Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I actually like Ugly

So, we've gotten to the end of the year, and we're trying to calculate how much supplies we have, and what we are in need of so that we can continue onto next year full force! The other goal that we have it to use up all of the little yard or half yard pieces of fabric that we have folded in neglected stacks on our shelves...oh, and we want to use up the ugly fabrics. Ugly, you say? Why the devil would someone make something ugly? Well, I've come to a realization-not everyone likes the same things that I like. This particular notion struck me when I was dealing with one of my customers last week (I believe you know who you are. I'm not mad! Just flabbergasted!) and she didn't like ANY of the fabrics that I had had in my booth at the Las Vegas Festival, nor did she like anything on my website, OR anything on the two fabric websites that I referred her to. And I had this horrid little mini-attack of....well, I don't even know what it was. It's just that there's all these people that go onto American Idol and brag about how all of their family and friends tell them that they can sing SO well, and then when they get up onto the stage, they screech out some painful pop song, all of America sits at home and laughs at them, and Simon tells them it's rubbish. Why was no one honest with them????Furthermore, what if I actually pick ugly fabrics, and no one is freaking telling me!!!????

I posted these pictures on purpose, because this is a good example of a fabric that I KNOW is awesome, and I actually DO KNOW that lots of other people won't exactly fancy it. I like the look of textiles that appear to be some nightmarish carpetbag gone wrong. I like really horrid olive greens and colors that look like the only appropriate place for them is on tacky kitchen appliances from the 60's or 70's. However, when I pick fabric for my company from which I will make corsets, I take some very serious things into consideration. First, I strive to cover all of the most basic colors-Black, red, blue, green. Those seem to be the ones that are easiest to match. I've noticed that when there is an "in between color" like puce or chartreuse, people aren't nearly as drawn to them. Second, I try to reflect on the countless emails that I've received that have requested something specific (I would say 80% of the "color request" emails I get are asking for purple.) or a specific pattern. Thus, when I shop, if I see a purple (which happens about once a year) I pounce on it and purchase the whole bolt and whatever else they have.

Which brings me to my next point. I know that some of you get frustrated because I don't have exactly the fabric you want, and I'm a complete slacker when it comes to updating my fabrics page on my website, but let me take a moment to defend my honor. When I'm shopping for fabric, I usually have to have several thousand dollars in cash that I stick in my bra and walk into the shop with. Cold Hard Cash speaks so poignantly and bluntly. I also have to purchase THE WHOLE ENTIRE BOLT of fabric to get a good deal. There's not a fabric store out there that is interested in providing me with 4 and 5 yard pieces of a vast selection of fabric, and letting me have them for wholesale price. Now, when you're in the wholesale world, a bolt of fabric can be anywhere from 50 to 70 yards. EVEN if I had something magical happen, and I was able to obtain the gorgeous quality upholstery fabrics for a mere 7 DOLLARS A YARD, that would still end up being easily $420. In the end, I have a lovely fabric, but I still just have one color option. (Oh, by the way 7 dollars is a splendid price, and if I were to just purchase a few yards, the retail price is more like $20. Ouch. Goodbye, profits.) So, let's do some quick math.....actually let's not. Math is boring. Let's do some B.S. estimations. So, even if I wanted a barely reasonable selection of 8 fabrics on my website, I would have to drop $4000 to meet that end. Do you guys understand what I'm saying? I hate to tell you, but I'm not exactly that rich.

Back to the main subject...sort of. We trying to save up the money to get new fabrics, but it may be a few months. I may have to give up my great love for fancy cheeses and MAC makeup, so I can actually afford it in the end. I do want to promise you that we have a lot of splendid things coming up this next year for our company. I am learning something new every single day about how to run things more smoothly, how to make a better product, how to deal with customers in the best manner possible, and how to get where I want to go with my dream. All of your advice and input has been absolutely crucial in developing this company, and I promise to continue to listen to you guys, because I actually think that, in your case, "the customer is always right."


  1. I actually LOVE olive green... if you had brown or olive fabrics i'd be foaming at the mouth in lust, seriously heh.
    I keep an eye out.

  2. Oh to have such a problem of too many remnants. Here I have the problem of not enough remnants (in th eupholstery fabric range). If ever you think about selling some of your 1/2 yard remnants let me know. Crazy but that's more than I need in making my little hats.

  3. I'm not a huge fan of the multicolored olive/rust/golds, but that's only because I have *nothing* that they match ;)
    I think your fabric selection is adequate for most folks' needs, and has some sassy fabrics to facilitate some creativity (red + white stripe = lurve)!
    I'm itching to buy a third piece...just waiting to see what excellence appears in the store!

  4. I love this fabric you posted, but would never wear it because I'm such a matchy-matchy person. I would never find something suitable enough to wear with it.

    And if it makes you feel any better, my favorite fabric is over $70 a yard and I have quite the unhealthy obsession with it!

  5. The remnant skirts you've made in the past are gorgeous. Bring them back! How do I know about those? I've searched ya.

    Yeah, I'm pretty much a stalker these days. It's become a morning ritual, me with my coffee cup in hand whilst checking on your website(s) for updates.

    With it being 'that' time of year, I can't buy things for me at the moment. *wistful sigh*

    However, OTHER people can. Bring on the coupons - and hurry!!

    May I show you what I'm leaving around the house for my husband to find? I have to post it on your Facebook since I don't know how to post a picture here.

  6. I LOVE the fabric in these photos - I saw it the first time a week ago (?) on Etsy I think... and I seriously AM foaming at the mouth ;) These are going up on my myspace for sure! It's not *that* 'matching awful', is it? I've got a pair of brown linen dress pants that would look splendid with it... I'm not a big fan of orange, nor olive, but the combination - plus I'm a HUGE fan of brown = yummy (: If you ask me, there are a lot of things it could be worn with... seriosuly, who does not own a pair of black jeans and a white shirt..? :)

    I loved the brown fabric that you had up on Etsy way back in the form of some lovely lovely hooded courtier bodices... I want more money! I'm a huge fan of more 'earthy' colors, and mismatched patterns... personally I think mismatched is the wrong word, because if you're good at it it's a lot better than the most well matched...

    Also agreeing with above - remnant skirts!! Wouldn't that be a terrific way of emptying your shelves..? I have an even better idea: remnant corsets! I'd buy one (read hopefully more than one) for sure! :D xx

  7. You are such a goddess.

    I know exactly what you mean by liking "ugly". And that carpetbag steampunk button corset is gorgeous. I may have to purchase.

    Don't give up your MAC obsession!! Such a thing must not be allowed! (I'm a fellow MAC enthusiast.)

    Honestly, your fabric selection has never treated me wrong, nor my sister-in-law. We've both always purchased exactly what we wanted, which you always have.

    Keep up the good work!!

  8. I LOVE these corsets---this style I could wear out in public with jeans or a skirt easily. There is something about fabric that looks fun to touch that I just love--and these "ugly" (They are not ugly--actually quite cool and fun I think!! :D ) corsets of yours look just fun to wear!

    You rock Michelle--thank you for sharing these gorgeous "Eye candies" of yours on your blog!

  9. Perhaps you could make some little bags from some of those scrap/remnant pieces. Since rennies need a place to keep their money and cell phones and what not and not having pockets, a little bag would be nice. And I bet they'd look just as amazing as your corsets do : )

  10. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I absolutely love a lot of the fabric you've utilized! Unique is cool! I'm especially loving a lot of the faux leather looking fabrics and pretty gold patterned ones!

    As for left over odds and ends? You should totally make some matching lace-up cuffs/gauntlets! Reign in some of those poofy sleaves with a pretty, bodice matching cuff!

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