Making it Personal – My First Blog Post

Making it Personal - First Blog Post by Robert Slivchak

For the longest time I have been working on my craft and promoting it with the use of hard sell tactics like “Buy and Save NOW!”. This never felt natural. It felt like I was losing a bit of myself to try and make a quick buck. The reality is, I still need to make a buck but I also want to be as honest as I can possibly be and let you into my life as an artist and designer by making it personal.

You wouldn’t believe how many times I hear the phrase “So you’re a starving artist?”. More often than not, and depending on how well I know the person that I’m talking to, I would say “No, things are great”, as if I need to protect my image and sell people on how well established I am. Human behaviour is a funny thing. It’s as if I’m in this endless pissing contest with others wanting to show off their success and project this success all over social media. Embarrassing late, though still important for the sake of transparency and honesty… I’m starving.

This is my first and hopefully one of many blog posts. I want to make it personal to allow people to get to know who I am, see how hard I’m busting my butt and learn what’s worked for me and what hasn’t. I also want to open the door to discussion. I want people to help this one man show build his brand with suggestions, support and some direction. I will post as often as possible with updates and insights into what I’m getting up to.

My line of swim shorts that I have spent the last two years developing are all based off of works of art that I have created over the last fifteen. These aren’t prints of other artists designs, or purchased patterns, the’re representations of my hand painted works of art, printed on fabric that I have painstakingly sourced. I’m at the point where I have my final samples from the manufacturer that I selected from the long list of others from various countries. I started manufacturing here in Canada, though the vendor I was working with made a unilateral decision that forced a recall that essentially devoured all of the margin (plus some) on the shorts. I took this on the chin and replaced every unit that I distributed to my clients with new ones. This was great customer service and is what can be expected from me moving forward, though it was also a capital crusher which leaves me where I am now. You may have seen one of my posts on social media about a “Pre-Sale”. I currently have a line that is available for order at the reduced price of $45.00 CDN. Standard retail will be $75.00 CDN. This pre-order is not a gimmick to increase sales. It’s a necessity to get orders filled, so I can have enough money to fulfill the manufacturers minimums. If I had the money or if I was able to sell a number of pieces of my artwork, I would gladly order them and carry stock, though this is currently not the case and I have to settle for what ever comes first. At the low end, I need 250 units sold for the pre-order. This will afford me the fulfillment of the subsequent orders, current orders and enough stock of the finished product to market my shorts to retail stores. It will also cover the the branded tags and hardware needed where the minimums of these items are in the thousands.

I’m hoping that one day soon I will look back at this post and times will be less difficult. I’m passionate about what I do and I’m confident that I can make this a success though it’s important that I also realize that I need the support from others and can’t wear every hat. I will never forget those that have supported me. If you haven’t already, every pair of shorts or piece of artwork helps build my dream and pay the bills.

Thank you for reading.
Robert Slivchak