This has been a month of slowness, and a little progress.
WAITING, WAITING AND CRUNCHING, CRUNCHING
As much as I have wanted to keep charging ahead, sometimes life has other plans. I briefed my designs in for quoting for patternmaking, pattern alteration, toileing, fitting and alteration, specification updates, second sampling, fabric usage, fitting and alteration of the sample, grading and marker creation, specifications, pattern export and production.
There's a lot in garment production, and taking shortcuts leads to disaster, whether onshore or offshore. I am manufacturing my garments onshore, which means it's higher priced for me and my customers but it has three pretty distinct benefits. Supporting local production and manufacturing is a positive for our industry and helps our sustainability as a country. Little brands (and bigger brands) choosing to manufacture onshore helps create jobs, and of course is better for the environment because it means less shipping. The critical control points are closer to me which means I have better oversight, particularly for my first range. And it's much easier to handle the smaller minimums I need to start with.
It's taken all month to get the quotes back and now I'm assessing what I want to proceed with. I'm not wanting to spend my house deposit starting Ellen Elizabeth, so I am watching my budget. My design model means I will use the same designs for several seasons, so I can amortise the cost over several seasons; but it's still the initial outlay.
I am also waiting for the image capture back from my artworks to begin the repeat creation for the fabric printing. There's been a delay here too, so it's a little frustrating as it's putting my production schedule behind. I can't influence it however, so breathe in ... breathe out.
I am still working through my neckpiece designs - it's taking a while with other life pressures and there's a lot of detail to the instructions. And there's a lot of ideas to choose from. In the few minutes I spent sketching ideas, I designed 15 neckpieces!
But I am having fun. And perhaps I might produce more neckpieces and really have some fun in this space. I'm trying to be a little more flexible in the space of product creation to ensure I ship something. Rather than get the collywobbles and fall off the horse. (Not that I know what the collywobbles are, nor do I own a horse).
I am looking at all the different layers and treatments - the fabric, the embroidery, the beading, the sequinning. Colours. Sizes. Balance of coverage. I can't wait to brief in the production team on these. Hopefully their minimum order quantity isn't too high.
And I'm toying with knitwear. Well, I've got an idea. But finding the right manufacturer might be tough. So maybe I'll park it.
JUMBLED ART COMPETITION
And I also entered the Jumbled Art Competition. Pip and the Gang do a great job to support local and emerging artists, and particularly female artists. Plus, their whole mix of fashion and homewares is a colour-lovers delight. If you aren't following them, start now!
It's a very long shot I progress in the competition, but even the act of submitting it was good - it helped me clarify my art proposition and offering. And helps make this more real. Helps make me more committed to bring it to life, even if it's a small version.
So it's been slow. But still progress.
Let's go for month six.
- February 2022