By golly, have things been quiet around here! An unplanned hiatus to be perfectly honest, but only online. In the background, it has felt like nothing really stopped. The relentless onslaught of emails, factory and fabric wholesalers visits, and telephone calls to potential business partners has not slowed down at all.
What has felt a little slow perhaps, is finding the right fit for everything. The right manufacturer with an ethical stance towards their treatment of workers, the right fabrics with eco-conscious accreditations and sustainability credits, the right production prices that mean we can actually afford to bring this brand to launch at sensible retail prices to you, our sole reason for doing this in the first place! Part of being such a small fish to fry as a start-up is that no one takes us seriously to begin with, and when someone finally gives us the light of day, we inevitably find that we do not have the scale required to make most arrangements financially feasible. So it has been a hard toil! And at times I have struggled to keep my spirits up, I'll be honest with you on that.
Showing up on social media or here on the blog, has oftentimes felt pointless in light of the incredibly slow progress. Largely because I have been weary of making promises I cannot be sure I will keep. As it is, our launch date of autumn/winder of 2021 has gone rather out of the window, and I am reticent to announce a new one without products firmly in hand. Nevertheless, I remain hopeful, for a few things are coming along (with teething problems of their own of course!).
So other than trying, and so far failing to find the perfect manufacturing partner, what else have I been up to?
Having worked with a wonderful textile print designers to bring my vision to life for the launch collection, we finally managed to get some prints to be printed onto fabric as a test run. A few lessons learned about how colour saturation and fabric choice all affect the final product, and a few more iterations of this and we should hopefully be on the homestretch! Look out for some teasers of the wonderful designs over on our Instagram profile; I can't wait to share more with you soon!
I have also continued my search for the perfect fabric pairings for each of our designs, bearing in mind the need to make everything cohesive and like they could all fit well together in a chamber orchestra!
So where exactly are we then? Well, not quite at the starting line, but not yet ready to hand over any batons to the second starting point on much of anything. Staying true to our values about safe treatment of workers, fair pay, and environmentally-responsible manufacturing is very important to me. That has surprisingly made things a lot more challenging for us, add to that a very stressed out manufacturing supply chain as the pandemic rages on, and you have yourself the perfect recipe for disappointment. I remain hopeful however that we will get there; things may just take a little longer.
"If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve you long after they are gone, and so hold on when there is nothing in you, except the Will which says to them: "Hold on"."
In the meantime I plan on eating a few too many mince pies over Christmas, moving all the tree decorations higher up the tree to stop the toddler from snatching them off the tree, and enjoying far too much of that "hot chocolate" I've been indulging in of late! And when the new year rolls around, I'll pull up my (hopefully fleecy) socks and keep going at this dream! I hope you'll stick around with me a little longer, and with much luck the wait won't be too long still.
And my I wish you a merry Christmas?! Here is to holding out for a better 2022.
With all my love, Kate