Sunday, November 23, 2008

...'Til It's Gone

There hasn't really been a whole lot going on lately where new designs are concerned. I have been sewing a lot, though...trying to increase inventory. I was recently given a new bag of fabric by the two ladies I mentioned previously some of which has been converted into these nifty lil mini dresses you see here. These are basic and don't require a whole lot of thought, and that's what I've been needing in my life lately. Ease and relaxation of the mind.

You may also notice that I've been doing a lot of sleeveless garments lately. This is mostly due to the fact that I'm very particular when it comes to sleeves. Rather than just add a sleeve to a garment just to say it has sleeves, I'd much prefer to not add any at all. I haven't really be able to envision a new/different style of sleeve than ones I've used before...ones that aren't really appealing to me at the present moment. Perhaps I'll look through some fashion pics for sleeve inspiration. In the meantime I think some of these would be great layered with long sleeved tops for cooler weather.

In other news, yesterday my friend Kim
made a spontaneous trip to come visit me, and despite the fact that she insisted we go to the maaaaaall (a place I avoid and haven't been to in what...3 yrs?? nothing necessarily against it. it's just that i've held enough jobs there among rude and insane shoppers to be justified in never returning again.) and the fact that I had to chauffeur her around in her huge truck (neither of us really likes to drive, but her not knowing this area especially gave her an excuse to put me behind the wheel), we had a really good time. Being the homebody that I am, my presence among all the retail madness must have been comparable to being in some sort of twilight zone. Nevertheless, I took it as a chance to people watch..something I thoroughly enjoy. To see what people are wearing, doing, eating, who they're with, etc. We went to Express for old time sake (we used to love that store in high school. kim still shops there. it's out of my price range at this point...), and it was there, among shoppers ogling over shirts and skirts and jeans and dresses, that I came to the conclusion that there may not be any real vitality for my clothing line here. For the most part, people seem to not have an interest in handmade, mostly one of a kind locally, I mean. Now, I've drawn this conclusion before, so this wasn't really an epiphany. It was just made real to me again while in that environment yesterday.

I've made several attempts to offer my garments to locally owned boutiques (which there seems to be thousands of around here) with little success. I chalk it up to them being businesses and wanting to only focus on what's fashionable and in style so as to ensure that the funds keep coming in. The two shops where my creations can be purchased locally happen to fall into the vintage/eclectic category and both are geared towards those who do have an interest in original, one-of-a-kind items. Thankfully, I have done well at both.

However, I think being in the mall yesterday just kinda solidified it for me that Lafayette, LA, for the most part. is not my market. I've tried. Boy, have I tried! Yet, most of the people seem to want mass produced, "as seen in/on _______", "make me look like ______" type clothes, and that's just not my specialty. So from here forward, I'll continue to make items for the two shops that do accept and appreciate my work but will put little to no energy into getting in anywhere else around here. Instead, I'll be focusing most of my energy on getting into others markets nationally as well as internationally. I've received a great amount of love from you folks all over the world who accept my creations for what they are and appreciate me for the work I do. And for that I appreciate you! :-D

Have a great day.

Edited to say: p.s. thanks for all the b-day wishes! :-D


Ms. Bar B: said...

Dresses. Beautiful as always. Is that a peak of purple I see coming from the hem of the first dress?? Those are some great colors and patterns as well.

I think its great that you make the kinds of clothes that you do. Although I do like and appreciate fashion, it puzzles me. I just still don't get how/why everyone wants to look the same and how/why folks could knock those who do not. The whole skinny jeans, scarf around the neck like you are in a desert storm, leggings phenomenon is very interesting. I mean everyone looks the same, just in different colors.

I know that you will keep growing because there are folks who love and would love your clothes. They may not be in your area but they are out there... shoot, they are out here! Berkeley, CA, and other cities in the Bay Area lol.

High Desert Diva said...

I think you've got it figured out.

Focusing your energy on getting into others markets nationally & internationally sounds smart.

please sir said...

Oh the blue - love it and the dress style!

Michelle said...

those are great dresses! Off to check them out in the shop!

T.Allen-Mercado said...

Marketing madness. Joe had the same problem you mention with his music. We had a cult-like following abroad with no recognition in the states. So, we started our own label and released our own music. Pfft! Keep to it with your bread and butter and shop the like-minded retailers. Agreed, the others are unrelenting in their quest for current trend assimilation. We joke that we'll know we fell off when *they* want us!

The second dress is my fave-I like the swing of it and the neutral tone.

paperhill said...

your dresses are beautiful and i think hip! they'd be great with a little top underneath & high boots for the cooler weather! thanks so much for visiting my blog & your kind words. i appreciate it! have a super day!

kim* said...

so cute! i love the baby doll dresses

moxylyn said...

These dresses are WAY cute, and the last photo of you is absolutely adorable!

Gallery Juana said...

Congratulations on the shops you have in your area and best of luck in branching out to other areas.

Your dresses are cute, and I especially like the checkered one.

A Cuban In London said...

Happy Thanksgiving Day (if you're celebrating it, that is ;-D)

Greetings from London.

Jewelry Rockstar said...

Finding your market is key. You can beat yourself in the head trying to sell your great creations to people who just don't understand. I lovin' that you have those ladies who supply wonderful fabric. I love the dolman sleeve, what are your thoughts???

fly tie said...

ms. bar b--so so true. we have the same skinny leg jeans/scarf thing here and i find it quite interesting the way folks are so willing to compromise their individuality for the sake on being "in". thanks for your kind words. :-D

tameka--that's pretty dope that y'all have such a strong following abroad! seems that that's how it was with many of the past musical legends.

jewelry rockstar--yep. it's like an endless cycle trying to deal with folk who don't get it. i do like the dolman sleeve and was actually considering doing something with that here really soon. great minds i tell ya..great minds!!! :-D

(though i'm late replying,) i appreciate all the wonderful comments!