(About a 4-minute read)
It’s back-to-school time and I couldn't be happier! Even though this summer has been the craziest working summer to date, I still love referencing September as back-to-school and back-to-work. It feels nostalgic and exciting…brimming with possibility. As I wait impatiently for my factory to deliver so I can finally start selling this collection, I need to take a minute to reflect on the past few months. While I am cruelly hard on myself for thinking that I could build a product-based business any quicker than I am, I see a light at the end of this tunnel, (one of many I am sure to take) and I want to share with you! Hey, it's about the journey, not the destination, right?
The Summer of 19’
So many exciting things have happened since the tornado that blew in around June. I wrote a blog post about that whole saga, and even recorded a podcast, so if you are interested, check it out here. It’s been a summer of constant contact with the new factories- endless emails, sample packages, and skype calls. All in the name of one little collection…one little collection that is already bigger in spirit than I could have ever imagined. Between fit and textiles; stitching details and finishings; buttons and zippers, hangtags and labels; the list goes on and on. The logistics involved have proven to be a bit overwhelming (especially since I am now importing products and textiles), but while stressful, it has actually been a fascinating learning experience. Being forced to really pay attention to all of the incidentals that we rarely give a second thought to when buying a product, gives new meaning to the word quality.
Caption: Did you know that the country of origin label must be in the neck of any garment being imported into the US? If customs can’t immediately find the label, your product is not getting into the country.
The peak and the pit
The biggest win of this summer was finally finding my new factory in China. I dont even want to jinx it at this point, but they have been nothing short of amazing. The communication level has been superb and the attention to detail is everything I could dream of. On the flip side, my biggest loss this summer was spending a month waiting for another potential factory in Peru to deliver on their promises, only to find out VERY late in the game that they could not achieve what I was looking for. This left me scrambling to find a new knit factory, just last month, so that the two pieces I was planning to produce in Peru wouldn’t fall behind schedule. Talk about a stressful week.
Caption: This is a photo of my working sample used to reference the expected seam detailing inside one of the pieces. I believe the inside finishing is just as important as the outside.
"Keeping it real" side note: Stress. It's a real thing that cannot be ignored. My impatience and the pressure to deliver has sent me into panic mode. Literally. I experienced my first-ever panic attack last month, only to find out that I am perfectly healthy, and STRESS was the cause. I didn't even feel stressed, which is the craziest part. Trying to run both businesses has been a stress I haven’t ever felt before. So much so, I didn’t even realize it. I have been moving through the trenches with blinders on. I put deadlines in place and not reaching them has subconsciously created a volcano of stress, slowly but surely building until eruption. I bring this up, because I think it’s important to note that we live in a world today where there is so much pressure to succeed and failure is presumably not an option. You can beat yourself up about it and move on with blinders, like I was, or actually acknowledge it as OK! It is OK to be delayed. It is OK that you can’t do it all alone. It is all OK. For all the peeps out there thinking big, and starting small, like me, here is my advice…Don’t let the pressure you put on yourself, and the pressure of others build up, because that volcano will eventually erupt. Acknowledge it. There will always be someone bigger and faster, with more money, more connections, and all the right answers. You just can't let it dissuade you from forging ahead one step at a time, as slowly as you need to. Your passion and hard work will create your success, not the amount of time or pressure you put on yourself for it to happen.
So, where are we now?
Well! My new samples are slated to ship out of the factory next Monday, September 9th. That day cannot come quick enough. I dream of opening that box and jumping up and down because they are all that I could have ever imagined. Fingers crossed they are close to perfect, because I will then be able to officially begin selling to boutiques!
If you don't know about my change in business model from direct-to-consumer to wholesale as well, you can read that rundown here.
Social media is a blessing and curse
I have one word for this topic..UGH, and I don’t even think this is a word. This part of the business is interestingly the hardest for me and probably causing me the most stress of all. Partly because of my impatience to show you what I have been working on all these months and not yet being able to, but also because I have no desire to share myself on social media. I want to share the clothes! Not me! I have spent a lot of time this summer thinking about what I CAN share while I wait for the day I can actually share photos of the collection. I thought about taking you along through the ins and outs of the business, but full-disclosure, the last thing I think of when I am in work-mode is filming it.
So what did I decide? Well, remember when I told you that in my quest to have less, I created my own capsule wardrobe using the pieces I would reach for time and time again from my closet? I wrote a blog post about that too, if you want to check it out. It is really one of the main reasons I decided to bring Classic Six to life. I thought it might be fun to share how I style those go-to pieces in my own closet on the daily. Nothing fancy. No perfect filters or great photography. Just me, getting dressed in my mirror, and sharing with you how I keep the same ol' pieces in my wardrobe looking fresh time and time again!
More of that in the coming weeks! Click here to follow!