Friday, February 20, 2009

I smell a change

I'm on the Etsy front page right now, yay.

I've been doing some thinking and I've decided to no longer make clothing from scratch, and instead concentrate on reconstructing. This is for a few reasons:
  • Making items from scratch usually meant buying factory remnant fabric. This seems kind of like buying regular recycled paper instead of post-consumer paper. Recycled paper is made from the offcuts from paper mills (so maybe not truly recycled?), and post-consumer recycled paper has been used by the consumer, then recycled and made into new paper. It's still better than buying new, but post-consumer is better still, no?
  • I wasn't making much of a wage, much less profit. I've now restructured my prices and created a comprehensive spreadsheet including ALL of my costs. Previously I just set my prices at what I thought they were worth, plus factored in some kind of wage. It wasn't very formal. Now that I'm starting to do more wholesaling, I've really had to work this out properly.
  • Everything I make will definitely be one-of-a-kind now. I previously had the idea to do a made to order collection, choose your own size and I'll make you a copy kind of thing, but I think there's something special about having something that's yours, and yours only.
  • It means I can make more things and list more regularly. Making things from scratch often took triple the time of a reconstruction that ends up the same level of pretty at the end.
I've been doing the reconstructing all of this week. I've become enamoured with gathering, so expect to see lots of frills and cute little flutter sleeves like this one:

M piece by piece dress

I've also been working on warmer designs - wool jumpers and long-sleeved things. If you'd like to see more of anything in particular, please do let me know.


Stepstotheleft said...

That dress looks really great Hayley. I'm looking forward to seeing some more of your new stuff.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on making Etsy front page!

Looking forward to seeing more of your reconstructed clothes.

I would not be too hard on your using remnant fabric. Does it end up in landfill otherwise?


R. said...

Congrats on the front page status! I was just at Etsy and I completely missed it :p

I think you should do more skirts - every skirt you've made is just lovely, plus they're something to go with your tops...


Heidi and Seek said...

Steps - Thank you! I'm looking forward to sharing them, too. A lot of the stuff I'm making is going into my new webshop or the fashion show, which is why Etsy listings are a bit infrequent.

Tricia - Thanks! I'm not sure what they do with it if it doesn't sell. I always go on a weekend, so every time I've asked about more about it, they have no idea.

R - Thanks! And great idea, I'll definitely work on more skirts.

Chrisy said...

Look forward to seeing your new creations...have featured one of your dresses over at my blog...

ButtonsByLouLou said...

Congrats on the front page. I really like your stuff. Love the striped neck in this photo. Great idea to think through your prices - always such a hard area but needs to be worth all the effort.

Yvonne said...

oh wow congrats on being on the front page!
i think it's great that ur so thoughtful about the products you make.

ButtonsByLouLou said...

I have nominated you for a blog award - details on my blog. Lou.

halloweenie, smile! said...

It is such a great thing that you're doing. I hope everything turns out well for you!
Congrats on being in the front page for Etsy :)

Heidi and Seek said...

Chrisy - Thanks so much for the feature! Great post.

Loulou - I really appreciate you linking me for the award!

Yvonne - Thanks! I think if big business isn't going to do it, it's up to us little guys.

Halloweenie - Thank you. I popped on over to your blog - nice!

lauren said...

This is delightful, I want to be wearing it right now while outside drinking a mojito...