Thursday, July 22, 2010

What the Fashion Industry Could Teach West Virginia Government

While conversing at Bridge Road Bistro last night with two friends about the “messy closet” of major political issues in West Virginia right now, the son of a former Governor said, “Why didn’t they see this coming? We need to be more proactive, but all we seem to be is reactive.” And in all honesty, why was the situation regarding what to do in the event a United State Congressman from West Virginia passes away in office not already addressed years ago? Why was the State Constitution and the Code so ambiguous?

No one planned for this, or apparently had the foresight to see this coming. Had this issue already been addressed, hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars could have been saved. I’m not blaming anyone or pointing the finger, we all should take responsibility. But after hearing that question last night, something from my fashion background flashed before my eyes: PREPARATION.

As a buyer for Ivor’s on Lee for about five years, there’s one thing you must do, and that’s to be prepared. When you go to market, it’s generally 4-6 months before the clothes arrive in your store. So research about fashion trends, fabric colors, and even more macrocosmic factors such as the economic condition of the area your store is in and what your customers are more likely to buy going forward, must be conducted. Walking into market without a strategic plan is pretty much style suicide.

So why didn’t we have a strategy in place in the event a United States Senator passed away while in office? Poor planning.

In this morning’s Charleston Gazette (@wvgazette), Alison Knezenich (@aliknez), wrote about yet another ambiguity in State Code ( With a looming special election for Governor in 2011, let’s hope our legislators take a note from the fashion industry... Off to market!

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