Pressing on: the latest four months of Vesta
I was just looking at the post I wrote about my first four months of starting a business, and realized it's been almost another four months already, which is hard to believe. In some ways, so much has happened, yet in other ways, some days I feel like no progress has happened at all. I thought today I would go into my updates and what I've worked on in the last four months. If you're interested in the little elements that go into the first year of entrepreneurship, this post is for you.
-Signing off with my pattern maker to make my fourth piece. I originally planned to have five pieces total, but instead of doing 2 tops, I decided to just start off with one, a mock neck tee with elbow length sleeves. My PM made the pattern, I made several muslin samples myself, then got a factory sample made using the super soft modal I'm going to be using.
-Trying my damnedest to find a place that could custom dye the modal tops to match the other items in the capsule. This was really at least a 6 month process. At last I found the modal fabric I'm in love with that can also be dyed to custom colors of my choosing. Sadly, I probably won't be able to afford this for my Kickstarter campaign, as the minimums are super high and I don't know if the top will sell well enough to justify the up-front costs, but it's good to know this is a great option for the future.
-Reaching out to and hiring a photographer for my studio shots and lookbook. This was huge for me because from the very beginning of Factory45, for some reason this task scared me the most. Probably because I knew this commitment requires a hefty chunk of change, and a lot of time-consuming planning. But I've found an amazing photography duo in San Diego and right now we're working together on planning the shoot, finding a location and getting permits, and finding the right model. We've decided to shoot in San Diego and I can't wait to show you the beautiful location we've chosen.
-Getting my first round of samples back. I'd hoped that one round of samples would be enough, but now I see how idealistic that was of me. Each sample, which cost even more than what I'm going to retail each piece for (!), required some tweaking. Although I had made many rounds of muslin samples, it's a whole other thing seeing your sample in the fabric you're going to use for production.
-Adjusting my patterns and sending them back to my pattern and sample maker. After working on the patterns more and returning them to my sample maker, I ordered more sample fabric and am now in the midst of getting a second round of samples back. I can't wait to see them (and I've got my fingers crossed)!
-Writing and submitting an article. I worked SO hard on a piece about the greenwashing behind vegetable dyed leather and to my delight, it was accepted by elephant journal. You can read it here.
-Making mental, physical, and spiritual care more of a priority. I'm a pretty well-balanced person in general. I don't overdo things very often. Yet even I have felt some real burn-out and depression lately. I love what I'm doing and that I get to be creative every day, but putting yourself out there every day takes a toll, and it's been hard not to constantly compare myself to others. It's also been hard to genuinely stay in a positive mindset when something doesn't work out or go as planned. Lately, it's been more important than ever to start my day with a meditation on gratitude. If I don't, I'm more likely to let a disappointing email or something send me into a dark hole. The good news is, it's helping, and I think this is an important lesson to keep me "balanced" in the future (when things probably will get harder).
...And that's where I'm at!
The next things on my list include attending the LA Textile Show at the end of the month, getting my second round of samples back, and flying to San Diego for the photoshoot. I'll keep you posted!