How are you all?
I need to share that I am well and truly over winter and very much looking forward to Spring/Summer 2016! Apart from the fact I am over being rugged up, I am about to take receipt of my first new kaftan and kimono developments for the season....... This is incredibly exciting!!!
I mentioned in my last blog that I have started to work with a new kaftan supplier.
There are various reasons behind this, but the most important one is that I wanted a new direction on print pattern and embellishment. For this, I have introduced an Indian supplier.
It is important for me to share that I am splitting the production between Indonesia and India not moving it or dropping any suppliers. My main aim is to inject some newness and offer a slightly new direction for my kaftans, kimonos, and playsuits particularly.
Some kaftan and kimono styles are staying exactly the same, I have just improved the fit as per my customers (your) feedback and sourced new prints, colours, and trims.
Both suppliers in both countries are working with their local people to make my products, they are being made by hand, to my design specifications, with my trim design and the fabrics that I select. No clothing of mine is currently being "bought off the shelf". A couple of customers at the markets last season have said to me "don't you just go to Bali, buy stuff and bring it back?" No, this is not how I work. I want to share how I work, so here goes......
Each item goes through a process of design, sampling, production, quality checking, and then delivery.
Back in January I created a print brief, showing 5 themes of prints that I wanted my suppliers to source.
I also gave them a design brief with 10 styles of kaftans, kimonos, playsuits and dresses that I wanted them to develop (with all measurements, targets costs etc). Not all got selected, and some will be used for the next delivery pre Christmas.
The suppliers had three months to prepare their proposals to me. I was lucky enough to visit my Bali supplier in March to assist with this process and to ensure they were developing the product I required. I also managed to hand select the fabrics and trims that I required, from markets, shops and unique specific suppliers. Next time I will be doing the same process with my Indian supplier, however for this season, all of this work had to be done via Skype, Whats App, physical sending of swatches, colour charts, trims and lots and lots of phone calls and emails...lots of late nights!
Once the suppliers had sourced fabrics and trims as per my brief I made the final selection of products, and allocated fabric and trims to styles. There is currently a 4-6 week production schedule depending on the item/trimming.
I have a new embroidery program too, where I have designed the actual stitch design, briefed it to the supplier who has adapted it to fit the sizing and placement required for the kaftan and then each piece has been hand embroidered to offer a real unique product.
Once made, the suppliers carry out a quality inspection, I also carry out my own quality checks once product arrives here in Torquay.
Its not as simple as going to Bali and filling my suitcase with kaftans...........and that wouldn't be half as fun either!
I hope this helps to show what work is involved for each and every product no matter how simple it looks.....the next phase is photographing the new kaftans to show you. I am lucky enough to have a very talented friend who will be shooting for me, I will include this in my blog as it happens with some video footage to share too.
The next time I blog will be once I receive some of these new exciting kaftans and kimonos.....wooo hooo!!!
PS make sure you take advantage of the clearance page on www.lovecollective.com.au before this new stock arrives as it will all soon be sold out, never to be repeated.