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!
Be sure to visit us at booth # 572. at the West Coast Women’s Show, the biggest women’s show in Western Canada, at TRADEX on October 20, 21 & 22, 2017
Buy tickets online and save $2! For show information and stage schedules visit www.westcoastwomen.net
Thanks to everyone who answered the survey. We will keep it open for future input. For now, we're moving forward based on the replies we received so far. Here are the changes we're making based on the feedback.
Thinner Sizes & Larger Sizes
People have requested thinner sizes and larger sizes, so we plan to change and expand our sizes for the clothing we make. We will be posting an updated size chart later this month. We've also carefully selected several brands to offer that have a large size range and we've ordered the full size range available.
Made in Canada & Made for an Hourglass Shape
People say they prefer items made in Canada and designed specifically for an hourglass shape. Hourglass Heaven will continue to create good quality clothes for an hourglass shape and our products will be made in Canada.
Prices & Manufacturing in Foreign Countries
People also say they are open to considering items made in other countries and some people find the prices a bit high. In response to this feedback we've made the decision to carry some simpler, less expensive products made in Canada and some simpler, less expensive products made in India. They are all carefully selected and the fit of the items is good, even though the products were not specifically designed for an hourglass shape.
Natural fabrics like cotton
This is actually a bigger challenge than you might think. One issue is stretch, natural fabrics like cotton have very little stretch so it makes it more difficult to fit curves and fit a range of body shapes and sizes. There is also the issue that "natural" and "eco-friendly" fabrics is a very nebulous and poorly regulated area.
Organic cotton is nice to the environment in some ways, but also takes a lot of water resources! Many natural dye processes are just harmful to the environment as chemical dye processes, sometimes even more-so. Processed fiber fabrics, like Rayon, vary in eco-friendliness based on the fiber used, how it was grown, how much water it takes, what chemicals are required to turn it into fabric, etc. Polyester is a man-made fabric that is similar to processed fiber fabrics in terms of environmental friendliness and polyester can be recycled, unlike many other fabrics.
We select the best fabric for the design and we always consider various options for every design. The fabrics we plan to use fall into three categories: fabrics that can be recycled, fabrics that are made from recycled materials, and fabrics that are "natural" and "eco-friendly".
We did look at and consider cotton and other "natural" fabrics for the the Hourglass Heaven LBD, however they did not provide the look and fit required for the design.
We will be looking at fabric options again with future designs and we will consider designing a garment specifically for a "natural" fabric.
More Dresses & Skirts
People have requested more dresses in brighter/lighter colours and sleeveless dresses. We will be offering a number of sleeveless dresses in brighter/lighter colours and prints from other brands. We will also offer Hourglass Heaven products in a wider range of colours and styles based on demand. We've already designed some skirts, so we'll begin prototyping those over the next six months.
Thanks again for all the feedback. If you haven't gotten a chance to answer the survey yet, please fill it out. We will continue to make changes based on YOUR input.