Saturday, January 8, 2011

I have conquered!

The craft room resembles a usable workshop now! There's still a ton of laundry and bins hanging around but those will take a while to be done away with. (The bins will stay until we get dressers so I can steal the shelving unit Riley is using for his clothes.) But I did get a couple of useful bits of shelving in. So I decided to show some photos of the new organizational apparatus.

New trunk for fabric so I can see them
The trunk over here is actually a really long, thin shelving unit that I put on it's side and it makes a great fabric organizer. Other than the skinned muppet trying to cover it up (Orange fleece that will be a blanket when I have more patience to figure out what I'm doing wrong with it) I can actually see most everything that I have at once. (There are some bulkier bits that are still in a bin but it's down to only one bin and the trunk for now)

This has let me inventory my fabric stock, which is pretty much useless as far as the business goes. All of it is either really neon or is some terrible kind of knit stretch. (Totally the downfall of fashion... well that and the invention of the assembly line for mass produced clothing... and discarding corsets... we just hate looking good don't we?) I do have enough usable fabrics to make and model the prototypes of my ideas but I can't actually make a stock until I get orders. That is a bit of a setback but I plan to stock up on basic colors in a good heavyweight cotton (Black, Red, Deeper Blues and Greens and browns) to make some simple pieces to sell at first.

Then I got Riley to put up some shelves for me. They are a really basic design that is actually pretty convenient.

ZOMG organized!
I have labeled most of what's in there for the curious. Not enough of most of what I need for the business (bias tape, threads and notions) But it's a good start. I have enough to make my prototype projects and show them of and to hope that someone will want one for their own.

The collection is pretty darn eclectic with the glue gun and the old fashioned (I'm talking 70s here) electric shears that belonged to my great grandmother. ( I inherrited a lot of my craft supplies from her ... including most of the neon knits ... oh the 70s ... they were terrible.) The shears are actually way better at cutting smooth lines than I am (I always show jagged edges no matter how sharp of scissors I use) and so long as I have a guide I can make much better lines with them. They are terribly loud and sound like I am torturing a beehive but I consider them a pretty good tool.

I have actually set a hopeful business start date of February first and I am optimistic. I even have a bulletin board set up with my goals to get ready on it. (ooh fancy I know)

The goals are as follows. 1-4 finish design example finals. 5 get my business cards printed to take to events, put in with orders for referrals and to, in general promote myself. 6 Get Riley to help me take good photos of my designs (Outside!!)  to use for my Etsy store. 7 to work out my referral incentives.  

What do these mean? Well 1-4 are pretty easy, finish making the examples of my clothes so I can get them modeled and photographed for my store. Most of these are things for Riley and I's SCA garb kits because both of us have had a bad year for misplacing or otherwise having to discard our garb. I also have a few projects for friends that will make these lists at a later date but these are the bare basics.

Goal 5 is pretty self explanatory and 6 is to put my experience as an amatuer photographer to use to flatter and sell my designs. The plan is to go out to one of the parks nearby to take photos and use the nice sunlight and beautiful landscape to create romantic and fantastical images to help invoke the feeling I'm trying to create with these designs. The last goal is to work out how to reward my first customers and to encourage them to refer their friends since word of mouth is the mainstay of this business. My basic plan is to give each of my first five customers five coupons to give to their friends that will give them AND their friend 5% off any one item. (this only applies if the friend uses their coupon) It's nothing terribly complicated but every little bit of encouragement helps eh?

Since this is primarily a sewing and project based blog I figure I should probably show you what I have been working on. So behold my first attempt at a surcoat as a WIP.

Wow I need an iron ... and something to cover that door up.
I guess that's enough ranting about my progress for now. Back to pretending it's Christmas Eve to make up for not spending it with my family.

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