Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Textile Museum Sale

Each year the Textile Museum of Canada has its "More than just a Yardage Sale".  The sale is run by volunteers as a benefit for the museum.  It's something I've been meaning to check out for ages but never got around to.  So this year I decided to mark it on my calendar to make sure we wouldn't forget.

Siv and I got there at 11am sharp to the site of outdoor tents swarming with designers, crafters, quilters and artists eager to have their pick up the merchandise.  It was so busy we could barely move!

The tents were filled with bundles & bolts of fabric, patterns, notions, small equipment and machinery, yarn and more.

Self restraint was required, but we came away with a few cute bundles of printed fabrics and upholstery ends to be used for our Spring/Summer 2013 accessories line.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Hat Junkie

I've been wanting to do a series of blog posts featuring customers wearing Paper People and what better opportunity than this one!  I was contacted by Anna Shoub of Hat Junkie in April.  Anna lives in Lunenburg Nova Scotia and has purchased several of my dresses from Luvly in Lunenburg, a beautiful little shop devoted to independent Canadian designers.  Anna was looking for a dress she had seen at Luvly.  Being that most of our designs incorporate reclaimed vintage materials each is one of a kind so she was after something particular incorporating a vintage floral print.

Take a look at Anna modelling The Donna Dress by Paper People and one of her own hat designs:

photography by Heidi Jirotka
  Born out of her love of handmade hats, Anna started her own line of hats.  She has quite a variety made from materials like organic cotton, straw, fleece and even some rain hats (perfect for the east coast climate no doubt).  When I spoke to her over the phone she was dying some fabrics for her designs.

You can check out her work here: http://www.hatjunkie.com/ or browse her etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/hatjunkie.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Big Boost from Fresh Collective!

About a month ago I was feeling a little uninspired.  We'd just finished designing and shooting the fall/winter 2012/13 collection and sales season for the line had wrapped up.  With the those major projects completed (successfully!) I was feeling like slowing down.  But if you own a small business you know it's never really time to slow down.

Laura-Jean from Fresh Collective offers "boost" meetings to all of her members who are feeling like they could use a little advice or a push in the right direction so I decided it was time.  I'd been struggling with a few things over the past few years.  Although my fall/winter line has been greeted with much success, spring/summer has struggled to approach our expectations.  This season we were lucky/smart enough to hit on several key items that are doing well but we also produced a lot of items that aren't doing well.  So although we're excited to have some hot items, the not so hot items have tipped our books in the opposite direction.  So we decided to embark on a little market research to discover just what it is our customers are after instead of force feeding them things they aren't interested in.

So with the help of Laura-Jean and Jane, Fresh Collective's regional manager I crafted our little summer dress market research plan.  We administered physical surveys at the 3 Fresh Collective locations which complemented our online version we ran through Survey Monkey.  Customers were asked to give feedback on the designs presented and in return we gave away 3 free dresses.  We also collected some basic demographic information to help us define our target market for our business plan.

We got a lot of interesting and helpful feedback and we hope to run more contests like this again in the future.  Plus who doesn't like making customers happy with free dresses every once in a while!  Stay tuned for some fun photos of our contest winners . . .