks for listening. Don't forget to rate and review, and follow us on every single platform at handbag designer. Thanks so much. See you next time. 




10:22




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