Hourglass Heaven will be at Taboo next weekend, Feb. 2-4, and we have FREE tickets to share!
The dresses have been called sexy, particularly this version with the dark red.
Laina modeling the dress at a fashion show last fall
I think it's the form-fitting design of the dress & it is in a body conscious style to compliment the hourglass shape. The red colour-block just adds to that effect.
Teresa trying on the dress at the Hourglass Heaven launch party last year
I went to a number of shows last year to do research, Taboo, the Zoomer show, the Home show. I wanted to see what kinds of businesses had booths, what they sold, what the booths looked like, etc.
Taboo is the "The Naughty But Nice Sex Show" and after visiting it, I think it completely lives up to that description. It is nice. Much of the merchandise is what you would find in your local adult shop and a lot of the people who visited the show seemed to be couples looking to spice up their sex lives.
There's also far more at the show than you'd ever find at your local adult shop. There were a number of photography studios, boudoir photography, pin-up style, and artistic nudes. There were booths for specialty items, like the amazing waterproof blanket. I saw a demo and it was impressive! There were a number of clothing and jewelry booths as well.
I also attended some of the education sessions to get an idea about what they were teaching. The free lap dancing class was great! It seemed to be attended by a lot of women who wanted to dance for their significant other. :)
There were also some outstanding sessions offered by Dr. Teesha Morgan. She gave some great tips on all sorts of topics from how to discuss and fulfill fantasies to common sex questions. She gave great, compassionate advice that seemed very accessible to everyone.
I considered it and I don't have any ethical issues with the information being presented, it is "Naughty But Nice". The show is quite a bit nicer than an average adult shop. It was light, open, and airy with a very, wide variety of products. All the education content seemed good and grounded in the ideas of communication and consent.
If you're looking for a nice outing for you & your significant other before Valentine's day, or a fun girls' night out:
FREE tickets to the first 50 people!
Happy Holidays! Joyeuses Fêtes! Felices Fiestas! Forhe Feiertage! 幸せな休日! Buone Feste! 節日快樂! Boas Festas! 행복 휴일! Glade Feriedage!
I attended two craft/artisan markets last weekend, the last ones for 2017, and I received two Christmas gifts!
The first event was the Crafty Affaire Holiday Market on Saturday. Here's a pic of my booth, because I've learned booth pics are a thing that people want when you apply to participate in these kind of events. :)
My badge kept falling off the dress, so I finally just pasted on my boot where it attached quite nicely.
At the end of the night, Mona with Glasea gave me this beautiful hand-blown glass ornament wishing me success with my new business! :) I thought it was a very sweet gift and it even has a bit of an hourglass shape
That night, one of the bags I use to carry parts came apart. Good thing I had a sewing repair kit with me! Here's me doing emergency sewing repair in my car.
I used a running stitch to put the bag bottom back together, then added a layer of knotted stitches to secure the seam firmly. (I'm not sure what the technical term is for the hand-stitch I use for this; I think it's form of backstitch or chain stitch. Basically, you're running the needle back through the stitch to knot each stitch. I know it's very secure for a hand-stitch.)
The next day was the Women's Winter Faire on Sunday. No badges to worry about at this small show.
The vendor closest me was My Chocolate Tree and I couldn't resist buying a small assortment. Later in the day, Nina opened a box to mix and match chocolates for a customer. She shared the leftovers from the box with other vendors, so I got to try a pretty little Brandy + Sea Salt chocolate with an embossed bronze top and a Lemon chocolate with a fancy fan design on top at the show. She gave me a Orange + Grand Marnier one too and I saved it to enjoy later that night, after the show.
Nina and I talked with each other throughout the day and at the end of the night she gave me more chocolates! Here's the combination of what I bought and was gifted, minus the bits I already enjoyed. :)
When I got home I checked out her Instagram and found out she was a Paris trained chocolatier! I decided I should give that Orange + Grand Marnier chocolate some serious attention, because these were finely-crafted fancy chocolates. I felt I kind of just munched down the ones at the show because I was hungry and chocolate!
I had the Orange + Grand Marnier with a little spring water and treated it as a mindful eating exercise. It was delicious and complex and great!
I look forward to enjoy the rest. I've carefully sealed them and stored them in the fridge according to her directions, so I can enjoy them slowly over the next month.
I had some great conversations with people visiting the markets and other vendors. It's good to hear so many people like the dress design and our mission to create clothes for women with curves.
Some women have expressed interest in clothing styling advice, so starting next year I'll be posting style tips for all shapes.
If you have a particular question or topic you'd like me to talk about, please let me know.
We're happy to announce the dresses are ready! We picked up the first production run from the manufacturer, so we now have Hourglass Heaven dresses in-stock. Here are some images of the red and blue color-block version.
We also wanted to let you know we'll be at two holiday faires this weekend.
Crafty Affaire is carefully curated show featuring one-of-a-kind and high-quality handmade creations by local artisans.
The Women's Winter Faire features local artisans as well and focuses on the finest women crafted, unique gifts. The event also supports local charities.
So come out this weekend to browse some beautiful, locally made items and support local charities!
Tis the season for gift giving, so I'm offering a some specials savings to my customers.
During the month of December, we're offering two specials:
Sales ends December 31st.
Ms. W is my broker. I asked her about trying on the dresses and giving feedback. She said she'd be happy to test them out. I asked her try the same set of dresses that Ms. M tried on, V1 and V2.
41.5" bustline (32" underbust, usually wears a 36DD)
What did she think of the fit of the dress? Was it too loose or too tight anywhere? I asked about the fit at the waist and the hips and the bust.
"Ooo...This dress fits like a glove! I never fit into dresses like this. (V1)"
Ms. W told me the fit at the waist and bust were good. She said the arms were loose, but she also explained she has small arms and often finds clothese are too loose in the arm.
"This one feels more comfy, though it's a bit loose in the hips. (V2) I'd like it tighter on the bottom."
There were lots of adjustment to the fit for V3, including making the sleeves tighter and taking in the hips. The bottom of the skirt was narrowed to be more pencil-like too.
Did she like the look of the dress on her? How the dress made her look?
She checked out how she looked in the dress in a mirror.
"Yes! I love the way I look in this dress! It makes me feel so sexy. I don't want to take it off."
Did Ms. W like the fabric, the texture, the look, the feel?
She ran her hands over her hips feeling the fabric to test it out.
"This is a nice fabric. I like the way it looks and feels."
Would she want another colour?
"Red! I like the black, but I love red."
("And she did! Hourglass Heaven’s first two colours includes a dark red.")
Does the dress feel comfortable? Something you could wear all day? How is the arm movement? Leg movement? Is it easy to walk around in and sit down & stand up?
"It's very comfortable. I feel like I could dance in this."
Ms. W didn't like the lack of zipper in V2 either and saying it would be difficult to get in and out of the dress with hair and make-up.
To finish the testing, I asked Ms. W a magic wand question. The answer, "sleeveless". That was the one detail Ms. W wanted different about the dress. Ms. W said she prefers sleeveless dresses, in general. We haven't done a sleeveless version...yet.
Why didn't I announce any Black Friday deals? All the major retailers are doing it. Some small businesses in Canada even do Black Friday now.
There are a couple of reasons.
Black Friday doesn't really have good associations. Some people even find the name itself offensive. It's origin was a negative commentary about the heavy traffic the day after Thanksgiving in the US. I personally was tremendously saddened to hear about the deaths associated with Black Friday. Since 2006, there have been 7 reported deaths and 98 injuries throughout the United States.
I also simply don't believe in participating in Black Friday, as a retailer or as a shopper. I'd rather support "Buy Nothing Day". I strongly believe in the ideas of reduce, reuse, recycle. I believe in living simply and only buying items you really need.
That's why the Hourglass Heaven LBD is over-engineered and designed to last for years. That's also why I choose to create a dress with a classic, timeless design, so it would always in fashion and on-trend.
I don't believe in "fast fashion" where the clothing is made cheaply in a foreign country with cheap materials and child labour. I don't believe in having clothes that only last for 7 trips through the washer. I think that's crazy!
I believe in products that are well-made and last. I believe in clothes you can wash and wear many times and they still look good. I believe in making items with quality materials. I believe in making sure child labour isn't involved! I believe in making sure workers are being treated and paid fairly. I believe in supporting my local economy, that starts with BC and extends to Canada and the US.
I want to make products I believe in and I want to create a business that reflect my values.
So, yeah, no Black Friday sales. Sorry. I will be announcing some winter holiday specials very soon. Stay Tuned!
It's that time of the year where if you have a Halloween party to attend you're probably looking for a costume (or trying to finish making one before the end of the month).
I usually have to make my own costumes or significantly alter a store-bought costume. Last year I had to take in the waistline at least 6 inches on the costume I bought to make it fit!
So the question is, would you like us to make a Halloween costume for next year? And if so, what kind of costume should we make? Should it naturally be an angel, since we are Hourglass Heaven? Would you prefer something else?
Take the survey and let us know!
The West Coast Women`s Show wrapped up today. Thanks to everyone who came by the booth!
Small children want this business card, because they think it's pretty.
That seem like a win for the logo design. If it's something a young child can recognize and like and adults like it too, then that seems like a winning design! (And maybe we should offer more than just adult T-shirts with the logo.)
Young children also commented that "Mommy should have a dress like this." That's sounding like a nice gift for Christmas or Mother's Day!
Lots of people of all ages like the dress design. Young girls commented the dress was "pretty". Women in their 20's liked the design and thought the built-in shapewear was "brilliant". Women in their 70's like the dress and commented that it reminded them of classic designs from the 50's and 60's. They lamented that they didn't have anywhere to wear a dress like that anymore. Women who didn't have an hourglass shape commented they loved the design and thought it was "beautiful". A couple of older gentleman even stopped by to comment on the design being very nice as well. So that's seems like a win for the dress design, and seniors you need to organize some nice dinners and parties for older women to have a good excuse to wear a dress like this!
Many women know their body shape and some self-identified as "Hourglass" and walked right up to find out what the booth was all about. This led to some great conversations with women and the familiar woes of not being able to find clothes that fit well in stores. Many women thanked me for thinking of them and starting this business, because they would really like clothes that fit!
I also heard from women with other fit issues. Women who were more of a Inverted Triangle shape, women who were more of a Pear shape, women who were taller and shorter than average, All of them would love to have their fit issues solved! We'll see what we can do, but our first focus and priority is on solving the issue for women with an hourglass shape. This is because it's not just fit, it's also style as well. Certain styles compliment different body shapes. The style and the fit of our garments are specifically designed for an hourglass shape.
"Sexy Lexy" looks pretty good in the Medium, but it required lots of pinning in the back. She'll probably look better in a S or XS.
Some women wish they had an hourglass shape and wished the dress gave them the same figure as ``Sexy Lexy``. Unfortunately, the shapewear liner alone will not significantly change your shape. You do need to be close to the size chart to fit into the dress and have it look good on you. Again, this is a fit and a style issue. If you have a different body type, then other styles of clothing will look and feel better on you. For a good guide on this, I`ll refer to Imogen Lamport`s Inside Out Style Blog and her books on styling different body shapes.
Being next to a confectioner offering samples means lots of people near my booth, and buttercrunch bits and chocolate on my dresses from people wanting to feel the fabric of the dress after sampling tasty candy. Good thing I can wash the dresses in the washing machine. :)
Oh! We also got some very nice comparisons in terms of the design. One woman asked if it was a "Ribkoff" and another commented that it reminded her of "Coco Chanel". That`s some pretty high praise to be compared to such well-known and well-respected designers! And, yes, this dress is my original design. :)
So overall, lots of good conversations and lots of positive feedback about the design, which is great!
I ordered all of the supplies MONTHS in advance to make sure there would be no delays when I was ready to do a production run. Everything is here, except the size labels. :(
Dutch Label Shop looks good on their website and Etsy store. Their site says, "Production takes 7 days". If production only takes 7 days, then why are my labels taking MONTHS? I ordered the labels more than 4 months ago in JUNE.
I've contacted them a number of times about my order and I've gotten different explanations for the delays.
At first they said my shipment was lost in transit and they promised to reship ASAP in July.
That reshipment never arrived, so I contacted them again. This time they said my order was never shipped due to a "glitch". Again, they promised to reship ASAP.
Then a week later, they contacted me asking me for payment. I reminded them I had already paid for the order months ago. They apologized and promised to reship my order ASAP.
I asked when ASAP was; they didn’t answer.
One of the fundamentals of customer service is to set clear expectations and then meet them. As a customer service representative you provide an estimate when the problem will be solved. If that date cannot be met, you contact the customer, provide an explanation why the original date can’t be met, and provide a new date for resolution.
I asked for a clear estimate when the labels would be ready; they haven't been able to provide one.
I asked to talk to a manager; they ignored me.
I have no idea why the Dutch Label Shop would want to provide such terrible customer service to anyone, let alone a new clothing company. Yes, I'm small now, but I do have the potential to grow and I am someone in the industry who will talk to other people in the industry. Why would you want to give such awful service to a new customer?
I'm looking into alternatives. If you are a company who can make size labels like this and get them to me in a timely manner, please contact me!
Oh, the woes of becoming a clothing manufacturer...
Update (Nov. 1, 2017):
Good news! They got someone with customer service experience to take over who was able to make sure the labels got done and shipped. The labels have arrived and production can now finally begin. Yea!