I've had an interesting year. I've kept working for some of the same people, done some recycling and kept my eye out for new work. I'm happy to be working and enjoying the insanity of cutting up denim, but I haven't had much luck with getting anything new.
I'm sort of at a crossroads, I want a better client. And by that I mean production ready patterns, placement guides, product specifications, a sample garment. You know a tech pack! I learned the names for what I was looking for on F-I. I don't want to have to work so hard to make things look good. It is an accomplishment to turn a professional garment out sometimes, but it is so much more fun to not have to fuss so much. Do you know what I mean?
I've had plenty of inquiries to my site in the past year, but looking at it only stresses the position I'm in. I can tell by some of the emails that people aren't really ready for me, but I usually send a response anyway. I let people know what I need in order to give them a quote for a sewing order. You'd be surprised at some of the emails. "Dear Diane, How much to make a shirt? Thanks XXXX". I really wish it wasn't true, but indeed.
I have talked to some and even met with a couple, one I was planning on doing some extra help for , cleaning up her not production ready patterns because I wanted the experience and I thought she would be an excellent rep for her own line. Obviously it didn't work as well as I would have liked, I had to tell her I wasn't the right fit for her. She didn't get it that I needed everything written down with a sample of the fabric for each order, and she wasn't finished changing the patterns. Another was like the stuff I have been doing, but it was going to fill in work when I had time. She never paid me a measly eight dollars for a sample I made! This after she wasted my time insisting on telling me the long version of her NY contracting mis-adventure on the phone.
The best opportunity so far in the past year has been a semi local meeting with someone, via craigslist, who has a small sewing factory. I know I'm not exactly what she wants, I sew at home. But now she knows I exist and I hope I can be useful to her.
Back to my dilemma, I want the better client, but I don't yet have the best equipment. I won't be able to do things as fast as perhaps I should. I've never been the kind of business person who spends money that I don't have. I do spend all of my profits on equipment though! So I need to find a way to produce at a price designed to not kill me and be fair to those I would sew for until I can get the equipment I need to really make me competitive.
I need to update my web page too. I feel like the current one doesn't represent me well, it doesn't reflect my current workspace and it needs more information to give to potential clients. I am strongly considering listing my machines/attachments and possibly showcasing some samples. Of course I'd have to make them from patterns because I can't use client work. I'm not sure what the best way to present myself will be. I have to think about it.
My Goal?? I want to be a small minimum CMT shop. Right now I'm leaning toward single needle construction. I will expect to be outgrown my my clients so I will have a lot of variety in my sewing and a bushel full of attachments. My dream job!