Though I’ve titled this the July update – I have to jump to last week – when the first 5 final Founder’s Blouses arrived! See the photo below. The sewing is beautiful. Sew Co. did a fabulous job – as I expected they would based on my experience with their work.

That all said, I had a moment of frustration last week, waiting to hear the tally of labor hours for cutting, sewing, fabric pre-wash etc. so we could know where the pricing would fall for each blouse. I followed up on this and learned that the woman who did their “time studies”, as it is called for when they assess the labor time it takes for a project so they can determine the price they would charge going forward, moved on from Sew Co. and because of ongoing commitments at the workshop they needed to assign someone who had not sewn blouses before. They did a fantastic job but took much longer than someone experienced with this work.

A bit of background here – those of you sewers know – but others may not – that it takes several of an item – even for an experienced sewer to determine how long it will take to make a garment for production. So even someone who is experienced at sewing blouses – needs to make 4 or 5 or more depending on the complexity of the project, to know how long it takes to make the blouses when they move on to the next 5 or 20. For this custom womenswear, we anticipate that it would be unlikely for the moment that we would exceed 20 or so garments at a time due to our small scale – which would necessarily mean that they are not going to have a special dedicated set-up like a larger factory that makes hundreds of blouses at a time. But nonetheless we are aiming for a price that a customer could reach for, that would not relegate the blouses to the elite few for whom custom work is now and has always been available in some form or another.

Ok – that’s probably plenty for you on that topic. Suffice it to say – this is important information and frustratingly we don’t have it – and won’t be able to know it until we make the remaining 6 blouses. So once again, I am humbled over here by the length of time it takes to create a new production process. And admittedly we are still working in a manufacturing environment where there is a shortage of sewers. Our goal is to make the case for training more sewers for high quality sewing jobs, but until then the current environment remains.

So for now we will celebrate the victory of having a beautiful product to deliver to our first few Founders and the gratitude for the Sew Co. team’s hard work on this – given that this product falls squarely into the experimental category and is thus not lucrative for them in the short term. Their work on this, with all that they have on their plate is immensely generous.

Thank you very much for all your support.

Go, fight, win.