image from Vaguely Artistic
Hello Ellie Fun Day Friends,
Thank you so much for the love on our new teasers and blankets. We are in the process of working on our production so please be patient with us. We are in the learning process and trying to bring the best possible blanket with our resources and time.
Throughout this whole process I’ve really learned ALOT! I just got back from New York City (my second home) and boy is it a tough tough market out there. I braved myself and did some cold calls to some high-end boutiques in Soho and the Meatpacking district. Surprisingly all of the owners were happy to give me feedback. General consensus from my learnings? To be myself. All of the owners gravitated towards the designs that I felt like were more me. I don’t know if NYC is just a microcosm of taste, I have yet to test the midwest and the other parts of the country.
Some other learnings:
1.) What sells isn’t necessarily good taste. I just came back from a kids trade show. Elton and I noticed that one booth in particular was totally buzzing. What I noticed first was the sad photography. It wasn’t sharp at all and the model was situated at this one place in front of the Brooklyn Bridge with trash all around her. Go figure…was that the look they were going for?
2.) Being a designer isn’t necessarily about just making pretty things. the goal is to produce a product for profit so that I can sustain and therefore help the community of women that I am trying to empower.
3.) You REALLY pay for what you get: the more I’m in this business the more I examine clothes and products closely. So to my final point and learnings…
HOW TO GO SHOPPING…and be responsible:
1.) Cost: this is a big one. I know that we all like deals and cheap things. (I do too!) But analyze the cost of the product that you’re buying, then divide that by 4 (if not 7 ideal). Then that is really the cost of goods plus labor. i.e. Forever 21 sells a blouse for $21, so divide that by 4 = $5.25. Now think about the labor and the material…how much did that person get paid to make that blouse? How did that fabric get to that price point?
The other thing to consider is how much wear will you get out of this item. Think about cost per wear. If it’s just a trendy item, will you wear it next season? If it’s something like a well-made coat, you will more likely keep this for a longer duration of time and wear it more often through it’s lifespan. Think about those investments.
2.) Content: fiber content matters. Natural fibers (Cotton, wool, silk) will cost more. Synthetics less (polyester, nylon, modal, rayon) etc. I’m not saying one is better than the other. But do consider this, natural fibers biodegrade much faster than synthetics. Synthetics help in durability but both may use toxic chemicals during processing and production. In the end, it’s how the manufacturer handles the disposal of these chemicals. The more responsible ones will most likely cost more. See where cost comes in?
3.) Care: sometimes manufacturers will do something called low-labeling. This means that if they don’t have time to test their garment/product they will just put the lowest common denominator for care i.e. dry clean only. I’ve seen a dry clean label on a cotton shirt that I had. It was a woven and I was asking myself, “why is this dry clean only?” I proceeded to wash it with cold water and hung dried it. There was some significant shrinkage but the shirt was still ok after the washing. The manufacturer most likely didn’t want me to be upset with the shrinkage…hence the low-labeling. Watch out for care labels like that.
4.) Fit: why do movie starts look so awesome in their clothes? yes, designers give them nice threads, but in the end they have all of their clothes tailored to their body. Most clothes that are off the rack are sized in a way where it fits a larger demographic. As you move towards the higher end designer lines, the fit will get better because they have worked on the pattern extensively to get it just right. (that is where their costs are built in..see? costs!)
Finding a good tailor is like finding a best friend…you want to keep him/her FOREVER. They make you look good and will tell you what is wrong and try to fix it.
Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty via Liz Chan
5.) Function: as you shop, ask yourself, “Where will I wear this? With what will I wear this with? Do I feel FABULOUS in it?” (this is key…I don’t by anything that I don’t love.) After my purchase I try on my new piece of clothing with other things in my wardrobe. If I can’t pair it with 3 or more items then it’s a return.
FINAL MANTRA >>>>
Your closet is an exclusive club.
The secret code to get in is CCCFF = Cost, Content, Care, Fit, Function.
How do you go shopping? Love to hear your tips!