Monday, June 28, 2010
Even though my heart and mind are set on the upcoming trip to my home country, life, however, still goes on.
Latest updates include me being accepted for so far the biggest art show for me to take place in the end of the year; added a challenging retailer to the family, arranged a trip home - and planning to cut back my time at the day-job this fall, just in time for the busy holidays...
To follow up on my previous post about feeling all guilty overpricing my handmade bags, I have recently been called out on the very opposite - undercharging....
I joined a group of designers, carried by a successful high end retailer. During my meeting with the retailer, I received advise on how to add value to your products - and why you should do it.
For the first time since I started my bag sewing adventures, I feel like I have been challenged by someone and forced to step outside of my comfort zone. Even thugh I am willing to create a range of high end purses, based on the store's feedback and expectations, it all still must co - inside with my own philosophy, original ideas and aesthetics.
With their advise in mind, I started making some changes to how I did things up till now. I have located and ordered additional leatherworking tools, which will save time neede to work on certain styles of bags, and will improve detail finishings. I have worked out some new additional styles, that could be dedicated to the exclusive collection. I have even did some basic tuning on my sewing machine, and now it works like a champ! Most importantly, I did not need to resort to different leather or fabric stock to meet their expectations, which I feared the most and was quite ready to protest earlier - I simply went back to the liquidated materials I loved all along, but ruled out in the past, due to my lack of skills or equipment. Its like I've finally come a full circle!
I am only in the infant stages of this new endeavor for me - but I have learned so far, that challenges can be good to help you see your craft in a different light. Also that's a great time to revisit work methods or sourcing options you have ruled out before. And, challenges like this one will force you to re-evaluate your craftsmanship - and take it to even a higher level.
My limited "high end" collection, featuring several re-worked current styles, and three brand new styles will make its debut between early July to early August.
It will also be available for purchase at my booth at the One Of A Kind Show in Vancouver, Dec 9-12.