You don’t often find an expert in economics spending the day sketching designs for children’s rompers, tiny T-shirts and extra-small sweaters, but for Paul Lips, it’s a dream come true. This Holland-to-New York transplant had worked in the business side of fashion long before taking the leap to the design side – something he’d wanted to do since childhood.
Since launching his New York City-based Toobydoo children’s wear line in 2008, sales have more than doubled each year. Key to that, Lips says, is MagCloud’s ability to quickly print his high-quality catalogs and ship them to garment showrooms around the world. ”For buyers who’ve never seen our clothing up close and in person, MagCloud helps us present our products well,” he says.
Tell us more about Toobydoo.
Paul Lips We’re a lifestyle design label for children, ages 0 to 8. Our philosophy is “go happy, go lucky” with “to be, do!” attitude. I think you see that in our garments. Children’s clothing should be fun – but it’s also about function. It has to be washable, easy to put on and easy to wear. There are all kinds of criteria to take into account, and I like having to keep that balance in mind.
As a small business, how has custom publishing fit into your marketing plans?
PL We present our fashion collections through a line sheet that lists our products and specs – for example, age, price and style numbers. And then we produce a lookbook that features models wearing our garments in various lifestyle poses.
In fashion, it’s important to get from an initial idea to a product very quickly. We can do a photo shoot and, two days later, we can upload our line sheets and lookbook to MagCloud and have them instantly available in showrooms. Every day counts. If you don’t have your catalogs in the showroom when buyers are ready to buy, you’ll lose the order. They’ll buy someone else’s line.
What got you started with publishing through MagCloud?
PL We were pretty early adopters. Our photographer mentioned it to us as an interesting way to produce our catalogs and ship them internationally. From that point on, we have always used it.
Our customers require that we have line sheets and lookbooks. They like the way our pieces are bound – it’s exactly what they want. They look at them, they circle items they like, they write notes on them. They can take the books with them. It makes it easy for them to order our products, and that’s what we want.
The quality is a perfect fit for us. And with MagCloud, we don’t have to order large quantities. If something changes in our line sheet – for example, we discontinue a certain garment – we can easily update the sheet and send it out again.
What are your tips for someone new to self-publishing?
PL MagCloud is easy. The costs are so low that you can afford to experiment with different approaches. And you don’t have to buy a lot of software. You probably already have what you need on your computer. We use PowerPoint to lay out our pieces. You’ll be amazed with what you can do with the tools you already have.
What author, artist, photographer or musician would you most like to have over for dinner?
PL Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. I like how he strikes a balance between playful and practical. That’s what I strive for in all of our designs.