Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Summer 2016 Update

First blog update since last year! Woohoo! Here is a summary of what has been happening in the world of Deranged Designs:

January 2015: After seven years of living and working in a punk house that was also a band practice spot, I finally left and moved my sewing machines into what I thought was my dream apartment. Brand new building, lots of space, and totally affordable. Unfortunately I soon learned that I shared a wall with the Loudest Neighbor in the Universe (he was soooooo much worse than any punk band practices, believe it or not) and six months after that a hipster bar moved into the space underneath my bedroom (which loved to play loud music on their patio 16 hours a day) and I realized I would have to get the fuck out before I lost my damn mind.

My old apartment (and silly cat Paco)
 February of this year: I bought a house and escaped the apartment from hell! The new house has four bedrooms which is more than enough space I need to run my business. My neighbors don't annoy me and I live at least half a mile away from any trendy hipster nonsense. Even better, me and my boyfriend are finally living together and my sister is moving in at the end of this month! She has agreed to work part time as my assistant so I can finally figure out how to train somebody to do all the things that I never have enough time to do.

Right after I moved, my Etsy order volume exploded and I have barely been keeping up. I only have time to write this because this has been my first slow week since before the move. Until this month I still had my industrial sewing machines in the dining room because I hadn't had time to move them into the actual sewing room.
Before: dining room work space  

After: yes, that is a sewing machine in the closet
 Cutting table and storage
 View from doorway (so exciting I know)

The sewing room is a little small but I have lots of storage right outside, plus room for a photo studio in the garage.

So what is in store for the rest of the year? My eventual goal is still to move the business out of my house and hire other people to sew for me, so I am gradually making changes to how I run things to make it easier to hire people. I have been trying to simplify the website as well as adjusting prices on some items and discontinuing others that take too long to sew. Over the past year I have been recording how long it takes to sew every item in my shop so that I have a more accurate picture of what makes me money and what uses up too much time. I hope to eventually be able to pay other people to sew orders and spend all of my time managing the business and designing new items.

*More details on the price adjustments: some of the adjustments will lower prices, but the majority will raise prices on certain items. Unfortunately my animal print hoodies are still priced too low based on the cost of materials and the amount of sewing work it takes to finish them. Most hoodie prices will go up by 10 to 20% by the end of the month. (Cropped hoodie prices will not be changed)

To make things easier for myself, I will be focusing on leggings, shorts, and skirts for the rest of the year. I will try to create a handful of new dresses, tops, and hoodies but most of my work needs to go into the other items so that I can keep things simple as possible. Staying focused on only a couple types of items should make it easier to continually add new things to the site when I am busy trying to do a million things at once.

I have been stocking up on new colors and prints of stretch fabrics and I am excited to sew all of the new leggings styles that I have in mind. Stretch vinyl, stretch velvet, stretch faux leather, stretch lace, stretch mesh, fishnet, plus a dozen different colors of regular old cotton/spandex is what I will be using for the rest of the year.

New stretch  lace shorts

I will also continue adding to the cosplay/costume section of the website. I have been making Harley Quinn items for a while and soon I will add some red and blue options for anybody who wants to wear a Suicide Squad inspired outfit.

New cosplay fabrics: fishnet and vinyl (shiny side of vinyl is folded under)
One more thing! I am adding more size and length options to all of my leggings styles. Most of them are currently available in 4 sizes and one length. Soon they will be available in my full range of sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL) and for a small fee you will be able to choose a 26, 28, or 30 inch inseam, without the lace ankle trim that most of my leggings have. I am always listening to customer feedback and what most people want is no lace trim and more length options so I am doing my best to accommodate that.

Coming soon: full length Beetlejuice and Harley Quinn cosplay leggings with no lace trim

This update has already been longer than intended so I'll shut up now. Hopefully I will manage to get another update in before the end of the year!

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