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December is always an odd month, isn't it? The first part is a little bit of bedlam as we pelt towards the end of the year, and then there's the actions (and distractions) of Christmas and holidays.

And my December was no different - I knew in the final few weeks I wouldn't be able to progress Ellen Elizabeth with the same pace I had been for the last few months (huzzah for family visiting!) so I pushed pretty hard in the first few weeks.


I've worked pretty hard to smash through the videos and work for the Fashion Launchpad with Sample Room, so I was ready for my Business Strategy sit down with Julia in the first week of December.

We went through my brand and positioning and my understanding of the customer. We chatted about the concept of my vignettes, which brands had similar DNA or similar customers and the scope Julia could see in my brand and designs. I appreciate her expertise and have been mulling over whether I want to push into the directions she has recommended. I am drawn to the opportunity she suggests, but my approach needs to be sustainable for me. And I recognise she has a responsibility to her business to maximise what she can for development work. I'd do the same in her position!

However, it begs the question - does the brand become more sustainable with a wider range of garments in the vignette base? Or less sustainable because I am extending myself too far.

And of course I continue to wrestle with the thoughts of wholesaling the brand from the initial launch or whether it's better to build a vertically integrated collection first to demonstrate the runs on the board. I am fairly certain either path isn't totally right or totally wrong, but it still leaves me with some trepidation about the way forward and we know that way confusion lies with the thinking, and the many layers of over-thinking!

I'd really love to extend the reach of the brand and the impact it can have to bring joy to women through colour and shape and texture. This becomes more readily possible through wholesaling. But how many retailers are willing to take a punt on an untested brand? And it radically changes the timeline of things.

At the same time, because I am not 'connected' or 'cool' (insert eyeroll) and private to a fairly high level, building a vertically integrated brand seems a big ask.

Hoo, boy.

Let's leave this existential crisis for a while.


Like pretty much all of my life I am making this up as I go. And like I mentioned last month, I struggle to ask for help. However, when the inestimable and lovely Karishma from Kholo mentioned in her stories a couple of months ago she could be tapped as an expert consultant I filed that nugget away for future reference.

There's a lot I am juggling as I build Ellen Elizabeth alongside work-work, and I know some of what I want can't be produced onshore. When you are a lover of the beads and the sequins, India is the place to be.

Karishma, when I booked in an hour with her was BEYOND incredibly generous, sharing her expertise and sharing her contacts - she happily passed through details of her supplier in India. She is exactly as lovely as you'd hope.

It's moments like this I realise individually people are pretty fabulous.


While there's a lot I can stumble on, some of the choice is fun! Julia recommended a great digital printing company in India and they sent across their fabric books and oh my gosh ... I can't wait to spend time in January choosing between this fabric or that fabric and then sampling the prints. They have some beautiful fabrics with amazing handle and such a great array of weights.

And I think that's pretty much it for December ... my family are here visiting and I just want to sepnd all the time with them!

Oh, I did head into the studio for a day just before Christmas and it was a blast painting!

- December 2021

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