Monday, November 29, 2010

Wrap Belt give-away

During Portobello West market this weekend, I started a spontaneous Give Away promotion for one of my Wrap Belts..
Because of the lovely response, I would like to continue it on-line too!

Please, sign up to our e-mailing list to enter a draw to win a Wrap Belt in the colour of your choice!
From left: Perfect Mustard, Olive, Azalea

Colours currently in stock: Black, Brown Smoke, Perfect Mustard, Azalea, Olive and Taupe Grey. We will post more pictures of other colours on the WebSite shortly!

All Wrap belts are 1 inch wide and 8 feet long, they can be wrapped around your waist 2-3 times, coiled, tied - anything. One size fits all.

*****To win your Wrap Belt, all you need to do, is add your e-mail address to our e-mailing list, if you have not done so yet.  You can do it by clicking the E-mail Sign-up button at the top of our Facebook Fan Page, or my sending a message to:

All the new subscribers will be added to the draw.

*****Those of you, who have already added their e-mail to the list in the past, please let me know if you are interested in taking part in THIS draw - either by commenting on this post, message, etc.

The winner will drawn THURSDAY, Dec 1st.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Another incredibly rewarding moment

For a small brand, even the most modest forms appreciation make a huge deal. This morning was one of those lucky times when I got to experience a true reward for what I do. And, must say, I have not felt this good and up-lifted since last year, when just four months into doing, what then seemed,  wonky design work, I was invited to sell my bags at a store of my very first retailer!

Today was another First. I was riding a train on the way to my day-job, when my eye caught something familiar in the background. Usually, before I get to the office and have my morning coffee, I am in a quite a hazy place... It took me several seconds to realize, that I was staring at one of my own creations - a TerriAnn bag, worn by a complete stranger on the train.

I could not believe my eyes at first. I have seen my friends or people I know wearing my bags; also have seen them on the shelves of my retailers, but never have I seen one worn by a stranger, met accidentally on the street or train.

I did not approach that stylish lady, nor was I able to muster up any kind of introduction at that moment. We got off at the same stop and walked to the opposite directions. For a few moments I gazed at the TerriAnn hanging across her back and felt very warm inside. This moment made my day, and I once again realized that the unfortunate break-down of my sewing machine is only a minor inconvenience in the face of all the good things happening to me.

Someone noticed, appreciated and showcased my work. Can things even get better than this?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bad things - and Good

The busiest season is on; lots of shows, preparation, retail orders and requests, custom calls, web designing - you name it - we're doing it! During this time of year every minute counts and it is really important to plan ahead and stay on schedule.

Unfortunately, amidst all the pre-Holiday chaos, my trusty sewing machine decided to break down. It started making horrendous noise in the lower thread area, as though several steel surfaces are grinding heavily against each other....

I stopped in fear of causing further damage to my machine and called the mechanics..... Now, as it is in waiting of repairs, my hands are tied till... middle of next week, if I am lucky. If the mechanics need to order any replacement parts for the machine, the wait will be even longer.

The break down has completely messed up my plans of making enough stock for all of six days worth of Art shows, which also begin next week. Some of the bag styles will be understocked at the shows....

Right now there is nothing else I can do right now, other than simply wait...

 BUT - not everything is actually as bad.
I recently have heard from my day job, saying, that my request to work part time  actually may manifest itself into something achievable. It is too early to talk yet, but we may work things out after the year is over. However, I am still very accustomed to the thought of leaving them this winter....

If my sewing machine fiasco does not last for too long, I still think I could make the most of the Holiday season....

Also, even though some parts of my work have come to halt, others have actually picked up. I am not producing these days, but we have been putting all of our efforts towards completing the Jola V. Designs web-site.

After several months of intense crating, editing and re-creating, it finally went live in the wee hours of today (Sunday, Nov. 21st)... So, all of you can now purchase our bags straight from the brand new beautiful site.

I am very happy and excited for this, as, to me, the Web site was the next big milestone that Jola V. Designs needed to reach...

So, here we are - some things are stagnant and some are moving forward full speed. My next goal, during the time I wait for my machine to return all cured up, is finally publishing the debut newsletter...

These past few days have served an important lesson to me - that despite how easy it is to focus on each mishap and fault, and anything Negative happening in life, it is far more important to use that energy for seeking ways to out-smart your mishaps and use your experience to create the positive.

Best  of luck to all the small business owners this Holiday season!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Alas, we finally have a Collection!

It is well into the fall season - colours, rain and crisp air.
My summery fun pastel colours have been long swapped for warmer, more "mature" shades.  Still, I am really late this year in rolling out the second collection, which was intended to be Pre-Fall...
When you are a starting artist, and a one person show with a full time day-job, your own growth can easily startle you. Even though I designed most of the styles back in very early spring, I could not keep up with sales and simultaneous sampling.

Some styles came out quite early, as I could not wait to roll them out, others took longer, as I was working with my retailers, attending shows, traveling or still tweaking some final ideas. But finally, we have a complete Collection...

Coming Of Age is the name of my second collection of handbags.
The name came naturally, describing the changes and learning milestones I have been going through since the first one, Intro, created for this Spring. Featuring five new bag styles and some variations to them, this collection is a result of my search for the look of my own, along with functional purpose for each item. I have finished randomly experimenting with materials, sizes and directions, have drawn my own lines and set preferences; and ended up feeling quite happy about the final result. The final Collection came out to be my take on Femimine within a tuned down modernized country setting.

The styles within the Pre-Fall Coming Of Age Collection are:

TerriAnn - compact and practical shoulder bag;

TerriAnn bag

Sarah - the famous ruffled Western shoulder sack;

Sarah bags

Katie, The Bag - my luxurious bucket, currently on a fundraising mission (follow the link for more info);

Basic colours of Katie, The Bag

Virga - a spacious and comfy tote/ shoulder rounded bottom satchel

Virga bags

and one more - yet unnamed bag (images coming soon).... - but will tell you, it is a shoulder bag with a button...

Also, a completely new product has been introduced this fall  -  a Wrap Belt. Easy to wear, suits all sizes.

3 cm wide wrap belts

But because of how small this collection is, with just 5 bag styles and one new product, it did not seem like enough... I did have some ideas of styles I wanted to try for, and eventually found some incredible leather to work with on those. I also wanted an additional creative challenge, now that all the designing was done, and times of production were about to start... 
I expanded the Collection with three more exclusive styles, that have formed a mini collection, called Coming Of Age FAST...

The three styles in the mini collection are:

Nijole - large sturdy shoulder slouch

Virga TCB - roomier, with two flaps and side panel;

Virga TCB Black + Orange

and Special Finish Sarah - just like standard Sarah, only comes in unique colours and has upgraded interior.

This sums up all the bags within the second collection.
Come and meet all of the bags in person at Portobello West this month 27 - 28th
and One Of A Kind Vancouver in December, 9-12th.

thanks for all the support throughout the year!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Our Fall events - and upcoming Holiday market season....

.... Suddenly we find ourselves in the month of November . The year is coming to an end, but the busiest season is just about to begin. The next eight weeks are packed with events for Jola V. Designs, and as a very small operation, I am doing to best to stay afloat – and bring you the lovely handbags along the way...

The first big accomplishment of the year, is that I have just completed the entire Pre-Fall Coming Of Age collection, you will see the pictures of the last remaining prototype shortly; and get to “meet” all the newbies in person later this month.

Another Huuuge project, which is still making its way through, is the launch of Jola V. Designs web-site! (currently under construction). We are very excited about the new page, which will enable you to purchase your Arm Candy on-line, directly from us. The launch is expected to take place sometime in late November or early December. Fingers crossed.

Now, that sampling is out of the way, Jola V. Designs is gearing up for the Holiday art shows and sales.

Here is what the next eight weeks look like for us:

THURSDAY, NOV. 4, 5-9 pm is the Fall Gastown Shop Hop – take a stroll through Gastown’s fashion boutiques for complementary treats, wine, cheese and other goodies, as well as 15 – 25% off of your purchases. You will find a pretty battalion of our handbags lined up at the Dream Boutique’s Gastown location.

Also, come by Gentille Alouette, who are going full out this Shop Hop, and throwing a party with designers on-site and serious treats, including the famous hand-rolled truffles by my favourite natural perfume house, Ayala Moriel Parfums.

SATURDAY, SUNDAY; NOV 27-28 12-6 pm – Jola V. Designs returns to the Portobello West fashion and art market. Be sure to stop by to chat + check out the new Collection’s handbags, along with greatly priced wrap belts, that suit all and go really fast! With over 60 local designers and artists under one roof, you will sure be able to find locally made great Holiday gifts for everyone.

Drop me a line for you 2 for 1 entry ticket deal....

Located in Rocky Mountaineer station.

All details here.

THURSDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY; DEC 9 – 12 11-7 pm – Jola V. Designs makes its debut at the Vancouver One Of A Kind Show and Sale, taking place at downtown’s Convention Centre West. Look for us in the very appropriate Rising Stars area of the show hall. One Of A Kind brings together over 250 North American and BC artists to showcase their work for four days – along with programming, such as fashion shows, fun for kids, snack bistro and a bar. It will be the biggest show we have taken part in so far. During your visit you will be able to browse not only the new collection, but also, the styles of the Coming Of Age Fast, exclusive mini – collection, alongside of an early preview of my new Spring styles.

This is a show, where people do not only shop for holiday gifts for others, but also, for their very deserving selves.

All details, including list of all artisans, tix pricing, parking , etc – here;

Contact me for a entry discount coupon prior to the show.

In the meantime, we are very busy gearing up for all of this – there has been lots of searching, buying, cutting and stitching in the past few months.

Visit one of my fab retailers for bag fix, if you cannot wait till the shows roll in.

... AND look out for our upcoming web-site launch announcement!

Hope to see you all at the shows - as there is nothing more rewwarding to an artist, than meeting their customers in person and receiving your fantastic feedback!