I’ve probably been saying this in every other blog post I’ve written lately: this year has been FRUSTRATING!
This month I started planning for the clothes I’m going to sell during the November/December holiday shopping season. I get a huge amount of business during these months and its best to be prepared. Two years ago I was stuck sewing six hoodies a day during finals week at the end of the semester. After finishing projects and tests for all four of my classes, I nearly lost my mind when I realized that I had four zebra hoodies that needed to be shipped out in two days and my giant roll of zebra fabric was just about gone. Same zebra fabric shortage happened the next year…now I’ve finally learned my lesson!
I’ve been trying to improve my existing hoodie pattern and come out with new hoodie styles that will be for sale by November. But I’m already too busy to get any new pattern work done. My internship takes up to fifteen hours a week and the rest of the time I spend sewing things that people have already ordered. I want to offer more options for the hoodies, but making a pattern for something that I’m going to sew over and over again is much different than making a pattern for a one-of-a-kind outfit. Everything has to be perfect, and it can’t take too long to sew.
Running this business has been a great way to pay rent while I go to school. But I’m at the point where I can’t improve clothing sales until I finish school and have time to come up with new designs.
Unfortunately, the fashion program at my school has not been teaching me how to run my own clothing line or operate a small sewing factory. Once I’m done with school, and I have my two AA degrees, I still won’t know nearly enough about what I want to do. The fashion program has classes about retailing, merchandising, home sewing, and basic patternmaking. It teaches nothing about industrial sewing. Finding information about industrial sewing is difficult. I’m slowly finding more and more books that can help me, but it’s not easy reading. I can handle it, but it takes time.
I wasn’t even aware of all these things that I didn’t know until I started reading this blog. So, I didn’t know what I didn’t know! Now I know a lot of what I don’t know, but it just makes me wonder how many more things there are that I don’t know that I don’t know!
I’ve also run out of working space. Again. I could make clothing much faster if I had a cutting table that is actually the same width as a roll of fabric. Typical industry cutting tables are eight feet wide. But a table like that would almost fill my 9x10 foot sewing room. To operate a real sewing factory, I’ll need at least four industrial machines (they all do different stitches), a giant cutting table, some pressing equipment, and probably a fuckload of other things that I’m not aware of. (Still don’t know what I don’t know!)
Because of the cutting table situation, I can’t just rent out another room in my house. I need more SPACE! Lots of it! Commercial space. Warehouse space. Basement space?
So what I’m feeling like right now is that once I’m done with school, I have to start myself over on a different kind of education. While still trying to work and trying to ignore the fact that I don’t have enough space to work. Also while wondering how long it will take me to make enough money to rent out another space.
While of course assuming that in the future I can make a living off my clothing line and ASSUMING THAT ALL THIS ISN’T JUST AN ENORMOUS WASTE OF TIME! A silly little dream born in the brain of a girl who completely LACKS COMMON SENSE!