brian just got home, which means its time for me to take my "mommy" hat off and get to work. this is my time to finish up any editing, emails, design, scheduling etc. A.K.A, pray for me please!!! i must admit, i am juggling a lot and its not the easiest. while i am insanely proud to see forward movement, i struggle a lot to stay calm as each day comes and goes. i think, the thing that gets to me the most is all of the DECISIONS you have to make when you are responsible for it all, right now.
my last several weeks have been spent designing + redesigning and sampling + resampling! yeah... fun times. it probably would have been a ton easier to just start with ONE design and run with it but i didn't. and, i'm ok with that. i am ok with it mainly because it is the design process through which i have really begun to see snippets of what thefallco. is to become.
i thought it might be a good idea to start keeping track of our process in business. documenting our hits and misses in hopes of keeping record of our progression. so here goes...
first things first...
.website/email flow and learning curve- it has been something interesting to develop a workflow in dealing with design files/ product mock-up/ email templates + customer emails. i have found several apps and programs that could possibly help me streamline and accomplish these tasks more effectively and yet i feel that it is best for me to handle as much as possible, in the beginning, to help me have a better understanding of all that is involved. my biggest challenge here is maintaining a positive/stress-free attitude each time there are issues that require a response.
~example. when i receive a customer email i immediately feel that it must be responded to right away. i will often stop what i am doing (usually with the kids) to respond right away. however, i am trying my best to set a proper standard of response that communicates balance and order. learning to schedule my work hours and communicate them effectively while choosing to be in the current moment is #goal right now.
print success. YAY!!!!
this one has taken me about 6 months to gather a handle on. after deciding which t-shirt colors id like to offer (we've settled on white, black, grey, marroon + navy blue) and what ink colors to offer (we've chosen to go with white, black, baby pink + baby blue) sampling to ensure desired printing has been KEY. it is where the majority of our investment dollar go and so very important to our process.
in our beginning stages of business, we have chosen to go with a DTG printing process. this model allows us the flexibility of offering several designs and takes away the possible burden of storing inventory and shipping individual items in house. what DTG (direct-to-garment) means is that when an item (shirt, mug etc.) is ordered, our fulfillment center receives the approved order and begins the printing process. once the item is completed it is shipped straight to the customer without ever passing my desk.
the downside. to this process is that i am unable to see and triple check the final product before it heads your way. which is why triple checking through the sampling process is so important to me. i am also unable to add my extra bits of love to the packages the way that i would love to and have to add any extras separately.
the upside. is that i am able to keep my investment cost lower at the moment. i do not have to stock large numbers of t-shirts and risk certain colors or sizes not moving. and most importantly, i can offer many different designs and colors.
challenges that we've overcome so far.
sizing. this was a tough one and probably one of the hardest choices to make when starting out. finding a comfortable/flattering fit for both men and women is hard. while i started with a womens fit that i really liked, i found that the way the garment was sized was problematic. they ran pretty small and i had to order a size LARGE to get a comfortable fit and an XLARGE to get a fit that i desired. NO BUENO!!! eventually i decided to go with a unisex fit which had a wider range of sizes. I've found that most people are able to order true to size for a basic tee relaxed fit. and if a slimmer fit is desired then you could go down a size. so far, so good!
printing. while i had gotten to a great spot with our samples in all of our colored items (black/gray/blue/maroon shirts) i was having a difficult time getting a satisfactory print out of the white tees white the black ink designs. they were printing rather faded and fading even more after washes. wasn't happy at all. although i had to go through several samples until i final found a satisfactory option, we got there and the white shirts are now printing at a much better standard than when we began.
overall, the thing that i have learned the most, being in business, is that i will never get to a place where i am satisfied but must always strive for contementment. i am learning to be ok with that feeling.
both excited and kinda nervous to move forward. but more excited than nervous :)
from syreena, with love