Good Week

Friday, March 15, 2013

On Wednesday, I picked up my best friend, Abbey at the bus station. I haven't seen Abbey since the summer.  I didn't realize how much I missed her until I dropped her off again...

It was a huge help having someone come in and I made some great realizations.  I basically had Abbey do some of my grunt work, like fold and put away "fabric mountain." I've been so behind on orders, I've been taking fabric out of my neatly organized boxes and tossing it on to "fabric mountain" after I finish cutting what I need.  "Fabric Mountain" was really stressing me out... Abbey folded it all, got rid of any unusable scraps, and organized it again for me by type.  After that, she cut out my "Thank You" cards, stamped my wash instruction tags, packed up a few orders, unpicked some stitches for me, emailed customers who were waiting for photos of custom orders, and generally just took a few things off of my to do list.  That alone was a huge stress reliever.  We worked until about 8:00 on Wednesday night.  It was so, so, so nice to have someone to work with.   I got about 10 or 12 orders out over the last couple of days, so I am starting to feel much better.  I have 2 more that should be ready tonight. If I can keep up pace for another week, I'll be sittin' pretty!

So, I guess what I really need is a person to come in once a week, or as needed, and help me with that kind of thing.  Abbey is going to come up again and try to get an inventory system set up for me, so that I have a list of where I purchase from, how much my bulk items cost me, etc, so that anyone could come in and see what I am running low on and potentially order more for me.  I'm realizing that it's all the other things that keep be distracted from the actual production of garments, and that those things are generally things that anyone could come in and do if I have a system set up.

It was great having a friend come in and help out, it gave me a much better idea of what I need a helper to do.  I knew I needed a helper, but I wasn't entirely sure what kind of helper I needed. I have a much better idea now.

In all, it's been a good week.  A busy week but a good one.  We got a new hot water heater which means I can finally have a hot bath in more than just a puddle of water. In bad news, I have been having the worst time with Canada Post! It's a long, convoluted story, but the moral is, I am changing shipping methods to the US.  All packages will be shipped via Canada Post / USPS Expedited Mail (which is Priority in USPS speak), which is more expensive, but comes with tracking and insurance. I also opened a UPS account and can now show that way upon request.

I am going to do some house keeping around my shop and change a few things within my listings. I'm going to offer general sizing for my panties, XS-XXL, but will also continue to work from your measurements if you are a tricky fit.  I also am going to have that sample sale that I keep talking about! I have a bunch of items that need new homes.  Sometimes I'll finish sewing something and realize I made it a little to small, or have forgotten that the customer wanted a small change.  Those items get set aside, and I start forms scratch. I have samples, items I made that never made it to Etsy because I didn't love them... I have a variety of sizes and will be sure to let everyone know as soon as the sale is posted.


4 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm so glad you got some help this week! Sounds like Abbey was a real godsend! Here's hoping you find someone that can help out on a regular basis. :)

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  2. I'm so glad you're getting a lot done! It can be really tricky when you grow fast and don't already have all those inventory type issues taken care of. I used to work for a company where she grew from 2 to 9 employees in four months and oh my god, what a disaster. I don't live up there (well not anymore) but I know I would DEFINITELY help you if I could! I'm a fashion design graduate (about three years ago) and am still unemployed so I'm working on getting my sewing skills going and perfecting my patternmaking skills. I so enjoy your blog!

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    1. I've worked for people who definitely weren't prepared to take on employees before, and it was very frustrating. So, I want to make sure I have everything set up (as much as possible) before I get some one in :)

      Good luck with your job search! It is hard a challenge to get into the industry... I never really did work in the "fashion industry" until I started my own business. I did work in textiles & interior decorating, on the admin side of things, and that was actually really awesome! I miss it sometimes, especially the people I got to know :)

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  3. Looking back at your comments about pricing, I guess that if you cut out all your non-sewing working time and devote it to sewing instead while someone else handles all the other things does that mean you'll be able to raise the prices less than if you brought someone else in to help with the sewing (working on the assumption that you'd pay a garment-worker more for doing skilled labour, than you would an organisation-elf for doing invaluable but less skilled work?) Just a thought from another self-employed person (I'm in publishing, far less exciting!) the other side of the ocean!

    And don't worry - I don't know about other buyers, but although I can't wait to receive my first order from you, I am also happy for it to arrive whenever you can send it and it'll be a delightful surprise gift-to-myself on some as yet unthought of day :). It almost adds to the treatiness of buying handmade underwear as you have to be patient and wait for gratification!

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