F-STOP's first year anniversary12:54 AM
Some outtakes from my 23rd collection shoot. Buy the whole outfit for only P550!
August 6, 2010 - F-STOP, my online shop, will be having its first year anniversary. Yipeeee! Gosh! I couldn't believe it's been a year already! Yes, of course there's a sense of fulfillment because online selling, unlike what most people think, is much more difficult than what it seems to be.
A brief background: I began this shop with a partner. My friend Rona and I took a cinematography-videography subject then. Though I feel a bit shy about spilling this, haha... when it got boring in class, we'd browse online shops (yes we're allowed to use computers/laptops in class).
It was only last year that I suddenly had an epiphany. Others may be surprised but I really got hooked on fashion just last year so I decided to put up an online store having only my online buying experiences at hand. The other reason of course is for us to have extra income so that we could help our parents in our own little way by simply spending for our own "wants". Since Rona and I were photography enthusiasts, I pitched the idea of naming the shop F-STOP, which would stand for Fashion Stop.
F-STOP, is originally a term in film (widely used in photography, cinematography and videography) which stands for the focal length divided by the diameter of the lens. Lenses are marked with a series of f-stops, each one lets in half as much light as the previous one. The light-gathering ability of a lens is determined by its area, and f-stops are determined by diameter. Area is related to diameter squared. The progression of f-stops, 1 - 1.4 - 2 - 2.8 - 4 - 5.6 - 8 - 11 - 16 - 22 - 32, are powers of the square root of 2. How geeky right? Hahaha.
Photographers and videographers set their exposure using a combination of f-stops and shutter speed to get the correct amount of light on the film (or sensor--this all works for digital too). I thought that the said principle is somehow similar to what happened to me in terms of the evolution of my style and growing love for fashion.
F-STOP's thesis statement: "People need the right exposure to different styles and trends for them to figure out their own personal style." ... And the rest was history (taking my bow. Haha).
Sadly, due to certain circumstances, Rona decided to leave (only two months after the shop has been put up) because she had other priorities in mind, plus she's migrating to US. I ended up, running the business on my own - shopped for vintage stocks, looked for Asian apparel suppliers, studied basic website designing and Adobe photoshop etc. Without any friends or partners to rely on, it became an extreme challenge to excel (considering there are tons of other online stores out there) not to mention that I still have a life to live, studies to continue, more dreams to fulfill and more job opportunities to explore.
Because of certain trials, shortcomings and events in my life, updates and the potential progress of the shop has been compromised. As a result, sales were never consistent. There were always high and low points. On a positive note, I've earned quite a sum in my bank account and when sales are on a rise, I'm on a bliss. However, during those times when sales are down, it really gets discouraging.
To be honest, my parents do not approve and believe in this endeavor. This has been keeping me down for a long time now. Whenever they see my supplier deliveries, whenever they see my new stocks for the vintage section, they'd tell me to stop this "non-sense." I am currently in a guerilla and just so you know, I try to hide my products from my folks and pretend that I've stopped doing business.
I have a lot of plans for this shop but I'm going to wait until I finish certain priorities. I've mapped out a couple of future plans for F-STOP without really knowing when will all these be carried out (next year, two years?). While I haven't achieved certain goals for this year, while my parents still disapprove, I'll put certain project ideas on hold for the meantime.
As of now, I will still be here, constantly working on improving my shop to cater to client needs. I'll keep on looking for those fabulous pieces and slowly work on having my own improvised studio - which has been in my project list since summer! Urgh.
Shooting the vintage items can be a pain in the ass at times. My boyfriend and I have to sync our schedules because I borrow his camera and use him as my photographer-driver. Not to mention, the weather is very unpredictable; plus it's soooo freaking hard to change lets say in 20 clothes/outfits inside the car! It gets exhausting. I get haggard and all those distractions jeopardizes the styling.
Soo glad that JR is just very patient and understanding. Gaahd. What would I do without him. He's my number one cheerleader and I couldn't thank him enough for putting up with all these, for being dedicated and all-out in supporting me. Aaaaw.. I just love him so... Hahaha cheesy much?!
I've been blabbing for too long now. The most important thing I should not forget in this post is to send out my deepest gratitude. I would like to thank everyone who has been and has continued to be a part of F-STOP. To all past, present, future buyers and constant patrons, I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. To the friends I made through this, thank you also! I appreciate all of you guys so much and thank you again (everything just means so much to me)!
I love you all!
PS. To you, who read everything till the end, thanks! Haha.
And now tadah! Promo schedules!
F-STOP's outfit giveaway to be posted in my shop's journal.
F-STOP's Spotted Feature: I will feature in my blog one of my most love clients.
Shop Support Feature: I will post an article about another online shop, aiming to help fellow sellers in promotion and sales.
F-STOP's Giveaway for Style and Soul followers.
Launching of my 24th collection! Weee.