This week has been exciting with the arrival of my first round of Production! 11 boxes this week, 20 boxes next week!
I've started going through them, allocating orders, love seeing all the dresses all packed up in their polybags:
These three are the first to arrive, I've put a few in Frock Shop, arriving in shops all over soon! I will put the new Frock Shop line on the website as soon as I've shipped out to all the boutiques.
I redesigned the hangtags for Production. Simple and clean to hang with all types of prints and styles. The logo is debossed on hard white cardstock with a tabbed hole for the ribbon tie with black safety pin. I LOVE the tiny little detais :D These are all put on at the factory during production.
The photoshoot for Fall 2014 is Sunday! I'll be putting together the lookbook right after that for printing and taking to Magic in February! Will post some pics here next week.
I was stuck right into designing and sampling Fall 2014 when we decided to put together a Summer 2014 offering for LA market and the round of markets for late Jan early Feb before heading to Magic in mid Feb with Fall 2014. It was quite last minute, but the Frock Shop line is sort of known for printed dresses, so it would be sad not to have a small collection for Summer!
I was inspired by these wonderful Taylor Swift vacation photos, they just screamed Summer:
A round of sketching:
Fabric choices and flat sketches:
A look at the Summer 2014 Lookbook for Frock Shop! I'm so excited at how lovely this small collection came out and in such a short amount of time! I can't wait to proceed with production and ship these fun styles! Due in shops May & June.
In my last post I touched on my design process, creating the Frock Shop clothing line and now we are onto the market. Market is what we in the biz call the trade shows for buying wholesale clothing and accessories. The main stream markets are held in major cities 4 times a year, sometimes more. We are participating in shows up and down the West coast and the midwest, the biggest show being Magic in Vegas in February and August. There are actually 15 shows that go on at this time in Vegas. Its massive, truly amazing to attend, much less show at. Last August we headed down with our suitcases full of samples and a mannequin from the shop. The suitcase holding the mannequin barely made it to the stall, wheels falling off in pieces throughout the whole convention center, both funny and crazy!
Our booth was in the row along with all of our reps other lines. It was so great to be together with the other clothing company owners, so fun to socialize and sell. I wouldn't have gone to Magic on my own without this network. Here is my mom posing in our booth as the reps assistants set it up. They were amazing, we just had to show up. And here I am, ready to sell! I was so nervous that first morning before the show started, but once we got rolling, the 3 days were a blast!
We were so amazed at the great reception, it was such a great start. Picking up shops all over the country and in Canada. We did get a chance to nip out to some of the other shows and check out a bit of Vegas even though it was so hot!
I did get some time to spend at Sourcing at Magic, but it was so vast and I was so tired, I didn't even get past India. I was hoping to be inspired by new fabrics, but only got to look at a few fabric booths. Next month at February Magic, after set up, I will be spending time looking at just fabrics.
After the Vegas show the samples were packed up and sent back to LA to start the market circuit in LA, San Mateo, Portland, Seattle and Denver. I did get a chance to visit the show down in Portland for the first time. I drove down from Seattle for the day, quite the drive, but totally worth it. The Portland show is held in the Embassy Suites in hotel rooms, they are set up like little boutiques, quite fun and free lunch.
I also checked out the cute shopping area of Alberta Street, very inspiring. Portland was so supportive of my line and I'm super excited to start shipping to shops there :D
During Seattle market in September we had a casual fashion show and party for the line at the Via6 Pavillion in Downtown Seattle. An amazing venue and a really fun night. My friend Christy from Spun organic cotton candy did her magic, spinning gorgeous rose flavored cotton candy on pretty cones that added whimsy to our desert and champagne bar. Beautiful photos by Olivia Bidleman.
Spring orders closed at the end of October, a lot of tallying, spread sheets, back and forth with the factories for months. The first delivery of Spring starts shipping at the end of January!
Next post: Sneak peak at Summer 2014 & Fall 2014!
This post has been a long time coming. Spending all of my spare time working on this clothing line I've been too busy to write about it. I thought that I should start here before it gets too far along :) Frock Shop is now just over 7 years old! For a few years I've been thinking of ways to grow my business. Instead of opening more stores, I decided to go back to my roots in design, using my experience buying at market to launch the Frock Shop clothing line for Spring 2014. Other people's experience will be different, this is just the road that I've taken. This is by no means a guide, only notes on my experience.
The key to creating and selling a line at a mainstream market is timing. Development starts around a year before you ever ship a unit. Planning is a big deal, especially in the first year. I had found my rep (the sales representative) who I wanted to work with well before I began designing. I had been buying from her for 7 years and knew that we would be a good fit. I discussed my ideas with her and she was a great sounding board.
My designing stems a lot from my shop. Knowing my customer, asking, would this sell in Frock Shop? I then compile ideas into a mood board. This really helps with giving the season an over all feeling, a character that I would be dressing. Here is the moodboard I did for Spring 2014. At this point my plan was to launch the Spring collection at Magic in August 2013.
It feels like ages since I looked at this board. It's been a whole year and I've done two more for the proceeding seasons since. This one is so pretty, sometimes is great to not look at something for a while and then come back to it. :) The mood board is followed by heaps of sketching. Drawing up seams, ideas, prints that I love.
I do a lot of fabric sourcing. I'm addicted to prints! I will be working on doing more solids in the collection, but I love to find amazing prints that inspire their own designs. Choosing fabrics:
Then a whole lot of these flat sketches and spec packs to send on to agents for sampling.
The flat sketches are time consuming, but really help with making sure you get exactly what you want. Calling out the stitch width, seam detail, pocket placement etc. There will always be interpretation, but at least you get closer than simple illustrations.
The proto samples arrive (the best part), time for fitting and photographing!
This is the time to make any updates and fit changes before salesman samples are ordered. We got to work on photographing the line sheet/ lookbook. I was lucky to meet the wonderful young photographer Olivia Bidleman, who was a joy to work with. We had an amazing morning shooting at the Woodland Park Rose Garden near my house.
You can see the whole Spring 2014 lookbook published in Issuu Here:
The whole collection we took to market was around 50 pieces and I got to sew our new labels into all of them. The line was small, but managable.
The lookbooks arrived a couple days before we packed up and left for Vegas to join our Rep and her other lines at Magic!
My next post: The road to Magic!