Thursday, October 11, 2012

I'm Hoping for the One I Love to Find Me Today

 This is, HANDS DOWN, my favorite Snow White set we've ever done. I've been secreting away this fabric for months, just so I could put it all together for these sets for this Halloween Lineup.
 I realized something serious about myself. If I have a lot of outside pressure to do certain Halloween costumes or looks, I simply shut down and don't do anything. I cried my makeup off repeatedly a few days ago when I got back from our Las Vegas Renaissance Festival because I was overwhelmed and had so many custom orders for corsets that it meant I couldn't make any of the ready-to-ship sets that are my joy. Then I felt like a complete a-hole for being frustrated that my customers had been so awesome and had gotten their Halloween orders in on time, and that there were so many. OH, wah....waaa....how do you spell "wa" as in "cry-baby-wa" instead of the awkward "wah, wah"? You guys know which one I meant. I'm definitely mocking myself for being so emotional.
I always explain this to the customers when they ask why things are more on our website than they are on our etsy and artfire shops. It's simple. When you make an order one the website, it's for one thing, in a customized size. We have to get out the ole rotary cutter and mats and cut a simple 2 layers of fabric at a time, using one pattern in one size, and then I have to switch over the threads for all of the machines, pull out the specific boning sizes, reinforcement pieces, and materials for that ONE piece. I have to measure it constantly WHILE I'm sewing it so that I can be sure to make it fit properly for the customer. We have to take into account any certain changes or details that the customer requested, and then I have to run all of those requests through the line of my husband, my own brain, my grommeter (thanks Daniel) and my marvelous shipping assistant from Heaven.  It's a much more tedious process, but it makes it so my customers can get EXACTLY what they want.

When we cut things assembly line style, my husband can bust out the FABRIC SAW OF DESTINY! *cue theme music* and I won't tell you friends how many layers he CAN cut at a time, but it's a ridiculous number. We've dulled 6 saw blades in the last two years. We freaking put that thing to WORK.   After Tyler cuts out multiple sizes, all in the same colors and styles, he can move them down the assembly line, where everything can be done in batches. This ensures that all of the correct materials, boning, and thread are sitting there ready to go, and I can expertly sew through entire batches without blinking an eye.....well, I occasionally DO blink, and I generally blink both of my eyes. Wait...you HAVE to blink "both of your eyes" because if it was only one eye, it would be a wink. Thus, I sew the batches with SKILL and SPEED without winking an eye.

After all is said and done, we have batches of things that I have put together out of my brain (I have the seriously awesome advantage of being able to see ALL of the fabrics in person and together, so I can match away and construct marvelous costumes. This is my favorite part of the job.....besides meeting the customers, but I can talk about that later. All of this means that I have extremely well-made pieces that I can keep at much more affordable prices and you can receive instant gratification! You buy it in your size, we ship it right out, and Priority Mail generally gets it there in 2-4 days. Swell.

So, keeping the balance? I don't....The custom orders are obviously the most important to the company, and since my last whole blog was about doing it for better reasons that money, I won't talk about how much better we do on assembly-line style pieces, but I will let you know that it DOES allow us to keep actually functioning. If my company consisted of only custom-fit-to-you pieces, we would have died long ago, along with many other ill-fated start-ups.   On the other hand, if we didn't offer custom-fit pieces, many of the ready-made things would get sold long before you could get your hands on them, and people would hate me. I DO love offering the luxury of getting EXACTLY what you want.

With that being said, I will just TELL you guys a few of the main pieces that I'm desperately trying to roll out in my "free time" after work (this just means that I work until 9 at night, having woken up at 4 that morning.) on the custom orders. I've got a Steampunk Owl, complete with a bark-looking corset,some Ringleader Jackets,  the most BAD-A Darth Vader Corset in Black (complete with buckles) that you ever saw, some STUNNING two-piece Red Riding Hood Sets with matching Tieranny Skirts like the 3-layers Snow White one above, a darling Rapunzel set, some Queen of Hearts goodness, and some Maleficent Madness. I'm trying to get them out within the next week, because I KNOW you guys have Halloween parties that you freaking want to go to, and I assure you, I'm busting my rear trying to make some amazing things for you.  Thank you to all of you who made custom orders. At this point, we're doing really good on them and keeping up with the 3-4 week wait time.

As always, thank you TREMENDOUSLY for your support. I'm a sad little pile of tears, estrogen and anger  without you ladies.


  1. That short hair is absolutely adorable on you!

  2. These all sound awesome! I'm really ecstatic about the Vader costume, but the bark corset really has my attention~ Your pieces are my most deadly addiction. (Financially anyway haha) I agree with Kate, short hair is adorable on you!

  3. Yes, you look darling with short hair! And I'm so glad that when I finally did order one (last night!!) (I've been wanting one for years!) I caved and got a ready made one instead of the custom one I've been planning in my head. I will still order it someday mind you, but the lower price and ease of sale of the ready made ones are a big incentive. I hate to say this (because I love the economy of your prices) but you could very justifiably up your custom made prices. And I say this ONLY because it is true. I was in the french quarter in New Orleans recently and tried on a darling underbust corset that was as nicely made as yours are and it was $275. And it was (of course) ready made. Ouch! The great thing about it is though, I didn't think I could pull off an underbust corset, and when I saw that I could... well, when I got my butt home I ordered one of yours. Thank you for doing such an wonderful thing by providing such beautiful corsets for such an amazing price.

  4. Oh, that is STUNNING. I can't wait to see all that you have in store next, especially the Darth Vader and Maleficent! Now that I know my size, I won't be restricted to just gazing longingly at everything online.

    It was such a pleasure to meet you this past weekend in Las Vegas. The pieces that I bought from you were my 40th birthday present to myself, and I feel completely fabulous in them. Thank you for that!

  5. You had me at Darth Vader corset. Well, you actually had me a looooong time ago (in spite of the fact that owning one of your corsets is still just a dream) but I'm a huge Star Wars junkie. So yeah. Looking forward to that one!!!!