Thursday, 4 October 2012

Captain Tortue - sell clothes to raise income

'm a firm believer in creating your own luck. You don't have to become "employed" in part-time work, why not try out a little low-risk business venture of your own.

That's what Susan Spedding did. She wasn’t actively looking for work – it found her which enabled her to help out with the household finances selling a French range of women’s clothes by Captain Tortue.

The 39-year-old Essex mother-of-two, pictured, had seen a “show” of the clothes in someone’s home and fell in love with the beautiful garments – within a month she was selling them, too.

She then went on to sell Captain Tortue’s Miss Captain and Lady Captain clothing range, which sell from £13 to around £80 per item.

Her initial outlay was £200, a deposit for the clothes she was showing, and a folding portable clothes rail costing £140, but she received the £200 back once she hit a sales target of £3,500, excluding VAT, set by Captain Tortue.

When she started, the Autumn/Winter season had begun. “Within 12 weeks of my first show I’d hit my target and by the eighth or ninth show I’d taken £5,300 in sales,” she said.

She’d still be selling the clothes now if her husband’s work load had not increased so much that it prevented her from working in the evenings as she had two children to babysit.

However her advice to others is this - it was a really low-risk venture. And there is scope for doing even better. According to Susan there are some people who sell £40,000 worth of clothes in a season.

Commission is on a sliding scale and starts at 20 per cent but can go up to as much as 30 per cent. “Another bonus is if I wanted to buy clothes for myself I’d get them at half price,” she said.

She used to fit her hours around her small daughters so was still able to make the school run while clocking up earnings that have paid for some modest home improvements.

She also paid for a family holiday abroad in Portugal and contributed half the costs of replacing a family bathroom.

Her top tips for anyone wanting to sell Captain Tortue clothing are:
  1. Before you sign up to sell the clothes, have a really good think about your network. How wide it is and how you might be able to widen it to get the shows booked.
  2. In the first two months of signing up, book as many shows as you can manage, while still being able to run your family, because halfway through the season Captain Tortue brings out a mid-season collection. This means you have a good reason to approach people who have already hosted a show to see if they’d like to host a second.
  3. Be brave as well as organised.
  4. Experience makes you better at it. 

Visit Captain Tortue to find out more about selling its range of beautiful clothes.

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