Friday, September 18, 2009

Indie Designer Decisions: To Make Or To Sketch

Looks like a pile of scraps doesn't it? What you're actually looking at is a stack of 40 butterfly back tops - a run of 10 of each size S-XL. This stack of fabric will be worth a lot of money once it's all assembled.

This is a wholesale order that came in last night. Normally this wouldn't be blog worthy, however, this is just the kind of situation that you might not think about if you're not in this biz.

While I was sketching ideas for my upcoming winter collection I got this order for 40 butterfly tops. I had to stop and think about it: do I put aside the winter collection and make 40 tops that are sure to sell, or do I put off the butterfly tops in order to make the new collection - which, by the way, could be a lot easier and worth a lot more money.

Most people would probably consider this a no-brainer. Make the 40 tops and take the cash, what's so hard about that. But you have to consider that I have a bunch of walk-in stores that depend on me providing them with up to date collections for their stores. If I don't keep their stock current I could lose those accounts.

After going back and forth in my head for a minute or two, as you can see, I went ahead and made (at least cut) the order for the butterfly tops. I did this because I have a 200yd roll of black fabric on order. Since I have to wait for it to get here I can do the butterfly tops in steps instead of spending two whole days on them. I cut the striped pieces last night. I'll cut the black pieces when the roll comes in, and then I'll assemble one size run per day until they're done; all the while working on the new collection in between.

When you don't have anyone to boss you around it can be hard to get things done. Watching other people make decisions is easy, but when it's all on you it can be very hard. Let's hope the 5 hours spent cutting these and the many hours I'll spend assembling them doesn't put me too far behind on the winter collection.


  1. Gosh, I love reading your blog! I would never have thought about stuff like that. And I could not imagine cutting out fabric for 5 hours straight!

  2. Hi Polly, thanks for commenting. do you do etsy? if so email me with your account so I can check out what you have up.