EDEN WALK SALE

23/01/2019

Today, we had our Eden Walk trade fair where we aimed to make our sales for our products. As we were not able to have our prototype for the Bright Ideas final, I was in charge of visiting our manufactures to ensure we have a prototype for the final sale. However, after explaining our requirements to the manufacturer, they advised they would not be able to get our requested leather material (croc) as they had to order it from Italy and hence would not get in on time and would increase our overall cost price. They also advised as ¾ of their manufacturing is by hand, some aspects of the bag would not be achieved and hence were forced to alter the design of the bag. Ghalia, who was in charge of the design of the bag also had to defer from the course due to personal circumstances and hence a clear description of what could be done to make it easier for the manufactures became a little hard to communicate.

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Following the first prototype, as seen in the pictures above, the stitching and overall look of the bag was not up to standard and definitely didn’t meet the criteria to be sold for the premium price we had previously set out to charge as it looked for bohemian than high end and classy. The reasoning for this was said to be as it was ‘handmade’ and hence we considered changing the target description to more touristic bohemian customers. However, after communication got the manufacturer our concerns, they advised all necessary improvements would be made and that we could maintain our current target market.

We managed to collect the second prototype which we decided to consider as a minimum viable product and use it for our trade fair in order to accept pre-orders. Despite it being a better version of the previous one, it still was not what we had set out to produce and the cost of production came up to three times what we had initially budgeted for.

At our trade fair, we spoke to our potential customers as well as some advisors and got very valuable feedback on the design, the need, and usability. A very constructive comment came in about our technology and the various upgrades that had recently been introduced that we could look at.

Due to our time constraints, as a group, we had to decide whether we would continue with a new manufacturer and go ahead to launch the bag under the Tasca brand or whether we would conclude the course based on the MVP. We had managed to get up to 4 pre-orders from the sale. Our action plan for the next week is to decide whether or not we would indeed continue with the bag and figure out various ways to manufacture e.g outsourcing to other countries.

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Bright Ideas Final

Following our Sprint, one of our action plans as a team was to ensure we had a prototype or minimum viable product by the Bright ideas competition in order to ensure we could articulate the business idea clearer. We contacted various manufacturers that we had been in contact with previously in the UK but could not secure an appointment early enough to have the first prototype worked on. We, therefore, settled for a DIY card prototype that Ghalia (in charge of design) had made which we could use for the demonstration.

As we had been selected as the top 20, we had to ensure our team well collaborated and that we were well rehearsed, so we had various group meetings in the business school and over the phone in order to ensure all our content was corresponding. The judges were pleased with our presentation, raising concerns about our male consumers as they felt the bag would be too bulky to be masculine and the aspect of it being ‘ethically sources’ as being subjective and most importantly ensuring the bag was well differentiated.

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Picture: Team Odyssey

Despite not winning any of the prizes, this experience validated our business idea. By speaking to various judges in a more intimate setting, we were able to get feedback on the feasibility and usability of the bag. We got ideas of collaboration with existing brands and were encouraged to proceed with the idea. As a team, we became more unified as we finally started to see the idea coming to life and this validation from the judges was an acknowledgment that we were indeed on the right path.

In class, we were then tasked to create maximum 60-second ad campaigns that would communicate the bag to possible customers.

Our action plan for the next week is to visit manufacturers and get the first bag manufactured in time for the Eden walk trade fair on the 23rd of February.

Bright Ideas Sprint

31/01/2019

This past weekend, we got the chance to attend the Bright Ideas Sprint as we were selected to participate in the competition. We were able to build and work on a business model canvas and value proposition which helped us touch on the various aspects of Tasca including the resources we would require, our target market description, our primary customer, our distribution channels, the need or problem we are solving and many more aspects.

We listened to various talks from guests like Daniel Elahi from the Apprentice who touched on starting a business, funding, protecting your idea and a brief discussion on his time on the apprentice and what it did for him. This was particularly interesting for me as I would one day want to get on the apprentice as I believe I would be a strong contender and would be a great platform to publicize my fashion line.IMG_3392.jpg

We also managed to speak to various coaches like Shakeeb Niazi, Alan Clayton, Timothy Harri, etc who provided insight on Tasca. Shakeeb highlighted we would benefit from defining our target market further and ensuring we carry out an in-depth pricing analysis in order to ensure our target consumer would be able to afford the bag and willing to pay for it as opposed to just getting another branded bag and a separate power bank.

We also got the chance to have 60-second introductions with other students and briefly explain our business idea. This gave us the opportunity to relay our message in a way that a person that has no knowledge of it could be able to grasp and was also a great ice breaker to be able to relate to like-minded people in various industries e.g social work, graphic design, engineering etc.

At the end of the sprint, we were asked to do a 5-minute presentation as they would shortlist the ideas that would be taken to the final. Whether we would qualify or not, we this experience helped in the development of our business as we had a broad understanding of what we wanted to do and made a few changes based on the feedback received from mentors that were experienced in various fields of business.

Tradefair

30/01/2019

IMG_3301_Facetune_13-03-2019-09-52-23Yesterday we got the chance to take our products to the trade fair in the business school atrium in order to start making sales. We spent the past week trying to finalise on design and realised we would not be able to use vegan leather for our bag as it collects water and hence would affect the battery that is embedded in the bag. Because the dimensions were only agreed on last minute, we knew we would not be able to able to have the prototype by the dale of the sale.

Despite not being able to sell anything or winning any of the awards, the experience was eye-opening as we received very constructive feedback from possible customers and received up to 4 preorders which were exciting. I believe we were able to articulate the product well and hence why we secured the preorders without even having a prototype. 

As a group, our action for this week is to send cadcam models to possible manufacturers and start on with the production. In addition, we were contacted by the bright ideas team that we qualify for the bight ideas final and hence had to do a mini pitch on Monday 28th which went really well. We are working extra hard to get at least a prototype by the final on February 6th. 

The Journey Continues…

Seeing how much I have developed from the beginning of the first semester to now is simply unbelievable. I had been quite Luke-warm about the design thinking class simply because I didn’t know just what to expect and I tend to not do well with the unknown. However, going through it, I have grown to love each and every level of growth, embracing and learning from the mistakes as I go along.

THE CLASS

img_5439What a diverse mix of people. Learning something new each week from this amazing bunch has been quite the journey. listening to peoples ideas, their opinions and simply having to get someones perspective on my personal ideas is priceless. Being able to work in a different group each time for instance when we did the body storming, or were put in groups to practice empathy from a customer and service provider point of view, to doing our presentations on our products, it all has made this worth it.

 

TEAM ODYSSEY

img_5503I wouldn’t have chosen a better team of people to work with. All opinionated, all fun and definitely all stylish. (At least that’s one thing we shared in common from the word ‘go’). The beauty about working with my team, Ghalia, Edwin & Al is that they are all driven, or creative In their own right and all self motivated so getting work things sone has been quite a breeze, even when we need to improvise. Our Tasca bag has evolved from just a product to ‘our baby’ something we are all working towards to bring to life. I have learnt how to work as part of a team, but still taking lead where necessary and most importantly improved my ability to work at certain time constraints. I simply cannot wait to see what the next semester holds.

And so, the Journey continues…

 

P/S: The lovely Ghalia is missing from out team photo 🙂

 

 

 

 

Proudly Odyssey!

03/01/2019

After a hectic semester and the holidays, we still had to bring our heads together and discuss the feedback we received from the dragon’s den. Because we were all in different locations for the holidays, we settled for a conference call over the phone.

photo-2018-11-22-12-42-05 2In our meeting, we revisited our design concept and its practicality, taking into consideration the feedback we received. Design wise, we received quite positive feedback and hence decided not to make any changes to our design. However, we intend on doing further research on the price point of our bag following an in-depth research on our target market and a broad description of who our first customer will be. Our initial price point was set at £120 per unit.

Another important point raised by the dragons included taking into consideration ways to protect our style and technology by getting an IP and checking to ensure our product name ‘Tasca’ is not trading on the market. We have looked into the latter and found it has not been registered yet and we are currently looking into the IP.

The size of the bag however was questioned by our male audience as concerns that it might be too bulky arose as men tend to want a product small enough to fit their jacket or trousers pockets as opposed to something bulky that they have to carry around. This is something we will look into as we move forward.

And most importantly was the issue to do with health concerns as the bag would be help close to the body at most times based on the design. This too is something we will look into and address in our next meeting.

Our agenda moving forward is speaking to suppliers in order to have a clear cost breakdown that will go into the production of the bag and this will in turn help make the pricing a lot easier. We also aim to look into the wireless charging facility and speak to several providers.

TEAM WORK:

Despite having some tension once in a while over what path to take in our venture, it has been an experience working with people with completely different opinions and having to compromise in some situations. Because I am quite strong willed and usually want things to go my way or the high way, it was a challenge having to give up what I feel ‘is right’ because no one else in the group thinks so. But in the end, we always seem to come back together in order to achieve a common goal. I am learning to appreciate other people’s views mores and learn more about things from someone else’s’ perspective. This semester, I aim to say less of, Yes, But?… and more of Why? In order to just learn more.

GET IT DONE!

After the body mapping, we had in class when we tried to see how accessible the Kingston Business School was, we were tasked to do the same for our upcoming product.

This was exciting!

We got to dramatize our presentation to try and communicate to the audience the practicality and need for our product in the market.

Our storyline was quite practical, A lady new to London lands a job interview. On the day she wakes up in good time, puts the address in her google maps, and makes sure she leaves 30 minutes earlier than the advised time on google maps. Halfway through the trip, her cell phone battery drains and with nowhere to charge it, cannot find her way to the interview. Eventually she decides to go back home and calls the office only to be told she cannot be rescheduled as time management is something they take seriously.

In a nutshell, if the lady had herself a ‘Tasca’ (Our product) she would have completely avoided this situation altogether. We have all been in situations where our phones die in the middle of something import like a conference call, in the middle of a work out, while in transit etc. Acting this out places the audience in a position where they remember a situation where they had a similar experience and hence heightens there understanding of the need for the product.

BRAIN & BODY STORMING

 

26thOctober 2018

“Bodystorming is a unique method that spans empathy work, ideation, and prototyping”.

It was exciting using Body storming as a way to become empathetic about a client or customer. In this case, we had to see how accessible the university was for people in wheelchairs. And thereafter, try and redesign the university business school building in the way that would make it more convenient.

To do this, we were put in groups and one individual in the group was to sit in a chair with wheels and push themselves to the downstairs cafeteria, get a coffee and return and the rest of the group and to observe the ease or difficulty of this task.

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The first concern was the weight of the doors and the fact that one has to open the door, push it and try to get through the door before it starts to shut right back, which happens in seconds, this was very impractical. Edwin, who was the one in the chair, has to go through at least four of these heavy doors before getting to the elevator, and then another 2 before he got to the cafeteria which had the counter placed too high for one to reach to perhaps stir his coffee or reach for some sugars. And then go through the same process back to the class. This took close to 10 minutes. It was an exhausting experience to watch and could only imagine what it should feel like for someone that has to do this each day.

We then went back to the class and tried to find ways of making it more accessible for instance having sliding doors in the classrooms and hallway and at least having a coffee machine on each floor to make it easier.

This experience was eye opening as it put me in the user’s shoes and helped me think of the users’ needs from there perspectives and that sometimes you might have a good idea but if you are not solving any problem, chances are it might not be successful but if your business idea solves a problem, regardless of any economic condition, your business is likely to stay strong as the problem will not go away with a stumbling economy.

DRAGONS DEN

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Friday 7th December

Last week Friday was a great milestone for our group Odyssey. We had the opportunity to pitch our idea to the Dragons in our mock Dragons Den and got very constructive feedback on our market research, IP processes, Our costing and it’s  advantage over our competitors, possible collaborations with existing brands, our product name TASCA; and ensuring it is not already trading, health issues associated with TASCA and many more. We have scheduled a conference call  for the 20th December in-order to analyse the feedback and plan our way forward.

It’s very exciting to see how we are growing as a team, and are all driven to achieve our common goal. In our next meeting, we aim to touch on final product design, in order to be able to create a virtual prototype that we can send to manufacturers both locally and in Asia and get an exact quotation on cost of production per unit in both countries and later decide which option will be more efficient and cost effective. 

I am excited to see our idea come into reality!

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