Friday, March 2, 2007

It was the naush

Is this a cute "pear" or what? These are a couple of samples of my new line of children's wear. The only problem is I can't use them because I made the appliques from wool felt and didn't stop to think about how this would hold up during a machine wash and dry cycle (answer: Pretty well but slightly fuzzy- not so great for selling). I have to order some acrylic felt and start over with these and my other designs. I also came to the conclusion that I should stop doing onesies and shirts and instead use dresses and rompers and hoodies. The applique process will require the same amount of work but the resale value will be much higher. There is only so much one wants to spend on a t-shirt for a baby no matter how cute it is. I did not come to this conclusion alone, but instead from talking with Jeni a couple of weeks ago after going to the Women in Business meeting organized by Grace of Design Sponge. I learned a good amount at this get together and am actually totally rethinking what I am doing with Bun Bun Babythreads. We all know there is only so much one person can make by hand, especially when the only time alloted for making things is about ten hours a week. What I didn't know (although really I kind of did) is that buyers are more interested in design and the story behind the craft/garment then weather or not it was all hand made by one person. What I also didn't know (although again I really kind of did) is that to get your brand name out there you have to really schmooze and network, two things I am instinctively adverse to. I test out as an INFP, but I'm borderline extroverted. I'm what I like to call an extroverted introvert. You see, I like having a lot of friends and knowing everyone at my job or in my neighborhood etc, but when it comes down to it I just want to be alone most of the time. I rarely answer the phone but I love to write and receive e-mails and snail mail. I hate going to parties and risking having to talk to people I don't know, but I love throwing parties and inviting everyone I do know. My friend Jennifer is the same way. One way I bonded with her early in our friendship was when we discovered that we both used to throw parties to avoid having to go to any. We both also spend the entire ride to any social event creating an excuse to have to leave the second we get there. In fact I did this on the way to the Design Sponge event despite the fact that the only person there who would know me is Jeni. OK, I am rambling, I admit it. The point is, I don't schmooze.

Last weekend we went down to Austin and it was Harlan's first plane ride. Unfortunately, he came down with a stomach bug that everyone in Brooklyn seems to have had recently. He barfed the morning of our flight down and again on the flight down. It was miserable. He coated his car seat in 100% dairy barf (which smelled even better the next day in Austin when the temp in the car hit 80 degrees) and I had to change him into a new diaper and a sweater of mine since I was too stupid to plan ahead and pack an extra outfit for him in our carry-on. The poor kid cried the whole rest of the trip and for some reason the entire group of passengers surrounding us could not have been nicer or more sympathetic. I assume this is because they were all Austinites returning home from a trip to NYC, and not native New Yorkers visiting Texas. Once we returned home, I got hit with the bug too and spent most of this past week laying on the ground feeling nauseated and feverish while my poor son attempted to play with me. I had The Naush. If you don't know what The Naush is, you obviously were not in the elevator in the Atlantic Ave. subway station with me and Joe and Harlan that time a couple of months ago when it stank like barf. We piled in to the elevator with a woman of unknown origin who waved her arms around saying over an over, "Ohh, it give me The Naush, it give me The Naush!" I told her that it also gave me The Naush. Joe thought it was mean of me to say this, but I disagree. If I had said anything other would she have understood me? Probably not. I was just trying to make myself clear so she would understand that we were in the same boat (or in this case elevator). I think that nausea will always be referred to as The Naush in my household from now on.

Since I don't have much else to share with you on the creative front I thought I'd show you the awesome Shinji Katoh tote bag I got on ebay:

I got it for a great price ($10) and the seller has more designs, so feel free to go buy one before they sell out. I added the bag to my Aranzi Aranzo bags quite happily:


futuregirl said...

I'm going to work really hard to make "the naush" a household word here. :) Thanks for sharing the business-y things that you knew but didn't know. It's always good to hear them from other people instead of just feeling like you are guessing. I can't wait to see how Bun Bun grows.

futuregirl said...

Oh, and those pears are SUPER cute!

Frizz said...

You sound just like me - hating the smoozin', ignoring the phone, savoring being alone. That's why this next step in my "promotion" is going to be tough because I am just going to have to do it - confidence or not.
My jaw about dropped when I read your comment about the Random House connection. I would owe you big time for that one! I'm looking to freelance. That's incredibly nice of you. Wow...

Love the pears, I wanna take a bite!

Angelina said...

I love the shirts. But even more I enjoyed reading about the things you've been learning about business. I am currently working on finding a contract sewing company to work with so I can sell more of my aprons which are very time consuming to make by hand. It's quite a process.

I have mixed feelings about trying to go into actual production instead of making them myself. But since I have a brick and mortar to run too, I just have to give up some of the sewing. Too many late nights where my kid doesn't see mom.

I hope you will continue to share your findings and adventures growing your business.

Angelina said...

Oh yeah, and schmoozing? I'm right there with you about not liking to go to parties and promoting my business is counter intuitive. However, I have been finding that just diving in and doing it is beneficial. You want a lot of people in your court rooting for your business.

Angelina said...

Thank you for the links you left on my blog. I just spent about an hour checking them out-very useful!

I actually already have a sewing contractor I'd like to work with. We're in the initial phases. I'm just putting my patterns and samples together for them. I just don't know if I will be able to afford them.

Clearly I need to check out the Design Sponge site more often. Really cool.

Violette Crumble said...

FG I hope you get well soon and don't get The Naush!

Frizz, I e-mailed you the response from Random House & her advice.

Angelina, glad you have a contractor you like, although a big part of the whole process will be finding a way to make all your work profitable. I hope you can figure it out and let the rest of us know :)